Today I started a new practice. I'm calling it "Purposeful Prayer". I'm going to use a resource that I purchased years ago entitled "While They Were Sleeping". It is a book that contains 12 character traits for moms to pray over their children. It's broken down into 5 day segments per topic. I decided that I will pray a characteristic per month over each child. I'll pray over them in chronological order and I'll pray the entire 5 days over each child, condensed into one day. So Monday I'll pray Days 1-5 over Joseph. Tuesday Days 1-5 over Jesse and so on and so forth. I will repeat the pattern each week of the month.
This month is Teachability. I tell you it couldn't come at a more opportune time. I am dealing with stubbornness and rebellion in two of my five consistently and the other three have been known to exhibit negative behaviors in this area from time to time. Here is a great quote "Teachability helps our children prepare their hearts to be faithful to God." The Scriptures included in the teachability chapter are Psalm 143:10, Psalm 25:5b, Psalm 78:7-8, Daniel 1:8, and many other Psalms and Proverbs. An example of a prayer "Father, it is Your own Spirit that teaches us through Your Word. I pray __________ will yield to Your instruction. Please protect ___________ from developing a stubborn or rebellious spirit. May he/she be a spiritual sponge, soaking up Your truth." I'm excited about this opportunity. It will focus me, intentionally on the goodness of God and His magnitude and not the grandeur of my problems or the issues my children face. It will allow me to see my children through the lens of Christ's love.
On Saturdays I'll focus on praying specifically for my marriage and that God will bless, protect and strengthen Nathan and me as individuals and as a couple. I will pray these characteristics over us as well. Now realize I pray for my marriage and my kids more than one day a week. This is just a tool. On Sundays I'll pray for my leaders, spiritual, local, state and national. I'm hoping Nathan will join me, but regardless I'm going to pray.
Some of the other topics covered in the book are Kindness, Humility, Forgiveness, Obedience, Discernment, Purity, Responsibility, Courage, Servant hood, Contentment, and Endurance. I'm prayerfully expecting great things for our family this next 12 months. Purposeful praying, intentional listening, cultivating community, searching out opportunities to connect and looking for joy/gifts to be grateful for daily are things that I'm adopting into my daily practices/routine. I'm also going to journal these next few months about how prayers are being answered and how God is changing us all through this tool. I'll keep you posted. Thanks as always for reading.
*"While They Were Sleeping" by Anne Arkins and Gary Harrell*