Consider this thought. Do your children ever see you pray besides at the dinner table? Do you have a rich prayer life, and do you share that prayer life with your kids? One day I realized that my kids had no idea how much or how often I prayed. My goal is to leave my children with a strong legacy of prayer and memories of me praying real, heartfelt prayers together with them.
If you share this desire, you can use the ideas in this list to start building your legacy of prayer. Some of these activities are intended for the whole family, and some are intended for you to work on as an individual.
- At a surprise moment during the day, have your family stop whatever they are doing and pray for fifteen minutes. Each person can stay right where they are, and pray for whatever comes to mind.
- Add a few minutes to your supper table prayer to pray for women in crisis, particularly those considering abortion. Pray that God will change their hearts and bring them an understanding of the blessing that is in their womb. Consider contacting a Crisis Pregnancy center or a place that serves unwed mothers and ask for first names of ladies you can pray for. Perhaps the center might even have a prayer list e-mail you could be added to.
- Choose a family prayer time and pray for the leaders of your church by name and pray specifically for the spiritual health of your congregation and any decisions you know of that face the leadership in coming months.
- Ask your children each to pray for his or her Sunday School teacher or school teacher, for their week to go smoothly, for their home to be blessed, and for lesson planning to be free of burden this week. Take turns and pray out loud as a group, or have each child take turns praying for their teachers at mealtimes.
- During private prayer time, ask God to reveal an area in which you personally need improvement, and ask also that He will provide obvious means for the improvement that you need.
- During your private prayer time today, ask God to bless the hours in your day. Make a list of your true priorities, and ask God specifically to bless you and your family as you work your way through this list. If you have some priorities that are going to take more then one day to complete, include these as well. Be sure to record your prayers in your prayer journal.
- During your private prayer time, pray specifically for the salvation of each child for ten minutes. Ask God to reveal your role in your child’s salvation and to reveal anything that is getting in the way of your child making this decision.
- As a family, call out each day of the week for a different family member until you have devoted one entire day of prayer to each member of the family. Focus mealtime prayers on the needs and desires and passions of this person. Find out what they want prayed about, and also pray for their relationship with Christ, their impact on the world, and any blessing you desire for them. Have all other family members participate in praying out loud for the member in focus. Record these prayers in your prayer journals.
- Memorize this Bible verse about prayer together and copy it into prayer journals.
- “Pray Without Ceasing.”
- Our Lord stated in his word that “true religion” is the care of widows and orphans. Ask God to show your family some ways you can bless the widows and orphans in your neighborhood, your country or your world. If you sponsor a child in a third world country, spend some time today praying for that child’s salvation. Be sure to record this prayer in your prayer journal.
- Cover your children in prayer. Even if this is outside your normal bedtime routine, visit each child after they are in their beds tonight and pray a prayer specifically for them, referencing events in their day and week and any character traits you area already praying for. If you have many children, perhaps you will spread this out over several days in order get your children all in bed in a timely manner!
- Thank God for his provisions. In both good times and bad, we should be praising God for his provision of food, shelter, health and safety. Focus this week on prayers of praise for these acts of provision in your own family. If you have significant need, be sure to make that a petition for this day.
- Praise God for the blessing of your food! Make a grocery list together and examine your cabinets to discover how much you are already blessed with provision. Sometimes, our cabinets might be empty so instead you might need to pray for provision. In this case, praise God for the food you know He will provide! If you have produce, consider whom you might share your bounty with.
(New King James Version)
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
- Praise God for the blessing of your clothing! Consider carefully the needs of your family and decide how many outfits each member needs to keep. Have each individual look through his drawers or boxes and inventory his clothing, considering what might be given away or passed down to the next child. Make a list of the remaining needs for each person. If you have extras, bless a nearby women’s shelter, another family, or thrift store. Praise God for His provision and the chance to share from your bounty!
- Praise God for the blessing of your shelter. As a group, evaluate your use of the shelter God has provided. Are you careful with the flooring, or do you leave spills to ruin carpet or wood? Are you gentle on appliances or do you slam the doors and leave messes inside for Mom to clean up. Can you wipe grime off of windows, can you walk through the garage? If you are unhappy with God’s provision, perhaps it is time to re-arrange and maximize the space God has already provided, while praying for forgiveness in your lack of contentment. Make a list of the great things about where you live. Even if the list is small – Praise God for these things tonight at the dinner table.
Hebrews 13: 5
(New International Version)
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have,because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
- Praise God for the blessing of children in your home. Be specific as you pray with your children praising God about how they are a true blessing from God. Plan ahead and make sure you praise God specifically for each child. Carry this over to your private prayer time and record your prayers in your journal.
- Together memorize this Psalm of praise. Younger children can work on the first three verses while older children and parents are challenged to complete the whole chapter. Psalm 92:1-15
- As a family, go on a prayer walk through your neighborhood praying for the members of each household as you walk past their house. You can each pray silently, and if you know of specific prayer requests, you can mention these occasionally.
- Pour out your heart to God over any issue that is deeply troubling you. Are you scared about the future of this country, struggling to make ends meet, deeply concerned by a negative character trait you see in yourself or a child, worried sick about your parent’s health? What is it that you worry about in the deepest recesses of your heart? Pour this out to God and just communicate with Him like you would talk to your very best human friend.