Being a mom is hard work, with little time to oneself. You wake up in the morning feeling like you never went to sleep, and fling a few pair of cute feet off your chest, and stumble out of the bedroom to begin your daily routine. Half asleep. Between breakfast and dinner you barely have a moment to think of your wants let alone your needs. And your idea of praying is saying with desperation, "Lord if you don't help me out here I think I might lose my mind!" (Isn't it funny how you never do though? You're always aware that your kids are going to drive you nuts, but somehow you hold it together for yet another day. Perhaps prayers of desperation really do work!)
I was thinking about how other than those prayers, and the ones we say in the morning together and at night before bed, are just about it for me. So sad! Through out the day, yes, I have an ongoing conversation with God. I don't know the answers to things, I don't know how to respond to my kids so I ask for inspiration (quick!). But I was thinking about the story of Mary and Martha and Jesus telling them that it was more important to listen to him than to run around the kitchen making preparations. Good point, you know, because when people are really hungry they will find a way to eat! Kids especially.
The thought crossed my mind that perhaps if my kids see me consistently taking time out for my own prayer time and reading (the bible or other good reading on the faith), that this will inspire them at some point down the road to do the same. And let them know that it's not ok to bother mom while she is having prayer time. Or if you do bother mom while she is praying that you will have to kneel down and start praying the rosary too.
Simple things that I do to spend time praying:
*Set my wrist watch with an alarm for 3pm everyday. Three pm is the Hour of Mercy. This is a good time for mom's to pray!
*Fling those cute feet off my chest 5 minutes earlier.
*Find a website online that automatically sends the daily readings to your inbox. This is great for keeping up with the Mass readings when your kids don't let you pay attention during Mass.
*Make yourself an altar table, where you keep your favorite prayers (laminated, because my kids run off with them), and a crucifix and a candle. Seeing that it's there helps remind me that this is someplace that I want to spend time. And my kids see it and want to spend time there also. (Mostly, I'm finding that they want a turn to blow out the candle. Hey, what ever works!)
The following are ten great reasons for a mom to spend time in prayer: found and copied directly from By Grace Alone blog
10. It gives you an opportunity to pray for yourself. No one knows your struggles like you do, and so no one else is better equipped to intercede for you to the Father for what you need each day. Most of my prayer list is for myself–praying that God would give me wisdom about specific situations, take away anger, anxiety, frustration, etc. Take time to lay your struggles before God and ask for His provision.
9. It gives you an opportunity to pray for your husband and children. I’ve already posted about a great way to pray for your kids during the month. There is nothing more important you will do for your family.
8. You are setting an example for your children. When your kids hit the teenage years, do you want them to be reading God’s Word? How about when they are out from under your roof, facing the questions and temptations of the college years? And what habits would you like them to have when they are raising your grandchildren? Start setting an example for them now.
7. You are filling your spiritual “pantry” with wisdom and truth to feed your family and friends in their times of need. See this previous post for an explanation.
6. If you want to follow the command of Deuteronomy 6 to teach God’s Word to your children, you need to know it yourself. Much of the discipline I strive to use with my children involves teaching them God’s Word and what it says about how we are to love God and each other. My discipline will be either hypocritical and/or superficial if I’m not writing God’s Word on my own heart before I try to write it on my children’s heart.
5. If you want to bear fruit, you must be connected to the vine (John 15:4-5,8). As this passage in John reminds us, apart from Christ, we can do nothing. If we are connected to the Vine (Christ), we will bear much fruit and bring glory to God. I want to bear fruit for God in all that I do, especially in raising my children. I must be connected to my Savior in order to accomplish that goal.
4. If you need wisdom, God will provide perfect wisdom beyond any wisdom of this world (James 1:5). It is easy to feel uncertain about how to raise kids. How tightly do you control their activities and friends? What worldly influences do you allow in their lives? Do you let them do soccer, AWANAs, or both? And we aren’t even out of the preschool years yet! I need God’s perfect wisdom, and His Word and prayer are how I can get it.
3. Christ told Mary and Martha that spending time at His feet is more important than our to-do list (Luke 10:38-42). As my pastor’s wife says, spending time with God is even more important than getting your shower. (And she never smells bad, so she must find time for both.) Your family will benefit more from having you spend time in God’s Word than having a gourmet hot dinner or a clean bathroom.
2. Christ set an example for us by spending time with His Father (Matthew 26:36-44). If there was anyone who knew God’s Word and God’s will perfectly, it was Jesus. And yet He took time away to talk with His Father and ask for strength to do His will.
1. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). Does teaching, reproof, correction, or training sound like anything you do during the day? Enough said.Good stuff, right?
I also found a couple of prayer cards at my local religious store. One is specifically for praying for you husband, and the other for praying for your children. They are great in that they use scriptural references, and pray specifically for things that scripture points out are important for husbands and children. These are really helpful for when I don't know what to pray for. I want my husband and my children to be good and holy people but I don't always know how to ask God for specifics on that subject, so using HIS own words is a great guide!
Have a good Sunday everyone!