One morning a couple of years ago, I was driving my two girls to school. Occasionally, I will pray with them before they start their school day. I don’t do this as consistently as I’d like, but often enough. On this day, I don’t know what it was, but as I was driving, the thought just occurred to me to have them pray instead of me. I mean, they know what it’s like. They each can understand a little bit better about friendship issues, frustrations over school work and teachers, as well as battles they go through in hearing swear words or other dirty language and actions. So I asked them to pray for each other.
At first my girls were like, “What?” They were taken aback. I explained to them why and told them that I wanted them to pray for each other. They sputtered slightly, but without too much of a fight, they did.
It blessed my heart to hear them pray for one another. In fact, it blessed me so much that I’ve decided I need to do this more often. It reminds them that they are on the same side. When siblings can often fight and bicker, it’s good to be reminded that they go through some of the same struggles in life. I want to reinforce the fact that they have a strong bond with one another and that they can be allies. I also think that by the mere fact in having them do the praying sometimes instead of merely me doing it, that they are having to take their faith into their own hands.
A lot of times as a parent, we can hold our children’s faith in our hands and assume they crave a walk with God as strongly as we do. But we don’t give them the tools to implement it for themselves. When I have them do the praying, they are speaking to God instead of me speaking to God for them. They have to relate to Him one on one. Even if at first it’s done dutifully, I pray that at some point it will be something that comes naturally and is turned to easily in their life.
I have told my family time and time again that we are a team. We need to be there for each other and be a safe haven for one another against the rest of the world. I hope that by having them pray for each other is just one other way of reinforcing the love and support that we need to give each other and I hope that they will learn to grab hold of that tool and use it many times in the future – whether I ask them to or not.