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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Praying for Your Family - 27. Television

Does your family ever watch TV?

Are you laughing?

Did you maybe think that you could limit your kids' screen time to exactly ten minutes per their age in years? (Like a two year old gets 20 minutes maximum, and absolutely no other screen time.) How's that working out for ya?  Yeah.  Unless you are that 5 percent of the population who has managed to get rid of TV in their home (and I envy you), it's probably on for someone, at some point in the day for more than twenty minutes.  I go through seasons of needing the TV more or less to help with keeping the kids' attention.  First trimester of baby #3 - LOTS of movie time for my kids, because I was more exhausted and nauseous than I ever imagined possible. Now it's dialed back a bit to letting them watch a video for as long as it takes me to get through my morning Bible study, then when I'm done, we all get up and go outside (if possible).  They watch TV at other times, too, though, and in this transition season of needing to pack/unpack/clean I am letting go of trying to be the perfect mom who comes up with plenty of educational activities instead of videos.  I can only accomplish so many things at one time, and I'm okay with that.  My kids' newest favorites are old (the ones on sale) Dora and Diego episodes with 4 shows on one DVD, the Land Before Time series (they haven't seen the first 2, but by George - we've got the next 7 on two cheap DVDs), Thomas  movies and episodes on PBS, and Curious George. We have a ton of movies and educational DVDs, that are in storage.  So we are really getting to know these few shows we have for now.

Husband watch TV? Are you laughing again? Yeah, we are not in charge of his screen time, so we can just pray for him, too. ;) I used to be far more organized about my own time, and opted out of TV for several years in college, and did not miss it. I exercised more, read more books, and went out with friends more often.  Eventually, I'd like to get back to that place. Until that is possible, I usually keep myself busy doing something else while my people watch TV.

Anyway - when your spouse or kids watch that television screen, think about praying for their Time Management skills in life.  Television is one of the biggest ways I find we waste our time, so it also makes sense to be the time I pray about us spending our time more wisely.

TV - Time Management Skills

Dear Lord,

Please help me and my family to spend our time wisely for you. Help us to see when we are wasting time and when we are investing time in efforts that will produce fruit.  Help us to seek you first in our time, before all other things in our day.  Show me how to teach my children to spend their days wisely, but not wasting my own time.  Help us to accomplish the work that needs to be done today and each day, without becoming consumed by the work itself.  Help us to also enjoy our time together doing fun activities as a family.  God, give my husband wisdom on how to use his time to glorify you the most in his life's work as a husband, father, pastor, and everything else. Give us an eternal perspective on what matters the most as we spend our days here on earth.  Help us to remember that we are created for 'such a time as this,' and we can be useful in the exact situation you have already placed us. In Jesus' Name I pray,


This is post twenty-seven in a series on Praying for Your Family: a 31 Day Challenge.  You can go to the main 'landing page' and scroll to the bottom, for a list of all the days by clicking here:
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Monday, October 26, 2015

Praying for Your Family - 26. Seat Belts

The remainder of the prayer posts in this series will center around things we see or do commonly in our day-to day life that may not necessarily fit into another category, but can certainly remind us to pray.

I was taught from an early age that every time I sat in the car, I immediately should buckle up. Whenever you fasten your seat belt, or strap your kids into theirs, it can naturally lead you to pray for safety.  If you do not wear your seat belt, then PLEASE start wearing it all the time! Seat belts really do save lives, as this easy read from the CDC confirms.  Strapping your babies and children into their carseats is equally important, and can continue with the prayers for safety. This is a good article on carseat do's and don't's and my favorite pictures from it:

We can pray for safe travels while in the car, but also for safety in the daily lives of our families, to be protected from evil, accidents, and poor decisions which could lead to great pain or death.  This is not meant to increase your worries, or lessen your faith, but to cover your family in prayer for their safety and protection.

Seat Belts - Safety

Dear Lord,

Thank you for this vehicle and these safety belts. Please keep my family safe in this car today and always, on every road we cross, and even after we get out of the car.  Keep my husband and children away from harm and evil, so they can continue to glorify you with their lives. Please be faithful to keep us strong and safe from the devil's schemes.  God, I know we can take shelter and refuge in you, so please remind us to run to you in prayer and listen to the Holy Spirit to stay safe from all harm.  Keep my family safe from violence, weapons, and evil. Guard us in Jesus' Name,


This is post twenty-six in a series on Praying for Your Family: a 31 Day Challenge.  You can go to the main 'landing page' and scroll to the bottom, for a list of all the days by clicking here:
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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Praying for Your Family - 25. Snow Days

SNOW! I grew up across the globe, and from South Dakota's blizzard on Halloween one year to England's light wet dusting of snow, to southern Idaho's thick, dry powdery stuff, and the occasional snow here in the southern states (Alabama and Tennessee) that is fun and usually very short-lived, I have experienced many different types of snow. I love the way it falls and how it slowly covers everything in sight with such a fresh, bright white, sparkly blanket. As a teacher, I loved the extra days off! A fresh snow fall makes me take deep breaths and slow down a little (usually where we live, most of the world is closed so we can't go anywhere either, but I would still want to mostly stay home and enjoy it).  The snowfall prompts a natural stillness. When you experience snow this year, pray for your family to be still before God.

Snow is so rare in the south, and people mostly do not have 4 wheel drive or other road-safety measures, that these memes are sadly true:

Now, some of you may not get a whole lot of snow days depending on which part of the globe you live.  However, I'm sure you see television shows with snow, or watch some holiday programing that involves Winter weather, or your kids watch "Frozen" and that is when your mind can also be prompted to pray for Stillness - the ability for your family to literally "Be STILL and know that I am God."

Snow Days - Stillness

Father God,

Thank you for this beautiful snow, and the creative way you have made so many different types of weather and forms of water, that even these tiny crystals can amount to something this lovely. Help us to be still and rest in knowing you.  Help me to slow down and notice your presence more in my life, so that I can direct my children back to you. Help my husband to be still and know that you are God, no matter the circumstances. Being still can be difficult in our fast-paced world, so Lord, help us to be as still as the snow from time to time so that we can focus all of our heart, mind, strength, and soul on loving you.  Help us to know when it is not time to move or fight, but to be still and let you do it all for us.  Teach us to embrace the stillness. In Jesus' Name I pray, 


This is post twenty-five in a series on Praying for Your Family: a 31 Day Challenge.  You can go to the main 'landing page' and scroll to the bottom, for a list of all the days by clicking here:
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Prayers for Your Family - 24. Rainy Days

Rain is good, depending on the situation. Too much rain can be dreary.  Too little leaves a drought.  Rain makes me sleepy, and a little sad if it goes on for a few days.

Rain also has this beautiful ability to wash away a lot of gunk and provide enough water for plants to grow.  Just as the rain makes flowers and food grow, let's pray that it make our family grow spiritually by bringing revival.

Rainy Days - Revival

Dear Lord,

Please bring revival like rain into the hearts of my husband and children.  Revive me so that I am awakened to a deeper level of love and commitment to you.  Bring times of healing revival into our lives, so that our relationship with you grows and becomes stronger.  Help my husband and I to stay completely in awe of you, by praying and reading your word to gain revival as only living out faith in your word can do.  Help us to praise you because you have revived our weary hearts.  Bring revival to our marriage - helping us to fall deeper in love with each other because we are more deeply in love with you.  Bring revival to our parenting because we desire to share your love with our children in a more tangible way than ever before.  Bring revival to my kid's hearts, that they would see your love, kindness, mercy, and grace through us and desire salvation and revival of their souls.  Thank you, Lord for the rain that revives our land.  Please revive our souls.  In Jesus' Name I pray,


 This is post twenty-four in a series on Praying for Your Family: a 31 Day Challenge.  You can go to the main 'landing page' and scroll to the bottom, for a list of all the days by clicking here:
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Praying for Your Family - 23. Warm Days

Warm days for me, are when I can comfortably wear short-sleeves, but not so hot I am grouchy without air conditioning. Warm days can be breezy or stuffy, cloudy or sunny, it doesn't matter, as long as I don't need a jacket, I consider it 'warm.'  On those warm days, it is a good time to remember to pray for our families to lead lives of worship.  Worship not just in song, but in how they honor God with their lives. So that we not just be 'luke warm,' but people who live a life that is HOT in worship of our Savior!

Warm Days - Worship

King Jesus,

I am so thankful to be living in a country where we have the freedom to worship you anytime we wish.  Please help us to remember as a family that worship is how we live our daily lives, not just singing or attending church.  Help my husband to make you his first priority, to be able to worship you in spirit and in truth with his actions and words.  Help my children to see us leading lives that seek to glorify you from true heart change, and never a desire to follow man-made rules.  Help us to worship you by offering ourselves up as a living sacrifice.  When we do come to you in song, help us to be reverent, totally focused on you, in awe of all that you have so mercifully given us.  Lord, help me to focus on worshipping you throughout my day, and playing encouraging music that lifts my spirit back to acknowledging and inviting your Spirit into our home. In Jesus' Name I pray,


This is post twenty-three in a series on Praying for Your Family: a 31 Day Challenge.  You can go to the main 'landing page' and scroll to the bottom, for a list of all the days by clicking here:
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Friday, October 23, 2015

Praying for Your Family - 22. Cold Days

With beautiful Autumn, comes some cooler temperatures, and thus, the fun sweaters/scarves/boots weather! Winter clothes are by far my favorite, because most of the Western culture dresses more modestly, and they're downright comfy! These are some of my favorite cold-weather pictures from last year:

When I take a deep breath of crisp Autumn air, and it is cold enough to need a coat/scarf, I begin to think "Oooooh it's getting cold." That's a happy thought for me personally, although I know several sweet people who detest it.  Cooler days mean cold nights, and my family all sleeps much better when it's cold outside and we can snuggle down under the covers. Cold nights mean deeper, longer sleep for my husband and kids, which is always a win-win!

However, when that cold cuts through your coat and you get that bone chilling freezing tingle, it's a different story. When the wind cuts like a knife, and takes your breath away, that cold reminds me of the way it feels when I am convicted.  I wrote a few weeks ago about how it feels to be flat out 'wrong,' however I think conviction is a more serious - it's agreeing with the Holy Spirit that I am out of line somewhere.  It's not a good feeling, but it is absolutely necessary for growth in my walk with the Lord.  I cannot continue to journey forward to know God better, if there is a sin blocking my path, making me constantly stumble instead of walking in freedom.  We are praying this would be the kind of conviction that leads to repentance, a clean heart, and a restored walk with our Savior.

Cold Days - Conviction

Dear God, 

Thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit to speak truth right into our hearts and pray for us when we cannot. Please use your Spirit to show us where we should feel conviction. Cut through our hearts like cold wind and show us what needs to stay and what needs to go.  Convict us of sin that is dishonoring to you. Rend our hearts to be more like yours, to stay on the path toward holiness.  Where my husband may sin, convict him quickly so that he can repent and restore his relationship with you.  When my children sin, help me to teach them how to understand their feelings of conviction, and give them a desire to repent. When we feel conviction as a family, help us to quickly and honestly be broken together, and draw closer to you as we give you all of our broken pieces. In Jesus' Name I pray,


This is post twenty-two in a series on Praying for Your Family: a 31 Day Challenge.  You can go to the main 'landing page' and scroll to the bottom, for a list of all the days by clicking here:
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Praying for Your Family - 21. Gorgeous Days

The next few prayers will center around being reminded by the weather to pray for our families.  The weather is something that affects most of us, whether we spend much time outside or not.  I check the weather app on my phone frequently to plan for how to dress myself and the kids as we spend as much time outside as possible right now. We are all subject to changing season temperatures and a wide variety of different weather patterns if you live in a location that experiences the 4 seasons.  If you live in a climate without that much variation, perhaps seeing these types of weather on a TV show or hearing about them on the news could prompt you to pray.

We will start with the best of days, in my humble opinion, the ones where you feel like the whole world is just absolutely gorgeous!  Autumn is my favorite season, and the flaming colors of the trees, combined with the deep blue sky, set my heart to sing His Grace.

Grace is the unmerited favor we have with God, only because of Jesus Christ. Grace is the gift of God we do not deserve and cannot earn - that is why it is 'freely given' and 'freely received.' Grace is the only way any of us can get to know God! Grace is something we have all received in abundance, and yet we struggle to give to others.

Gorgeous Days - Grace 

Hey Jesus, 

Thank you for this gorgeous day! Help me remember to give grace to my family in all situations. Show my husband how much grace you've given him, and help him to respond to our family, our church family, and everyone with whom he comes into contact, with a heart full of grace and mercy.  Help my children to understand when we show them grace, although they deserve consequences.  Help us all to know and truly allow your grace to be sufficient for us.  Remind us to give more grace than we receive, and never forget how much grace you have shown us. In Jesus' Name,


This is post twenty-one in a series on Praying for Your Family: a 31 Day Challenge.  You can go to the main 'landing page' and scroll to the bottom, for a list of all the days by clicking here:
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