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Quick Powerful Prayers for Your Children

By Letitia Suk

My need for prayer jumped off the charts when I became a mom. Sleeping dilemmas, separation issues, sickness, school stuff, other kids - I cannot manage any of it without outside help. More than any book or expert advice, prayer has been my most powerful parenting tool.
Most Christian parents want to pray for their kids but aren't sure how to fit it in the early years of parenting, it was hard to get beyond "God bless Joshua, and help him sleep!" Finding time to pray was often a big challenge, and trying to be creative just made me tired. As the size of our family grew and my desperation for God's help increased, I learned how to pray on the go.

1. Drive-though prayer. We have drive-through banks, drive-through meals and drive-through pharmacies. Why not drive-through prayer? When you drive through your neighborhood or park, past schools and friends' homes, pray for them. My husband would intentionally drive past our children's junior high school, and in the time it took to pass by he prayed for the school. The time spent praying was less than a minute, but several times a week over the course of the 11 years our kids were there amounted to a lot of prayer.

2. Write it down. Like grocery shopping without a list, I have a hard time remembering what to pray about without writing it down. A small note book in my purse and larger one in my living room keep track of my family's needs.

3. Double the effort. "I'll pray for yours if you'll pray for mine" exchanges with other parent-friends have motivated me to keep praying knowing that my friend was counting on me. I usually make an agreement to pray for a particular length of time, such as a school year or sports season.

4. By the book. The pray-as-you-read is a great method. When I read about Daniel facing the lions, I ask for that kind of courage for my children. Queen Esther's confidence in God's faithfulness becomes a prayer request for my daughters. Paul's boldness is something I want for my sons. In addition, I browse the Psalms. "Your word is a lamp for (child's name here)'s feet and light for (his or her) path" (Psalm 119:105) or "Teach (child's name here) O Lord, to follow your decrees; then (he or she) will keep them to the end" (Psalm 119:23).

5. In the moment. Sometimes I do my best praying while I do my daily rounds: walking the dog, driving to work, preparing dinner. Sometimes looking at all the activities posted on the refrigerator door gives me a place to start. I think this is what the apostle Paul meant when he encouraged us to pray continually.

Letitia Suk is a mother of four. She lives in Evanston, IL.