Time. It can be tricky, right?
I want to pray and worship as a family. I just can’t seem to find the time.
I’ve talked to so many parents who express a sincere desire to build their family altar in one way or another. They read the posts on here about family worship times and prayer walls, and truly mean to get around to doing something like that with their family one of these days. A family devotional might be nice. But, the crazy gets in the way.
You know the crazy. Also known as LIFE. Children still have to be fed and bathed, right? And that one time you were so close to pulling out that shower curtain map, big brother knocked little sister in the head with a block and chaos ensued. You drop into bed exhausted each night. How could you add one more thing to your day?
Here’s the thing, though. Time was made to serve you, not the other way around.
In other words, you are supposed to be the boss of your schedule.
I get it. Things come up. Especially with children. No one can predict what’s going to come at them in a day. But that doesn’t mean you have to feel powerless.
I’m not condemning you here. I’m encouraging you to take your power back.
If you want to build your family altar, take authority over your schedule and block out some time.
Here’s a secret: It doesn’t have to be a huge chunk of time. You can start with five minutes. Can you find five minutes in your day? I bet you can.
Making time in the crazy takes intentionality. You don’t just want to have one good time of prayer with your children over an eighteen year span. You want to create a new habit so that it becomes their normal. And, yeah, that can be intimidating.
But think of all the habits you already have and do on a daily basis without even thinking about it. Do you bathe regularly? (Hope so.) Brush your teeth daily? Do you eat every day?
How about stacking a prayer habit onto one of the habits you’ve already mastered.
Habit stacking– it’s a thing.
If your children brush their teeth every night, try having them choose someone to pray for every time they pull out the toothpaste. You could write choices on the bathroom mirror or family pictures in the bathroom. You could even print out our picture prayers and tape them up. They can say a short prayer, then while their mouths are full of paste, you can pray over them and bless them.
Many families say a prayer before they eat dinner. Some try to use this time for family devotions. Our family says a declaration before we pray for the meal. If your eat together on a regular basis, don’t waste it. Build a prayer habit into your mealtime.
Does your child take vitamins or medicine daily? That can be a good time to incorporate a short prayer for something your child is passionate about.
It doesn’t have to be huge. Don’t let intimidation stop you. Just start somewhere. Anywhere. It all counts.