Praying for Your Child in Life’s Margin
Join me in welcoming one of our newest contributors, Alicia Hunter, to The Better Mom. Today she encourages you to see those little margins in your day as pockets of time to pray for your children. - XO, Ruth
I’m pacing his dark bedroom for the hundredth time, nerves on end as his shrill cries cut through the glasslike stillness of the night.
“Thank you, Lord, for this sweet baby boy.”
Bouncing, rocking, cuddling, shushing. Wash, rinse, repeat.
A warm, soft baby cheek nuzzles into the crook of my neck, and my agitated heart calms, the staccato in my veins ceasing.
I tucked my baby boy into bed one night and he woke up 10 years older. I scratch my head and wonder where the time went, then panic at how I’m losing it. (Time, that is. Not my mind.) Time to raise my boy to love Jesus.
This is why I pray.
More than making dinner, replacing worn-out jeans, or enforcing good hygiene habits, praying for our children must be a priority. When you’re a busy mom, it’s near impossible to carve out reliable quiet time.
It’s time to pray in the margins of our day—the small snatches of minutes here and there that invite a moment of communication with God.
This is how I pray.
If you’re like me, your day is full of nose wipes, diaper changes, school drop-offs, and doctor appointments. Your day starts at the crack of dawn with the baby’s first announcement of daybreak and doesn’t end until the energy of tiny humans is spent and tucked into beds at night.
Despite your best effort, morning quiet time is a thing of the past. As much as you’d love to wake up before your children to spend time with God, it’s not always a realistic expectation.
And that’s okay. It’s a precious season of life, one that passes too quickly. So with a grateful heart, accept the moments of margin where you can.
Pray during bedtime routines
As you’re snuggling your infant or pacing around the house to a soundtrack of piercing cries, pray. As you’re dodging splashes and lathering shampoo into heads of hair, pray. As you’re chasing your freakishly fast, reluctant 18-month old with ready toothbrush in hand, pray.
Thank God for the children He’s placed in your care.
Pray as you’re cleaning
Pray amidst the endless piles of unfolded laundry, the dish-covered sink, and your yellow-gloved hands hovering over the toilet seat.
Thank God for the children that have made the endless messes you spend your days chasing.
Pray in the car
When your car is loaded with children and backpacks, pray. As you’re bumper-to-bumper among tear-stained babies who strongly dislike their car seats, pray.
Use the time you have to seek God where you are, during traffic jams and school drop-offs.
So in the darkness of night, still rocking, bouncing, swaying, and shushing, I pray, “Help me raise this baby boy to love you, Lord.” A battle cry from the depths of my worn-out heart.
And the cries miraculously cease. A peaceful heaviness overtakes my son’s tiny body as he relaxes in my arms.
Asleep at last.
Remembering how fast these years fly, I soak up these precious moments with a starved memory, encrypting the images lest they disappear with the night.
Time is but a breath. Use what time you have in the margins to pray over your children.
Because, like the inevitable speed at which they’ll grow, prayer can’t wait.
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