When I used to teach school, we have a reading initiative called D.E.A.R. and it stood for Drop Everything And Read. For at least 20 minutes, each teacher in the 6th hour had to give the first 20 minutes of class time to for students to have free reading of their choice. Over the summer, this idea came back to me. I wondered what was equally, if not more, powerful and influential as reading that I could incorporate into my homeschool. Immediately, I thought of prayer. But I had no idea how this D.E.A.R concept had anything to do with prayer, so I dropped the idea.
As I began seeking the Lord for our homeschool mission for this current school year, training my boys’ hearts began to ring louder and louder. So, I began to read, research, and pray to figure out the Lord’s leading for this season in my boys’ lives. Over and over I knew God was telling me to deal with their hearts. Naturally, I began to ponder, who and what changes hearts? Well, the answers would be God and prayer. I began to see that I needed to seek God for this, in prayer.
The boys and I have had a great routine this year and the Lord has been doing awesome things in their hearts. I thought I was doing pretty durn good, if I must say so myself. However, I began to realize that it wasn’t just me who needed to engage God in prayer. The boys need to develop their prayer life too. While they do pray both, alone, with my husband and I, and under our direction, I started to feel a responsibility for teaching them the discipline of prayer. This being another way to change their hearts. Discipline in faith really begins some awesome groundwork for God to move mightily.
Stop Now And Pray
I chose a time of day where no matter what we were all doing, we would stop, and take time to honor God in prayer. Wanting to be acronymed, like the reading example I shared above, we decided on S.N.A.P. for Stop Everything And Pray. It has really began some great change, though we still have leaps and bound to go.
We originally chose 3p but now we are thinking or adjusting to an earlier time–right after lunch, maybe. The point is, the discipline exposed our hearts. We were done with school. Everyone wanted to relax or was preoccupied in other activities and the thought of stopping, even for 5 minutes to give to God, no less; was just torture. Nonetheless, we walked away from the laptops, games, lying down, coloring, or any other activity to say, “Ok God, I’m choosing You.” I’d like to share with you that we overcame our flesh each day, but we failed. In the beginning, we just flat out said, “Not, today.” sometimes. Is this about prayer? Not really. We pray in the morning, we bless our homeschool before we dive into subjects, we bless our meals, and we give God all praises in the evening before bed. We pray lots. This is more of a discipline. Because discipline exposes hearts and I think this was God’s way of helping me see the junk so I could clear the junk.
Learning Through Prayer
Today I’d like to encourage to think about ways you can add a discipline of faith or prayer in your family or homeschool. I think that it is important for children to realize that prayer is not a morning, meals, and evening type deal. Further, I believe they gain much from allowing themselves to be interrupted from what they want to do to give that time to God. It really helps them to desire God over their own way. And of course, it’s helping me too. How much more ready will they be able to serve God in their adult lives when they learn as little children that sometimes God interrupts our plans and that is okay and we should still obey? (Told ya, I was learning some things too!)
Choose an time. Give it to God…no matter what. Yes, I know that’s the tough part. But He’s still worth of it, even though it can be hard. But once you spend enough consecutive days doing it, it will be like second-nature. In fact, it will feel odd NOT to do it. Build your faith muscle in disciplined prayer with your children unto the True, Living God. Only awesome things can result.