Friday, August 06, 2010

House of Prayer

I've mentioned here before ~ prayer is a weakness of mine. Consistent, thoughtful, holy prayer. A struggle.

Yet - I want to improve. I long to intercede with my Father in this way. And, I desire to teach my children about meaningful prayer as well. But how?

First, I tried a Prayer Closet. I was sure I had thought of everything to make this work - but I didn't realize how hot it would get in there with the door closed. So, I have rarely used this space because of that.

Months ago - I read this and was inspired. It has been in the back of my mind since then. I always seemed to get bogged down in the where, what and how details. So, I created a Peace Retreat to begin. I've loved this space and it has been such a blessing.

In thinking ahead to this school year beginning, I wanted to get our prayer area worked in so we could begin incorporating this into our lives. I love the reference to Daniel and his three times a day prayers. Daniel is one I admire for his willingness to stand up for what is right despite any consequences. He is willing to do what is right.

While in Colorado, I visited my fave store - Hobby Lobby! And, found a cross which I intended to use in our prayer area. And, when we got home - God helped me to just pull together things I had in a space that I had to create a fresh new spot. A haven. A blessing.

One of our memory trunks ($5 from Goodwill), a chair from a friend recovered with leftover fabric from the porch, an unused candle light and a sweet basket - new gift from two sweet friends. It came together so quickly in the end. God brought it all together.

We've added our Prayer Journal to the space and begun praying at 9am and 1pm. We're struggling to get the evening time established but I will not give up. I'm hoping for 7pm for our third time.

We've prayed for family members, friends, our Compassion child, Samaritan's Purse and more. Again, we are in the process of establishing this - but I feel like things are finally on the right track and I am thankful for the chance to try and try again.

How do you bring prayer into your home? How do you establish the priority of prayer? How do you engage your children?

19 comments:

Kathi @ A Mother's Prayers said...

That looks very nice. I've always struggled in this area too. And I've read both your posts, and Ann's posts about it...so I have no excuse...

We do, however, pray with Brian before he leaves for work (gathered in circle, on our knees...it was strange at first, but now it's very important to us...even the kids), we pray before school, before meals, and before and after Family Worship.

But a Space...a Closet...a Retreat...a Chair would maybe draw us in...off to WHERE it could go!

Sweet post Monica (as usual:)

Kathi

chrissy said...

We have established the habit of praying together as a family when it is the children's bedtime. We gather in my son's room as it is in a central location in the house. If the children have friends over, they are invited to join in if they wish. Anyone who is here at the time is included - even adults. There have been times when we've had adults kneeling in the hallway outside the bedroom because we couldn't fit anymore people inside the bedroom. It's a habit we established when our oldest was a toddler and we've continued it all along. Of course, the children are encouraged to pray throughout the day if they feel led to, but evenings are our family devotion time. For us, it's a nice way to end the day, to let go of anything that went less than perfectly, and to ensure that we all have a peaceful sleep.

donna rae said...

What a lovely and peaceful spot for prayer. I, too, was inspired by the same post some time ago, but have yet to create a space. Your post is just the gentle reminder I needed!

No Ordinary Me said...

Good for you. What a nice spot. I have certain area that tend to always pray at.

I actually posted a little snid bit about prayer today.

Blessings.

Nikki said...

This is wonderful! I too struggle in this area. Growing up we are taught to say our prayers before bed but what are we giving God? Just the last bits and pieces of our day!

I'd love to something like this as we get back into our daily routines when school starts.

Amy said...

What a beautiful space! I was thinking on this very thing earlier this morning- consistent prayer is a struggle for me too.

I am working on putting together my homeschool planner, and I am going to include some prayer guides from Revive Our Hearts: 31 days of praying for your pastor, 31 days of praying for your pastor's wife, 31 days of praying for our husband, & 31 biblical virtues to pray for your children

http://www.reviveourhearts.com/topics/downloads/

(It was today's broadcast that got me thinking.)

Jason and Danielle said...

For us we end everyday with scripture reading and then a family prayer. Then while tucking the kids into bed my husband and I help our little ones with their own personal prayers. Morning prayers are a struggle, but something we are constantly working on. I think it is always the fact that we keep on trying that pleasing Heavenly Father. He knows that we want to do good and are trying to put action to our words. It is such a blessing that we can always come back to him and he is there. Something wonderful to teach our children.

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

My father and I always pray together at night...even if he goes to sleep before I do, he'll wake up and make sure that we pray..Prayer is the last thing that happens in our day...and it's a nice way to end the day :) :) We haven't tried prayer in the morning...but I think I want to incorporate that into the day...so that it begins and ends with prayer!!! I think your post was lovely and very inspiring!!! Your teaching your girls some great things!! Have a lovely weekend. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

Katie said...

Very neat, Monica. Looks so calming and truly like a place to quiet your heart. :-)

I posted a while back on how we put everyone's names that we wanted to regularly be praying for in a jar on our counter (these continually grow), and the children and I would draw about 5 names each and pray for them in the mornings. I'm sad to report we haven't done this in a while, but this was a real blessing to help me be accountable in my prayer life and I really need to instill this again! Thanks for the encouragement!

Jessica said...

Great idea. I too struggle with prayer. I could read and sing all day but I rarely just sit and pray.

Heather at Hearthside said...

I really like what you've created here, and hope that this continues to work beautifully for you and your family. This sort of thing is so interesting to me - the nitty gritty, the how of incorporating prayers with our family throughout the day, throughout the house, throughout the dailiness of life.
I just posted on Aug. 2 about the evening prayers our family currently does. All are welcome to visit my new(ish!) blog!
Thanks for sharing, Monica!

*carrie* said...

Such a lovely, welcoming space. That is so neat that you are being purposeful about praying at specific times. Love you!

robbie and heather said...

What a great thing to have as your goal prayer 3 times a day! We have recently implemented something we call a "prayer box", which we use at night after our family devotions. When we think of someone we want to pray for, we write it on an index card and put it in the box. After devotions, one of the children hands out an index card to everyone and we pray for what is on our card. This has really helped our children to feel a sense of purpose in prayer, rather than just going through the motions.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I love this and need this in my home! Thanks for sharing!

janhad3 said...

Prayer is a big part of our home life, but is not always a set time like what you're looking to do. We do pray together as a family in the morning before everyone goes their separate ways and again at night before the first person goes to bed. We kneel on the floor, whether by our (parents') bed or in a circle in the family room. We also have regular blessings on our meals. But, I think, more importantly, we have personal prayers throughout the day as needed - to thank God for something, or to ask for help with an immediate need. Sometimes those prayers are also done kneeling down, eyes closed, but sometimes I may be driving in the car or in the shower, or my kids may be in the middle of a test in school or in the middle of a race. Don't get too stuck in the formalities of particular times, places, methods. Having a prayer in your heart always, at any moment, is good enough for God.

Anonymous said...

We are Catholic so we do the Liturgy of the Hours. It is a great way to keep scripture and prayer going throughout the day. It took a while to get into the swing of it with the kids but now it is easier.

elizabeth said...

I love this! My little prayer bench is in my home office. It has been very meaningful to me to have an actual place of prayer.

Debi said...

One thing we did when our boys were younger was something called, "Spin the Globe". :) We had a globe and we would trade off and let them 'spin' it. Then they'd close their eyes and when it stopped, they'd put their index finger somewhere on the globe. When they opened their eyes, we'd see what country their finger had landed on and pray for that country. You could do this nightly or for a week or so and take the whole week to talk about the country. Our boys loved it and it kept them interested in prayer! :)

Crystal said...

I love this idea! I've always thought about a prayer closet, but was almost certain I would set it up, close the door and then rarely enter it again. But this would be great right in the main living area!