Is your family stopping to pray amidst the busyness of your homeschooling schedule? As Christian homeschool parents, we all want to establish a strong prayer life for ourselves and the lives of our children, but how do we do that effectively with the demands of schoolwork, chores, appointments, field trips, and more?
Rather than seeing prayer as an event that occurs at morning devotions, meals, or bedtime, it is better to incorporate prayer into every aspect of life during the homeschooling day. As natural as breathing, prayer is simply talking to God at any time from our hearts and listening to Him as He responds. Therefore, to have the most dynamic prayer life possible, we must maintain a constant conversation with God to tell Him about our problems, our needs, the things we don't understand, our gratitude, and most of all, how much we love and adore Him.
So, how can your homeschool family find creative ways to pray throughout the day? To help you get started, here are a few ideas inspired by Switched-On Schoolhouse® 8th Grade Bible and the LIFEPAC® Practical Christianity & Church History Unit 1 Worktext from Alpha Omega Publications®:
1. Thank God for each blessing. No matter how big or small, pause and take a moment to express heartfelt thanks whenever something good happens throughout the day.
2. Recognize the beauty of God's creation. Whether you see a breathtaking sunset, a colorful bird, a majestic mountain, or a sweet-smelling flower, take in God's glory all around you and praise Him for His goodness and love.
3. Keep short accounts. When your patience starts to thin and family conflicts begin to take their toll, confession is always good for the soul. Don't wait until the end of the day to say, "I'm sorry." Claim the cleansing power of 1 John 1:9 immediately, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
4. Look expectantly for God's answers. Too many times prayer requests are quickly forgotten, and God doesn't get the credit or thanks He deserves. If you have trouble remembering your prayers, record your petitions in a personal prayer journal and watch your faith grow as you see the hand of God working in your life.
5. Create a prayer book or box. Treasured objects and photos of family members provide younger family members with visuals to help them think of who needs prayer and remember the things for which they are thankful.
6. Buckle up and pray. Before you even start your car engine to run to the store for groceries, head down the road to Grandpa and Grandma's house, or set out on another homeschool outing, take a moment to ask for God's protection and safety while you travel.
7. Get dressed each morning with prayer. When choosing what clothes you'll wear from your closet, also remember to pray and put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18) for protection from our enemy, the devil.
8. Pray the Word. When facing fears, discouragement, challenges, or insecurities, find assurance in God's loving promises. For example, if a child is afraid of the dark or an older child is anxious about taking a test, pray the truth found in Hebrews 13:5b-6b: "For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper."
9. Pray immediately as you become aware of an urgent need. An injured pet, a household disaster, and an unexpected phone call with bad news are just a few possible homeschooling moments that require us to stop, drop, and pray!
10. Make the most of chore time. Whether you're doing laundry, mopping floors, dusting furniture, walking the dog, or scrubbing bathrooms, chores provide perfect opportunities to sprinkle in intercessory prayers on behalf of others.
The more you incorporate prayer into every aspect of your homeschooling, the more likely your children will develop a lifestyle of regular prayer as adults. Following the example given by our Lord Jesus Christ, we need to encourage our family to discover "that men ought always to pray, and not to faint" (Luke 18:1).
What about your homeschool family? Please share below the ways your homeschool has successfully made prayer a part of your daily lives.