Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sweet Blessing of Prayer

When Drew was a baby I diligently taught him how to fold his hands to pray. By 18 months he could fold his hands and pray with the family all by himself. When little Gabe came along I was less than diligent about this habit, telling myself that he would pick it up as he saw it modeled. Life is busier with two and the days seemed to have less hours for teaching and instructing.

About a month ago, when Gabe was around 18 months, I noticed that when we were praying before supper little Gabe would folded his hands as if on cue. After the prayer he would give me a huge grin and then started to eat. As the months have progressed its been so cute to see how Gabe wants to be just like the rest of us, he always folds his hands and waits most of the time before eating. In fact he was so hungry the other night that while I was putting the food on the table Gabe yelled "Mama....." and then folded his hands in hopes of speeding up the preparation process.

Tonight as I prayed for my little man before bed I was humbled when I looked down from rocking and saw that Gabe had clasped his little hands together in prayer. He just knew by my voice that I was praying for him. I immediately thought of Deuteronomy 11:18-21, when we speak about the Lord in all that we do it is natural for our kids to imitate us. Prayer has become a natural and anticipated event in little Gabe's life. Children learn so much through observation, my kids daily challenge me to be a Christ model because as Ephesians 5:1 says, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Christ was our ultimate example of how to live.

My prayer tonight is that I would be an example of Christ to the world & my family, that hypocrisy and selfishness would not be deeds of my flesh, but that I would exude the fruits of the spirit - Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, & Self Control. Not only will these fruits change my life, but it will allow my children's lives to be changed as well. May my boys grow to not model me, but to model their Father who is in Heaven.

18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

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