Sunday, January 03, 2010

I was visiting Freddae and she is down at Disney World and shared how she saw a family publically praying and another family with the dad leading, making fun of the praying family. It grieves my heart to think that people 1. think it's ok to mock others 2. MOCK GOD.
She asked us how many of us pray in public? I read through her comments and it was mixed with yes's and no's. Our family does the majority of the time and quite often before Chad or I can even say "lets pray" one of the boys has said "lets pray". One of the comments I read was of a woman who said she prays silently almost all the time, but not outloud in front of her little boys and said she needed to start. It got me to thinking of how we are constantly teaching our children and they are constantly watching us.

How many times do we say something or do something that we do NOT want our children to repeat or do? Well I can tell you for me it's multiple times a day. I have a mocking bird in my home right now, Emma's 2, if you've had a 2 year old you know what I'm saying and if you don't, let me tell you that they repeat everything you say, especially the things you DON'T want them to say. She also though repeats and learns the good things we do. She sings "clean up, clean up" when she spills something or I tell her to pick things up, but the thing that brings more joy in my heart than anything else is when she insists on saying Grace over our meal, often her and Jack are arguing over WHO gets to pray! To know that prayer is such a big part of their life is so important to me. I can not take all the credit, I have a husband who prays as well and together we've taught our children to pray. Right now we're working on getting them to be more natural and spread their wings when it comes to praying, especially for Jackson (he often says the same thing at every prayer, I can say he's learned that from his Dad).

So how many of you are bold and pray outloud out in public? How many are teaching your children to be Bold in Christ and not ashamed? If you're not, I challenge you to. When you're at a friends home eating, who doesn't pray, I encourage you to ask if they would allow you the honor of leading everyone in saying grace? When out to eat be it a fastfood place or a nicer estasblishment bow your heads and pray. There is no right or wrong way. Our family does a variety of things..sometimes we all hold hands (the kids love this), sometimes we keep our hands in our lap and simply bow our heads, sometimes we put our hands together and pray that way, and sometimes we each do our own thing with the kids holding hands and Chad and I simply bowing our heads (that's normally when seating is spread out). We aren't screaming nor whispering, we speak low to medium volume and praise GOD for blessings and thank him for the blessings we're about to partake in and pray for the safety of the troops home and down range (we're an Army family that's always in our prayers), and at times we will also pray for specific needs and people.

When we first began getting serious in our walk with the Lord, I was VERY intimidated at praying outloud, especially around others who I felt prayed so beautifully. I will say if I've grown anywhere in my walk in big ways, it's in my praying outloud. When we were still at Ft. Riley (KS)
at small groups I NEVER prayed outloud and don't recall Chad doing it either, although I was usually sitting there literally praying that I would NEVER be asked to pray outloud! When we first moved here and I began attending PWOC I was actually facilitating a class, I did not feel comfortable praying out loud, and would always ask others to do it. Then GOD started working on me, started telling me it was time. Time to step outside of my comfort zone and start praying outloud. I fought him for quite a few months. Finally I started and started small. I would do it in class and my stomach would be in knots the whole time. As friends began encouraging me that my prayers were beautiful and I found that I was hitting things on the head for people because GOD was placing it in my mouth to speak. Now know this, it's anything but about me. The words that come out of my mouth are NOT from me, if they were I'd be tripping all over the words, but before I pray outloud I say a silent prayer that what ever I say is what GOD would have me say, to let me be his vessel. When I say that prayer, GOD has always answered and his words have just glided out of my mouth, and it's always such a blessing to me and let me tell you it always is delightful that GOD would take such a huge FEAR (yes it was a fear) and show me that I could OVER COME and be his vessel! If you've been used by GOD, you know how amazing that is, you know that it's not about you and it's all about HIM!

I have now started praying in larger forums. I pray in front of the whole PWOC body (which depending on the week can be up to 60 ladies), I've prayed in front of our whole church congregation (around 200), our AWANA sparks group, and our Hospitality House group (the size always varies between 10-30 people). I'm not sharing those numbers to brag, because it's not...but to testify to you that GOD can do anything through you....when you open yourself up to let him! Why? Because it's not about you, it's all about HIM and NOTHING, absolutely nothing is impossible when GOD steps in! And praying outloud was the LAST thing I wanted to do, just 4 short years ago and now it's become a ministry of mine. I've given devotions on it, I've prayed with sisters one on one about it, because I see the value of it, and how we can be GOD's tool!

I know this is long, but I want to encourage you if you're stuck inside that box of fear of praying outloud...start praying for boldness. Ask fellow friends and family to start praying for you on it (or anything else you're trapped in fear about!). GOD wants our praises. I believe he wants us to step outside of our box/out of our comfort zone and find new ways to bring him GLORY. I also want to encourage you to be praying outloud in front of your children. If it's not prayers you want to say outloud around your children, I want to encourage you to drop to your knee's and pray, and when they ask you "Mommy, what are you doing?" tell them "I'm praying". They will learn by your example.

If you would like me to start praying for you, leave me a comment and I will.

God Bless


Amanda said...

Man, I would LOVE to hear you pray!! I have no problems praying in public, but have just never been that good at it, so no one ever asks me!!

We pray with our kids in public when we eat... and the first time we got adjusted, and in the hospital when the kids were born... and, well, whenever we have the opportunity!!

I love your thoughts here and hope that you DO encourage more followers to be bold in their faith and the public devotion to our Savior!!


Janis said...

Excellent post! So sad to hear of the dad mocking the other family - especially in front of his family! Someday the blind will see... I have a feeling that it is only going to get worse as time goes on. We do pray as a family when we go out to eat. If we forget Bekah will usually remind us - Praise God! We are working on her praying on her own at this point and she is slowly getting it. Such a huge responsibility! Keep up the good work! You're an awesome Mom!

AGirlNexDoorCreation said...

Wishing you a very Blessed New Year my friend...been so long....Keeping you in thoughts and prayer! Hugs,TerryAnn

Pam, mom, honey, said...

We do pray in public but honestly it is just for our meals. There have been several times I have been prayed over in public but I can not say that it counts as public since it was with other homeschool moms. I pray my children know that praying in public is normal and acceptable