Word before World – Putting God first in our busy day

Putting God first in my day has always been an ongoing struggle for me. It is one discipline that I go from being 150% in to completely neglecting it. I can go from getting up at 5:30 and loving that quiet, dark time alone with the Lord, to then waking up grumpy and slowly and just having that quick breath prayer.

Well Watered Women have got an amazing challenge going on right now, and that is the “Word before World” Challenge. Basically it is a challenge for women to get into Gods Word before they get into the day, before they pick up the phone and start scrolling, before they have to deal with emotional kids, before they have to be anything they can just be with God.

I have been following along with the challenge and have had amazing mornings with God, in the quiet, in the dark before my little ones wake up and demand things of me. I have had mornings of sweet connections through the Word with the One who loves me more than anything and as He pours His life into me, I am re-charged and can take on the day.

I have also had days where after a night of a baby boy not sleeping well, or a night of sickness, it is just too hard to wake up and get in any right frame of mind. I feel it, I feel that I needed that time with God but bed was just too comfortable after only 4 hours of sleep. When I do get up the day is already started and I am running behind all day.

There is Grace for us Mums I know that for sure!! But one thing I know is that I am challenging myself that even if all I get is a quick breath prayer before my feet hit the floor, or if it is just a quick verse that I read that is pasted on my mirror, or maybe it is just a  worship song while we are all having breakfast. Regardless of if I get an amazing 30 minutes with the Lord or just 2 minutes with Him, I will put Him before the World!

Would you like to join in on this challenge? To put Him before everything else, even if it is just 2 minutes? I know that God sees our hearts and He will bless us as we push into Him and begin to make Him our priority and Him our first thoughts of the day.

Be encouraged Mummas!!!

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Resources for Studying the Word for Busy Mums.

*Some of the links below are affiliate links which means at no extra cost to you, if you decide to purchase through these links a small percentage comes back to me to help with the running of this blog and podcast. 

It can be hard to find time to study the Bible when you are a busy, tired and always needed Mum. When your nights are long and you don’t feel like getting up early, when your days are short trying to fit everything in and your To Do List is miles long, Bible study can feel like a chore. We all know the feeling, we don’t want it to be a chore, we want to want it, but sometimes it is just too hard.

So instead of giving up, I have got a few resources to help you out. Even if you only have 15 minutes spread out through the day, you can study the Bible effectively and productively. These are some of the tools that I use in my 15 minute Bible study each morning.

Before we look at the resources, I just want to quickly say that whatever amount of time you have, you can study the Word. Just break it up, take it in small sections and small amounts. Don’t try and do a whole book or whole chapter in one sitting. Read it on one day, then your next sitting look at context, or what stands out to you. Look at repeated words in a another sitting, so it might take you longer to study through a passage but you will get to study it well. Don’t get overwhelmed, get excited!!

Bibles

So obviously to study the Bible you need a Bible…. But what is the right one for you right now? This can be different for different people so let me share a few that I have found really helpful in this season. Personally I use an ESV, CSB and a NKJV to study in because I love the translations and they are easy to study. You can of course use your own Bible that you have currently, but in case you are looking for something great and new for studying in I have a few to share with you. 30723824_10156136034447209_2972417965003112448_n

She Reads Truth Bible – CSB I love this one, it has some great commentary and articles in it to help you when reading the bible. It also has  a bonus of some very beautiful artwork for each Book. There are graphs and maps, and timelines to help you see context of each book of the Bible, as well as reading plans for each Book. It is a note taking Bible which means it has larger margins to allow room to write your notes in. I love this Bible and use to for studying.

Some other Journaling Bibles, (ESV) that I have used and think are amazing are these ones.

Stationary

Ok so for sure use what ever pens and highlighter you have, you don’t need to buy new ones, however I am a sucker for good school supplies…. anybody else? And any excuse to get new ones, Im all for!!

I love Frixon Highlighters, they can be erased off the page and they do not bleed through even the thinest of Bible pages!! I love that!! You can also get some amazing Gel Highlighters that do this same job as well.

I Love love love coloured pens and use the Paper Mate ball point pens to underline and circle and write notes in my Bible. I have my own colour coding system that I use for my own Bible study and these pens allow me to have so many colours for so many things… I also use the Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens, however these bleed through the Bible pages, but you can use them in your journal or workbook if you are using one on the side.

Journals

Ok speaking of Journals, I do have a journal that I will write extended notes in when I have time if there is something that really stands out to me and I want to really get it into my head and heart. I personally use any journal that has lots of pages, I love Kikki K ones and ones from the Typo store in Australia. But there are some great ones also from anchored press, well watered women and the Daily Grace co. Here are some Writing Journals that are just as good and of course you can use any notebook you have lying around the house.

References

So when I am studying the Bible I really like to go into studying the context of the passage, so I use a Strong’s Concordance of the Bible and a Bible Dictionary. Now you can use the old school paper versions (which I love) or there are some awesome apps like the Blue letter Bible App, and the You Version Bible app. these have great commentaries and the Blue letter Bible App allows you to look at the meanings of the word using a Strongs concordance all in the app itself.30716004_10156136033752209_8559821644279840768_n

If you would like some actual Bible Studies that are aimed at women, and studying an actual Book, rather than a theme here are some amazing ones that I have loved.

Katie Orr – Focus15 Bible Study resources (specifically for if you only have 15 minutes to study)

Well Watered Women – They are currently studying through Ephesians and in the first week alone we have read the book at least 5 times. It sounds like a lot but they break it down and make it so doable.

Daily Grace Co. – have many different studies including books and great theme studies.

Podcasts

So there are so many great podcasts out there, I would include my own in terms of looking at what the Bible has to say to you in different seasons you are going through. Here are a few more as well.

Katie Orr and her husband have a great podcast that gives you great insight into how to study the Bible as well as tackling tough ideas and theology! I love this one, and also it is only around 15 minutes long so really easy to listen to.

Phylicia Mason Heimer with Lisa Hensley has a podcast called Uniquely Women and it has some great discussions on theology and studying the Bible. This one is also great and easy to listen to as you feel like you are just sitting down with them with a coffee and enjoying a great discussion.

She Proves Faithful – Lauren Hlushak talks all things womanhood and theology. It is so easy to listen to and the way she breaks down even complex ideas is so helpful. I would very much encourage you to have a listen and follow her on instagram too as she makes theology not such a scary idea.

These are just some of the resources I use when studying the Bible. Don’t let it be overwhelming, but just make time and make it a priority and you will start to see a difference in your “quiet times”.

So let me know if you try out some of these, or do you have some more that I haven’t got here.

One last encouragement – Just do whatever you can to get into Gods Word, it will always be worth it! And the more you do it the more you will want to do it. So like Nike says… Just Do It!

xx Kate

Do you need more?

*Disclosure – Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to yourself, I will earn a commission if you purchase.

Do you need more? More of God, more of His Word in your life? Do you have a hunger to go deeper in the Word? To really study Gods word and gain a deeper understanding of it so that you can use it in your daily life as a Mum, wife and woman of God. Are you needing some tools to help you get into the Word and tools to help you apply it to your life?

In May there will be an amazing opportunity for you ladies that I do not want you to miss. I have my own tickets which I have bought for myself and I am hoping that some of you may want to join me in it.

I genuinely cannot wait for it, and I know that you will all love it and get so much out of it.

Its the First ever “Enjoy the Word Online Bible Conference” with Katie Orr and Jamie Balmet. I am so excited about it. There are over 20 women who will be sharing on how to study the Word, and how to apply it to our lives.

 

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To find our more details you can head to The Enjoy the Word Online Bible Conference but here is the main things that has got me so excited for it!

It is fully online – So you can log in from anywhere in the world – like here in the Cook Islands or wherever you are from. We can watch from our lounge rooms and connect with each other through the teachings and online community. We can stay in our messy buns and yoga pants if we want.

Secondly, it is fully recorded so we can watch it anytime, whenever works for us. So we don’t have to worry about time zones, or if the baby wakes up earlier than planned. If anything unexpected happens you don’t have to miss out. These recordings are yours for ever!! So you can re watch them and take notes in your own time. (This appeals to me so much, as I like to take my time especially when studying the Bible, I don’t want to miss anything).

There is also a online community that we can connect with and study along together, encourage one another and make connections with other women around the world. Yay!!

Anyway I am so excited so head to the link and you can find out heaps more information about it, including what some of the topics will actually be.

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So If you sign up and let me know that you have signed up we can connect and talk through what we are learning through it all!! Cannot wait to hear some of these amazing speakers!!

*Disclosure – Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to yourself, I will earn a commission if you purchase.

 

A Christ Centered Easter for the whole Family

*Disclosure – Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to yourself, I will earn a commission if you purchase.

Easter

Easter is almost here… Well its a week away and today being Palm Sunday I thought I am going to get organised for this year properly.

I think that Christmas is great and its one of my favourite times of the year, we get weeks and weeks leading up to it, I spend a lot of time reminding my kids of the real reason of Christmas and we sing carols about Jesus’ birth and we remember the miraculous way He came to the earth.

I don’t know if it is just me but I often forget the lead up to Easter. It gets to Good Friday and I try and do the whole gospel with my kids in one day and that never works. So this year I am making a plan from Palm Sunday to Easter Monday and I am so excited to share it with you.

So to start with you can use any resources you have on hand, you know your kids the best so you know what they will like and what speaks to them the most. The resources and plan I have made is based on my kids and what works for us. I have a wide age range so I’m trying to make it interesting and workable for all of them.

Day 1 – Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday I am going to be reading from our old school *The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories”  and we are reading the story about Palm Sunday – you could also read it straight from your own Bible as well. We are super blessed to live on a tropical island right now and have access to Palm leaves like you wouldn’t imagine. So we are going to go down to our beach and collect heaps of palm leaves and make a path using them and towels and take turns being the donkey and Jesus walking along the path while the rest of us cry out Hosanna! Just a fun and interactive way of experiencing the Word of God.

Day 2 – Monday

We are going to read about Jesus in the temple, and about the Pharisees and Sadducees and their plans for Jesus, and also about Judas Iscariot all out of our Children’s Bible. I like to leave the discussion open to what the kids get out of it, I can imagine it might turn into a little about bullying, when people treat us bad, and maybe about how we treat Jesus bad too sometimes. – Some ideas to expand on this could be to right a prayer to God to say sorry for the things we have done to hurt him. You could also teach and go through the Jelly Bean prayer.

Day 3 – Tuesday

We will be using our beloved *The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name”  by Sally – Lloyd Jones. This is an amazing narrative written so beautifully and illustrated so special. My kids love this Bible. We will read the chapter on “washed with tears” it’s the story of the Woman who washes Jesus’ feet with perfume and her tears. This is a great opportunity to bring some Biblical culture and context for your kids. Look up and discuss with them about how what she was doing is preparing Jesus for his death and burial. Our activity for this day is to get some perfume or essential oils and spray it on their feet and pray for them. This will be a precious time for each person to pray for each other in the family (might be good to do this after their bath).

Day 4 – Wednesday

“The Servant King” is the passage in the *The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name Jesus Story Book Bible that we will read today. It is the story of the last supper. Now I plan on having a very special dinner this night, we are going to have a passover meal. Here are some of the ideas I have used to get to my own plan for the night. I still have a toddler so things might change on the night, but I am really excited to make this night really special. The Jewish custom of the passover meal is to remember their salvation from the Egyptians in Exodus, now that we are in the new covenant we can see Jesus in every part of the Passover meal. So we will be linking it to the Old testament and the Gospel and I can’t wait to introduce this to my kids.

Day 5 – Thursday

Still in the *The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name Jesus Story book Bible the reading is “a dark night in the garden” This one is all about the garden of Gethsemane, and Jesus’ betrayal. We will talk about things like how its hard for us to pray sometimes, how Judas was blinded by greed, and jealousy. Our Activity to link with this reading is a making of our Table decorations for the easter weekend. Either making a garden with crosses in it, or ask your children for their idea of decorating the house. Its great to give them some ownership in the weekend, they will connect with it more if some of it is their own idea.

Day 5 – Good Friday

“The sun stops shining” is the story of the crucifixion in the *The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name Jesus Story Book Bible and we will look at this. Today is a day for us to really look at and remember all of what Jesus did. I think its a great idea to have a time of worship as a family, use familiar worship songs to your family about the cross, some examples – Worthy is the lamb, Revelation song, Above all, In Christ alone, How he loves are just a few we know well. You could also have a time of communion as a family get some grape juice and some crackers or bread and pray with your kids, thanking Jesus for what He has done.

Day 6 – Easter Saturday

We will be reading the “Gods wonderful surprise” story from the *The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name Jesus Story Book Bible and reading about the resurrection. One way to celebrate as a family is to have a big praise party. Put on some fun praise music and have a dance party, you could bake a cake and make it a fun celebration for the kids. I know that technically we don’t celebrate until Sunday but I have plans for that day. If you wanted to you could also talk about Jesus being buried and in the grave for 3 days before resurrecting as well. Like I said earlier you know your kids so you know what will work for them.

Day 7 – Easter SundayOurKidsOurMission2

Today is my favourite day!! This is our easter egg hunt. I hide easter eggs in the garden and then after they have collected them all we sit down and read from Luke 15 of the lost coin, lost sheep and lost son. I talk about how Jesus came after us when we were lost and that is what Easter is all about. We talk about what it is like to just for all the eggs, looking everywhere and searching, and How that is just like what it is like when Jesus comes searching for us, he does not give up until he has found us.

Day 8 – Easter Monday

Is where we will be reading from our *The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories again and we will read about Jesus coming to all the disciples and people proving that he has risen again. I am leaving this activity open for my kids to respond how they feel they want to. They could draw a picture, use play dough to make something, write a prayer or story.. something that they would like to make in response to the whole week of Easter. It is so important to allow your kids to respond from their hearts however they want to, so that they can share what is going on in their hearts between Jesus and themselves. I cannot wait to see what my kids will create in worship for God as they walk in their own relationship with Jesus.

So those are just a few of the ideas and plans I have for this week. Do you have Easter traditions that you do? Or what are your plans this year for Easter? I would love to know.

If you are on Instagram you can follow me @missionmumma as I will be sharing all of this on there each day in my stories and posts.

Have a great Easter week everyone and remember what it is all truly about!!

*Disclosure – Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to yourself, I will earn a commission if you purchase.

 

Remembering Who I Am

This is just a short post today with a little of what God has been whispering to me about these past few weeks. I have been struggling with lots of insecurities, and with bad attitudes to a lot of things, God is so faithful to not allow me to stay in these feelings, but for Him to bring me restoration and healing, even if it’s a little by little each day. Here is a little honesty about what God is working with me on right now.

The other day a good friend came to me with an encouragement, for me to remember who God made me – a daughter of the King first, then a wife and then a mother. These words hit me like a sledgehammer!! Then a couple of days later I was listening to a sermon and the preacher said similar words, that we need to live a life worthy of the calling that we have (Ephesians 4), and that calling is to be children of the King! That made me begin to listen up. Then again in my daily readings I came up against the fact that we were created for God to be in relationship with Him first and all else comes from that. So by this time I am sitting straight up and feeling like God is really trying to speak to me about this.

Am I living a life that is confident in my calling to be a daughter of the king? Am I forgetting who I was made to be? Am I allowing all that is in my life – Being a Wife, A Mother, A Mentor, A Teacher – to tell me who I am?

It is so easy to go into mum mode, or wife mode, worrying about everyone else, making sure everyone is ok, everyone is happy, everyone is alive…. but what about me?? Am I ok?? Am I happy?? Am I alive??

My joy, peace and strength can only come from Him. Anything else is temporary and a false sense of these characteristics in my life. If I want truth and abundant life – like He promises me in His Word – then what am I doing to maintain my identity in Him?

My identity comes directly from God who made me and not from anything I do. (Redefined Bible Study by Well Watered Women) I can be secure of my identity in Christ and it doesn’t rely on anybody else. I don’t need to feel insecure but can fully rely on God and His acceptance of me. This is an ongoing lesson I think that will take a while to really sink into my heart, but I am walking it out step by step and day by day.

So I want to challenge you as well. How many times do we forget that we are chosen by Him and for Him first before all our other “roles”. First and foremost we are his daughters and He wants us to just be still and rely fully on Him as our perfect Father. He wants us to see ourselves as His daughters and to know that our identity is found purely in Him and not in anybody or anything else.

I hope this blesses and encourages you today.

Whispers from God for the defeated Mumma

Mothering is a hard job. It’s 24/7 and a job that is completely selfless and you are constantly pouring out of yourself with little feedback. It can make you tired, emotional and somedays you just feel like giving up. I feel like that some days, actually most days. It gets to the bedtime routine and with all the tantrums, and sibling fighting, and meltdowns, maybe I just can’t do this… maybe I’m not made to be a Mum, maybe I am a failure…

It’s so easy to feel defeated and it is a feeling that I know the enemy loves to drown us Mummas in. If he can make us feel like giving up, make us feel like we are not winning at this life, then he has us in a defeatist mindset, he has us living in fear, bondage, and bitterness, and not at all living the way Christ intended which is a life of freedom, victory and Joy.

We have battles everyday in our life as Mothers. Every one of us will have a different battle that we have to fight. It might be a battle for our little one’s behaviour, or battling through sleep deprivation, a battle of being a single Mumma, or battling through health issues. We all have our own daily battles as well as bigger lifetime battles. One thing I have learnt is that although our battles may look very different they are no less important and no less a struggle for each of us. God’s Word can be used to bring victory into our lives and victory over each of these battles that we face.

God wants us Mummas to know that we have been made for this life of mothering, that He has given us our treasures to disciple and point to Jesus. The only way we can do that well is to do it from a place of victory and truth. Our truth has to come from the Word of the Lord. This is how we get strengthened, refreshed and equipped for every battle that we face as Mummas.

So here are some whispers from God especially for you Mumma. Read them, meditate on them and I pray that God will really speak to you through these truths from His Word.

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But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through Our Lord Jesus Christ

1 Corinthians 15:57

This particular verse is about overcoming sin in our own lives, Now I don’t know about you, but daily I am fighting a battle against myself and the way I react with my children, the way I am quick to be angry, or the way I too easily dismiss them. This verse really speaks to me that the only way we can have victory over these sins in our own lives is through Jesus Christ. It’s through what He has already finished on the cross. It is through the completed work of salvation on the cross that I can have forgiveness from these sins, and I can walk in victory and freedom.

Let me just tell you now there is NO sin that is too great for forgiveness and NO sin is too dirty or messy for God to take away and make clean. The cross covers ALL!!!

So You are not defeated in your battle against sin!! Remember that our victory over sin comes direct through Jesus!!

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No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Romans 8:37

This is a truth that would be a great one to memorise. You are more than a conqueror! How do we conquer? How do we have this victorious life? This verse tells us again that it comes from Him who loved us… JESUS. This particular verse comes in the middle of some pretty intense verses that can be hard to understand, but Paul is talking to us about the fact that Gods love is so great for us that nothing can seperate us from it. Nothing on earth, nothing bad, nothing at all, but we can overcome all through Jesus. We can overcome whatever “tribulations” (a fancy word for bad things that happen to us) through keeping our eyes on Him who loved us.

Sometimes bad stuff happens to us or the people around us, whether its financial, physical, health stuff, death of a loved one, emotional stuff…. but you know none of that stops the way God loves us and we have Him to help us to be victorious in our lives throughout those times.

The verse also says that we are MORE than conquerors. MORE – what does that mean?? We will not just make it through these troubles, we will not just survive the difficulties of motherhood, but we will thrive, we will win this battle with no question that we have won. We won’t just beat the enemy 2-1 we will beat Him 200-1 (and quite possibly more!!!)

So You are not defeated in your battle against circumstances around you!! Our Victory comes from Him who loved us, and His love will never change for us. Again it comes directly from Jesus!!

 

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I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

Sometimes when we are facing a battle everyday, we feel like we are taking one step forward and 5 steps back. It can lead to us wanting to just give up. It is really tiring to fight the same battle day in day out. These ongoing battles are the ones where it is hard to see the small daily victories, and we want a quick fix. God’s Word here tells us clearly that we can face these battles with the positivity and joy knowing that we can do it!

We can do all that God has put before us, whether it is going to be fixed today or tomorrow or next year. We can do all the things that God has for us because He is the one who gives us the strength to do all the things! Our strength doesn’t come from a good sleep, a day off, or even a good coffee (although all of these things are very very good). Our strength only comes through God and His Word for us.

So you are not defeated in your daily, ongoing, long lasting battles. God gives you the strength to be able to face those battles and “You Can Do It”!

IMG_6231But Jesus looked at them and said “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Matthew 19:26

This verse is talking about deeper battles, the ones that we have for our children’s souls. The enemy would love for us to fail at this battle, that is for sure. The greatest gift and responsibility that God has given to us Mothers is to point our children to God and lead them to the One who loves them greater than any one in this world can. This battle is a hard one. This battle is an impossible one really! We cannot do this one, except though God who gives us all wisdom and has anointed us as Mothers (and Fathers) to lead our little ones to Jesus.

Like this verse says “with man this is impossible” We cannot do it. “but with God all things are possible” Only through God can we win this battle. This is a lifetime battle, as the enemy will do all that He can to steal your children away for Himself. We want to do all we can, and again only through Jesus’ strength, to continually point them to a loving Father, beautiful Saviour, and heavenly Helper.

So you are not defeated In your battle for your children’s souls, no matter how old they are, with God all things are possible and this battle is God’s to fight.

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For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – Our faith.

1 John 5:4

If we have faith in God, then we don’t need to live a life of defeat, we don’t need to give up. Our faith in Jesus is what gives us the victory over the world. Victory over whatever the world may throw at you. If your faith is securely found in Jesus, your eyes are on Him, then you can walk in victory knowing that you are not defeated and you can keep moving forward in this battle.

We are called overcomers for a reason! We continually, everytime, overcome. Every battle the enemy tries, every battle, we are overcomers!! Through our faith in Jesus as the Son of God. All we have to do is walk it out.

You are not defeated in your battle against the world, or what it tries to throw at you. If you believe Jesus is God then YOU ARE an overcomer!

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Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.

James 1:2

This one is a hard one to read sometimes, because who feels happy when they are going through a hard time? Not me!! But it is not talking about an earthly happiness here, but a deep, secure joy, that goes beyond our earthly understanding. Joy that can only come from Jesus. Our Joy comes because we know that what we are going through in our battles is either teaching us something, or training us for the future. It is developing our character and this is a great thing! We are always growing in the Lord, there is always something new to learn. Our battles can sometimes be our greatest classrooms. Our greatest learning about ourselves, or our kids, can come from our daily battles that we face.

Do not let the enemy steal your joy when you are in a battle. Your deep, secure joy, comes from knowing that God can and will use this for His Glory.

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And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9

I hope that out of everything this verse will leave you with Hope and a feeling of Victory! Do not give up in doing good. Do not give up in pointing your kids to Jesus. Do not give up training those little ones in life skills. Do not give up fighting for what is right for your family. Do not give up in your daily and ongoing battles!!! In due time… in God’s time…. You will see a harvest… You will see a breakthrough!!

These are just some of the verses I have for you, Mumma, for when you are feeling defeated, or feel like giving up. The Bible is alive and has such amazing truths for you in it for all areas of your life. Dig deep into His Word to find what He is whispering to you today for your circumstance.

I hope you finish reading this with a renewed determination to keep on going! Walk out your victory daily and stand on the Truth of His promises for you!!

Teaching Your Kids to Pray

We were doing the regular after dinner manic clean up the house before bed routine, and the TV was on in the background. Now this is not ideal when you are not watching it, especially at that time of night because it is always the news that is on, and you never know what is going to pop up on the screen. My 8 yr old is very much in tune with everything that is going on around her (especially when she is meant to be doing homework) but at this time she was meant to be picking up the toys around the floor when I saw her staring at the TV with a look on her face that was so intense. I looked up and there on the news was a report on what was happening in North Korea.
This report opened up some deep discussion for the rest of the pack up time and into bed time.

OK now I don’t shelter my children by any means, but there are some things that they don’t need to know about yet, and some things are just very hard to explain. We do live in a pretty isolated and peaceful Island, so violence, gangs, wars and the like are very foreign to my kids. We don’t get a lot of TV (there is 1 channel here) so she doesn’t see what other kids in the Western world would be bombarded with, which means when we do have the news on she is so interested in what is happening in the world. She has been known to tell her sister off for being noisy because “I need to watch the news right now”.

So back to the story… when we had finished packing up and showering and we were headed upstairs for bed, my daughter looked at me and said “Mum I think we really need to pray for that man who is being mean and we should also pray for all the people he is being mean to.” I was astounded!!! Not only was her first reaction to pray but also that she wanted to pray for the “bad guy” I thought that is a concept that I haven’t really taught her and I was super proud that she could see that even he needs prayer!

Now I know I titled this post “Teaching your Kids to pray” but to be honest I don’t think I have ever sat my children down and had a lesson with them on praying. I don’t think it is even something that can be directly taught. I honestly think the only way we can teach our kids to pray is to pray. All the time. To pray with them, for them and to get them to pray. From very early on with my first baby, I would pray out loud over things, simple things, complex things. When she was old enough to talk I would ask her if she would like to pray, sometimes she would, and sometimes she wouldn’t. Sometimes it would make sense and most of the time it wouldn’t (but I don’t think God minds one bit when a toddler is praying for her stuffed toys or that the pockets on her shorts will be pink!)IMG_5871

So here are just some of the practical ways that I have incorporated prayer into our lives, it is by no means an exhaustive list and I’m sure there are many more ways, but here are a few.

  1. Pray at bed time. I know this one a lot of people do and I think its a really great discipline for kids to learn. I also think it goes so well in the bedtime routine, and helps calm kids before bed. I usually get both my daughters to pray individually for whatever they want, and then I finish off by praying for them. Sometimes this is a really special time for praying for sick friends or praying for family members they miss, and other times it gets a bit silly with prayers for more chocolate and that unicorns could be real. I just give them freedom at this time to just pray however they want. I think its important for them to be free to really explore the concept. We always pray for protection and safety while we sleep and no bad dreams.
  2. Pray in the mornings before school. After the craziness of the morning routine, when they are all ready for school and before they get picked up we sit on the verandah, backpacks on backs and I pray a quick prayer over them, a prayer of protection, that they will shine for Jesus today, be focussed and work well at school and that they will have a great day. Its super quick like a 2 minute prayer and it just sends them off to school confident and ready for the day. Again I think it is a great discipline to have for them, to pray before they really start their day, to give their day to God and keep Jesus first. Disclaimer though…. we don’t always do this, time sometimes escapes us, and sometimes I just simply forget, but it is always good when we get to do this one.
  3. Pray at meal times. I almost didn’t put this one down because I thought its something that most families do. But I guess what I would challenge you on is shake it up a bit. Don’t make it a religious routine thing, but make it real. Ask them for one thing they are thankful for and thank God for that first, Or take turns at praying and blessing the food. The main thing is be together and being grateful for Gods provision.
  4. Pray when a topic comes up in conversation – For example, when they mention a friend at school was away today because they are sick, make a suggestion for that child to pray for them. When you see an ambulance go past, pray for the person who needs the ambulance. When your child is talking about something they are worried about, pray into it with them. The key here is to make it a norm, make it a regular thing, “hey I think we should pray for that”, the more you do it, it will become a habit and before you know it they will start to suggest it.
  5. Pray Big prayers – Occasionally and not everyday, we will be prompted either by something they see on TV – like that news report – or maybe something they hear at school and we will pray those big “intercessory” prayers. Ones that are above and beyond our situations, when we stand in the gap for countries or other people. Don’t think that your kids are too little for this, You will be surprised at how much they feel and want to pray in these areas. I find especially when we are praying for children in different countries that it really teaches them to empathise. Use a map, use a globe, get the newspaper (edit it if you have to), watch a child safe documentary to get the conversation started.img_5886.jpg

Just a few tips also for praying with your kids.
Don’t ever ridicule them or make them think their prayer was silly (even if it was about their toy baby needing to feel better). Let them experiment and pray however their mind works. Like I said before, God loves these kids so much I actually think He loves it when they pray no matter what they say.
– When praying for countries or big situations like wars and things – filter what you think you need to. They don’t need to know all the gory details.
– I always get them to pray that the “bad guys” or people who are involved in the hurting of other people come to know Jesus and that they will stop doing whatever the bad thing is. I want my kids to know that God loves them just as much as He loves us.
Don’t expect each prayer time to be amazing. Sometimes they won’t want to pray, sometimes they will be in a silly crazy mood, sometimes you won’t be in the best mood. Just take each moment as it comes, and give them and yourself grace. Scrap that one and try again later or tomorrow.
– Lastly, please don’t make it boring, religious or monotonous. We want our kids to love to pray and to be excited to pray. Make it about relationship and love. Make it fun, make it different and be creative with how you do it.IMG_5012

Those are just some of the ways I have incorporated prayer into our lives. We are by no means a perfect happy all the time family who prayer 24/7 but I do think that prayer is such a awesome spiritual discipline that we really need our children to understand and experience early in heir lives. So that when they are older, God is who they will turn to first above all the other people vying for their attention.

How do you incorporate prayer in your day to day lives with your kids? I’d love to hear about it.

Pray without ceasing – 1 Thessalonians 5:17