Since we’re on the subject of prayer, I thought I’d throw out another shocker to you. In the Royal house, we don’t pray consistently before bedtime or at meals.
I know! That's outrageous! And you are wondering how someone who doesn’t do that is on staff at a church, huh? Especially someone who would admit it. (Of couse, I'm admitting it on my blog which is not read by very many people, so it's not like I'm shouting it from the rooftops).
Here’s the deal. I love to hear stories about families who have these great devotions and prayer times together. I really do. I think it’s incredible to see God move in the hearts of a family at the same time, in the same place. What a great bonding time as well as growing one.
So, I’m not knocking those of you who are consistent. In fact, a part of me envies you. But if you’ve read anything else I’ve ever posted on this blog, you’ll know that I have issues with the standard to which I measure myself and my family. I have spent too much of my life looking at what others’ are doing and trying to make myself or my family fit that mold.
I used to think everything was black and white. And some things still are. But there’s a lot more gray and purple and light blue and bursts of orange and red in there. Praying is one of those color spots for me.
I want my girls to grow up understanding the value of prayer and for me, if I lead them in prayer before we eat every time, I’m devaluing that prayer. Keep reading, I’ll explain. If I tell God I’m thankful when I’m doing it because I’m supposed to (and not really because I mean it), am I leading my girls well?
We’ve all had to prompt our kids to tell someone thank you. I just think It takes the value of that expression away when it’s not from the heart and spontaneous. Sure, it’s a good lesson to teach them to be polite, but for us here at the Royal house, that’s not a lesson I want to teach my kids about God.
I want to teach them to talk to Him at ANY time of the day or night. I want to teach them to tell Him “Thank you” whenever they feel like it and not just at certain times of the day. I want them to ask for His help all day long.
Sometimes, they ask to pray at dinner, and we do. Sometimes, I want to pray with or over them at bedtime. So we do. So, while I know we don’t spontaneously pray as much as I wish we would, I think they are getting it. And that’s what matters to me. It’s the reason God gave my specific girls to me. He has given me wisdom and power for every situation—including my precious, crazy girls—and it’s my choice whether I use it or I go with the flow.
So, please don’t send me hate mail if you pray with your kids every day. I am not judging your authenticity, just my own if I did it that way at my house.