The Power of Prayer

"But we will give ourselves continually to prayer" (Acts 6:4a).

Did you really pray for your children today? Although you may be the first to say that your prayers are important, how much time did you actually spend praying — one, five, ten minutes? Were your prayers more than "bless them" and "keep them from harm" prayers? As homeschooling parents, we forget that prayer is the most important thing we can give our children each day. More than our human love and academics, earnest prayer can help our children above anything else in this life.

My routine and unimpressive prayer life were challenged when my children and I studied the life of David Brainerd, a missionary to the American Indians in the early 1700s. David Brainerd usually spent several hours a day in prayer and frequently devoted an entire day fasting before the Lord. As my children and I read his biography and diaries, the example of his selfless life challenged my personal lack of prayer for my own family and others. In one diary entry on June 14, 1742, Brainerd wrote about fasting and praying so fervently for an ingathering of souls that he was completely covered in sweat. Obviously, this man's passionate prayer life was something I needed to emulate in my life.

What about you? Are you willing to come before the Lord of the universe in the middle of the night or earlier in the morning to intercede on behalf of your children and your homeschooling? Don't wait for a crisis or tragedy to find yourself in the place where God wants you to be every day — on your knees in prayer. "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" (Ephesians 6:18).

Lord, forgive me for not taking prayer seriously. Teach me to pray and help me to earnestly intercede on my family's behalf. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Comments(22 comments)


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MELODY E 02/22/2009 09:53:40

Ouch! This one touched home. I need to work on this. Thank you for all of the Daily Focus blogs.

CRISTINA P 02/22/2010 05:31:59

Today's post really hit home. I find often that when I awake and have my thoughts on the Lord he speaks to me. This morning I began praying for my family and I got a feeling I should do so more often. And more specifically. I was thinking about my childhood and how crazy I was at times. So much heartache. How can I protect from harm or help them through difficult situations. How can I teach them to spend time with God. I mean really these were my thoughts. And it occured to me, through the grace of God, that I should pray. That's all I can do BUT its still so POWERFUL! At any rate when I came to my computer to check my email I read this post. HOW AWESOME IS GOD! He totally confirmed my thoughts thru this post. He's so good! Thank you for sharing. What a blessing.

THAIS C 02/23/2010 07:52:03

While I really appreciate this reminder, I would also like to comment the we can take this advice further, without feeling the, ouch halleuiah. I recently completed the book Practicing the Prescence of God. I read portions to my family every evening, after dinner. Yes, my sister, prayer is important, but we can also talk with Our Father at all times.

CHRISTINA L 02/23/2010 10:10:50

Don't let tragedy hit before you pray earnestly! My daughter was adopted at age 11 and we've dealt with many issues since then. She's 13 now and has hurt me in so many ways. I've had to keep my prayer life in shape, there isn't any other choice for me. But the truth is, just because things are tough and new challenges hit me everyday, we all need to be in constant prayer for our children. They need us to be strong for them!

EVELYN G 02/22/2011 03:24:50

My daughter has been homeschooled and gone to smaller charter schools. Right now she is enrolled at a charter school but I am not impressed with the social skills she is learning there. I keep my subscription to Daily Focus emails and read them every day. After we visited with her cousins yesterday (who are homeschooling), she told me she woudl like to try to homeschool again (we haven't homeschooled this year because she was just not interested and enjoys very much the daily interaction with others). I have prayed and hoped that she would begin to believe in the value of homeschooling again. But this morning, I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and found this Daily Focus article in my email. That is such a blessing! As of last night, I began to pray and believe the Lord that our homeschooling will be much more focused and godly than it has been in the past and that she will enjoy it and apply herself. But just thinking about the power and importance of prayer have been on my mind for several days. This article just confirms for me that God is listening and giving me direction to homeschool again. Thanks for your supoprt. I will continue to interact more with the homeschooling community as a support that we all need to succeed in teaching our children upright and godly values in this day and age.

MELISSA G 02/22/2011 07:14:39

Wow, I had never realized that I had such a lackadaisical approach to prayer. I am humbled and truly sorry for all the times that I have come before God with such an attitude. This can truly be a life changing devotional.

AMY K 02/22/2011 07:16:34

Thank you! I too know the importance of prayer, but don't do it enough. Amy K

SHEILA B 02/22/2011 10:05:33

http://www.eternallifeministries.org/brainerd.htm After reading this I was interested in David Brainerd adn here is an online link of his diary for those that would like to know more about him. So far I am enthralled and lifted up from his writings. I too am encouraged to be in earnest prayer for my family, How easily we say, Blessings on you. Sure, we mean it, but how much time went into that? How much time have I spent lately TRULY interceding and telling the devil to take his hands from my children? Thank you for this push to pray. may we all stop and seek the Lord. We are told seek ye first MY kingdom and all else will be added unto you. AMEN

SHEILA B 02/22/2011 10:11:29

Thais C - is it Brother Lawrence that you reference regarding walking in the presence of God? I was looking for the book you speak about and am wondering if I have found the correct one? Thanks! I agree completely we should be in constant communication with the Lord.

URSULA O 02/22/2011 19:08:22

Wow! How true. We all need to pray for our children daily and plea the blood of Jesus over them. More than praying daily, we should have a prayer in our hearts for them 24/7. Satan is just waiting for us to let our prayer guard down. Our prayers are more powerful than we really think they are and Satan cannot step over the blood line of Jesus.

IDALIZ M 02/22/2011 21:41:08

So true, This is our first year of homeschooling... We found out quickly the importance of our daily devotionals and prayer in the morning. Above all the subjects, projects or field trips talking with God and learning about his word takes priority. If we fail to do this as first order of the day..... It is HARD because it is not by our might but by HIS power that we can do ALL things.

JOHN & REBECCA B 02/22/2012 03:41:40

Fasting & Prayer?!!! Right up my alley!!! God bless always and for posting this article.

CARLA W 02/22/2012 07:17:27

Awesome reminder. Vital to keep the faith during this homeschooling journey. Our children need to know where our strength comes from!

LINDA C 02/22/2012 07:28:01

Convection Of The Heart!... Ouch!!!!

CLODA D 02/22/2012 08:06:14

Wow!!! This really hits home with me. I fall short so many times in this area. I know that things will be so much better in our lives if we seek the face of God early.

DIANE C 02/22/2012 08:13:43

I forget or don't realize how very real God is, and how much He cares. If I did, I think I'd pray more. I think I believe with anemic faith. I trust God, because Christianity makes sense to me. I believe He's real, and I believe He's paying attention. But my belief is weak; I think. I know he's real, but I fail to remember "how very real, and personal, and powerful". I'd like to trust God as if I were standing before him, and could see him. Dear Lord, help me to see you. Remove the noise that blurs my vision. Before stoning him to death, Stephen looked to heaven and he said, Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." Acts 7:56 - I find this passage fascinating. Here is a man (flesh and blood like us) that knew he would be put to death for preaching Jesus, and he says that he can see a very real Jesus in Heaven. I don't believe he died for a lie. He saw Jesus and shared a picture of what we can see when we pray.

LYNN S 02/22/2012 09:36:59

Daily reminders to pray in earnest and the example of others should inspire us and remind us and encourage us. I would like to add that listening is just as important and often overlooked. For years now I have had a rich prayer life but I am learning now to listen to what Jesus wants to say to my mind and heart. Jesus has also taught me the Joy and Peace we so desire comes from Praise and Thanksgiving no matter what life throws at us. Ursula, I liked what you commented concerning Satan just waiting for our prayers to falter to pounce, I agree. Christina, My heart goes out to you for your daily struggles. I respect you so much for adopting a child and I will speak a prayer for you today for Peace in your relationship with your daughter and the healing of her heart. Home education is a wonderful oppurtunity to spend quality time with our children and learn how to face the issues we deal with everyday. It is important to our children that they spend time with others too. My daughters desire that. It encourages me to remember that they are preparing for a place in heaven with Jesus and eternity following Jesus where we will all love each other and him. All that we do counts. Let us thank Jesus and Praise him and be thankful everyday all throughout the day and watch as the well-spring of Joy and Peace and Love is revived in our minds and hearts. May God bless you and heal you and comfort you all today.

LYNN S 02/22/2012 09:48:43

I would also like to comment that while I look to these daily postings for inspiration and a way to connect with the struggles and praises of others it is the work of God\'s Holy Spirit to \" convict\" us. That process is designed to redirect and correct. To lead and guide and direct. The actions of others whether fasting or sacrificial exhausting prayer should inspire, not \" guilt \" anyone. I was a little concerned that so many felt bad after this post. Prayer is a vital part of following Christ but also Daily bible reading and fellowship. It is good to be reminded of the benifits of praying and the cautionary voice reminding us of the dangers of apathy. I am amazed today to ponder that even though Jesus was the son of God and the Messiah, he still took time to pray and prayed often. May we all be blessed today as we praise Jesus and come into agreement with him concerning our daily struggles, with the peace he gives us, as we let go of that which is not for us and hold on to that which is for us.

VANESSA W 02/22/2012 10:03:39

While I would agree that is important to take prayer seriously, I also dare to say God listens to the short prayers as well as the long ones. When we do evening or morning worship and my 2 year old says \"Mommy, daddy, Jessica, Mikey, Amen....God knows what He is trying to say. Also, it seems the quality is as much or more important then quantity. I find myself able to talk to God anytime, any place. Including while stressed in traffic or wherever. I\'m just glad that our God is there for us no matter the time.

JENNIFER B 02/22/2012 11:57:20

Help, after prayful consideration, my husband and I have decided to pull our daughter away from a social sitation that is very unhealthy and that is causing us all heart ache. I am wondering if anyone else out there is homeschooling one children, while others are in school. I just need guidance. SOS is in the mail!! Blessings~

PAMELA S 02/22/2012 15:02:33

I am in turmoil. I have a 13 yr old adopted son who has been homeschooled most of his life. Due to family hardships, a few learning difficulties, and his desire to be with other children, we are not where we should be academically. I am a single parent who must work. This is our only income. I am also older than most mothers of children this age. Satan has attacked our family to the very core over the past few months causing much disturbance in lives. I struggle trying to find used curriculum that I can afford and to cover bases, and believe I may be failing my son. I met and spoke with my pastor, who is on our local school board, and he believes that my efforts to homeschool are \"not the real world\". He states that he is an advocate for public schooling. I now am more torn than ever. There is no father in our home for leadership and authority, my son is adopted, he is not on grade level for chronological age, and I know that all of this puts us at risk for his future. We need prayer, friendship, and guidance. This is a very frightening position that we are in. I am nit sure where to turn. I pray and seek the Lord\'s heart in all of this, but feel so lost. I do not have family to support me in my effort. Please pray that the Lord will lead us to the right place, the right decision, and the right people for Godly guidance, love, and support for whatever His will should be for us.

MELISSA T 02/22/2012 22:16:04

Dear Pamela, I\'m new to this site and had been reading the posts and yours really got my attention especially since I am a mother of an adopted son with special needs. I want you to be encouraged that your heavenly Father hears and knows what you have need of and will answer you. I pray that as you wait, God would fill you with His peace and that you would allow Him to be that covering for you and your son. I pray He would send you supportive Christian friends and other homeschooling moms to encourage you. No matter where we are in life, on the mountaintop or in the valley, we must give it all over to Him and I pray one day you will be able look back and say, \"Look what the LORD has done!

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