As Christian mothers, we often pray to recognize and utilize every opportunity to teach our children about the power of prayer. Our sons and daughters need to learn two basic principles that will change the very fabric of their lives: how to pray; how to rejoice in prayer.
God gave one such teaching moment years ago when our son was about two and one-half years old. Young Stevie was full of unquenchable exuberance and energy. Legs swinging back and forth, he sat at the kitchen table one morning, happily eating Cheerios as I cleaned up the counters while waiting for two banana breads to finish baking. When the breads were almost finished, I decided to check them once again.
At that stage of our lives, my husband and I were AIM workers living on a limited budget in Slovakia. Although we were thankful for the small house we were renting in Kosice, the home did not have updated appliances. In fact, the oven was very old, and one side of the oven door frequently came off its hinge. On this particular day, as I opened the oven door to check the progress of the banana breads, not one, but both sides of the door hinges disconnected. I was left unexpectedly holding the heavy, hot oven door in my mitt-covered hands.
Immediately, I realized the need to pray, as well as the need to encourage Stevie to stay where he was. Out loud, I prayed, “Lord, Jesus, I need Your help right now. Please help me to get this oven door back in place!” Turning my head so that I could look Stevie directly in the eyes, I calmly explained, “Stevie, Mommy really needs your help. Please stay right where you are and pray for Jesus to help me get this oven door back on.”
Miraculously, the normally active and curious Stevie stayed where he was. His little voice raised in pitch and magnitude as he prayed, “Ohhhhhh, Jeeee-suuus, Mommy has a problem! Please help her! She needs Your help right now!”
Then I saw what I needed. Shifting the full weight of the door to my left hand, which was starting to feel hot even through the oven mitt, I stretched my right hand to the counter, extending just far enough to reach the heavy wooden rolling pin. I picked up that improvisational hammer, swinging it as far to my right as possible for momentum, before bringing it back to strike the right side of the oven door. “In Jesus’ name!” Bang! “Thank you, Lord. It worked!” Quickly, I switched my makeshift hammer to the left hand, and with a clunk, hinge two snapped into place. Praise the Lord: son still in his chair praying; oven door back in place; and no burns on my hands.
“Stevie, look at that! The oven is fixed. Thank you for praying. Let’s thank Jesus for answering our prayers.” As the aroma of fresh banana bread filled the room, in prayer!!
In I Thessalonians 5:16, apostle Paul instructed the church to “rejoice evermore.” In the next verse, Paul admonished the believers to “pray without ceasing.” These two verses underscore the concept of a continual lifestyle of God-focus, one infused with prayer and rejoicing. This is the kind of lifestyle our children need to see modeled before them. When we as imperfect mothers daily rely on God’s guidance, we can help our children become victorious by teaching them to rejoice in prayer.
(Information from: Ladies Prayer Intl December 2019 Newsletter – UPCI LM – firstname.lastname@example.org)