Does it matter when you pray with your child?
Soon after my son started middle school, I stopped praying with him when I tucked him in at night. Actually, I had stopped tucking him in altogether, opting instead to just give him a hug after he’d changed into pajamas and reminding him to say a prayer before he fell asleep.
As parents begin to pull back to allow more independence, it’s sometimes hard to know where to draw the lines. I had decided my middle schooler no longer needed my presence when he went to bed, but I desperately missed that bonding time with him. Was there another way I could connect with him on a more grown-up level?
When he told me about the boy at church who prayed each morning with his mother, I admit I got worried. I was afraid he was going to think it was babyish and cheesy, that a big kid didn’t need such mushy stuff. He had entered the age where cool was the rule, and I was certain daily prayer with mom wasn’t cool.
I was wrong. My son thought praying before school was a fantastic idea. So I offered to pray with him right before he left each day, and he loved it.
There is no Mom rule that says prayer has to be done at bedtime only.
Now, instead of bonding with him at bedtime, I get to be there for him for 2 minutes each morning as he heads off into the world without me. We typically stand in the foyer, him completely ready to go out the door and me laying a hand on his shoulder.
I bless his day, his mind, his hands. I thank God for watching over him, protecting him and giving him favor. I ask God to help him stay organized and remember what he needs to accomplish. I entreat God to give him godly friends and good role models. And we pray for help with any problems he may be facing that particular day.
Bedtime prayer was always special, but for some reason morning prayer seems even more so. It’s perfect for this season of his life. Each day my child leaves the house knowing that both God and Mom have got his back. And it gives him the courage to face the challenges of a world that is not his home.