One afternoon when she was rebelling against naps, my five-year-old cleverly snuck downstairs like a tiny ninja while I was having my own quiet (prayer) time. She carefully maneuvered herself around furniture and tiny toy obstacles until inch by inch she wound up curled in my lap.
I think she was curious as to what her mama was doing while we spent an entire hour apart each afternoon. After a few days of this, I began inviting her to sit with me - if she promised to be quiet and still. Soon it became her way of spending extra time with me. “Will you read your blue prayer book to me?” she’d ask.
I loved her little body pressing down into my lap - the same feeling I had rocking her to sleep when she was a baby. My little girl learned something during these special afternoons - she learned she had a mama who prayed. She didn’t have the words to ask, “Mama, will you pray for me?” Instead she requested for me to read to her from my MPC.
Over the past three years, our family has incorporated the MPC into our lives. We gather and put a family member in the middle of a family circle, and I pray their page over them. We’ve done this on days we are celebrating a child or before something big like when my husband was starting a new job or before the beginning of a new school year. We lay hands on a family member and we pray.
My children are young, so this isn’t the holiest or most organized experience, and to my type A choleric self this is truly a moment of sanctification because it is never exactly how I imagine it. Nonetheless we gather and we bow our heads and depending on my children’s moods we lay hands on the person in the center. It’s a little messy. There’s a toddler who babbles and two children get distracted and giggle or whine, but we push onwards.
And in this mess, I let go. I let go that this scene isn’t as picture perfect in real time as it is in my head, and most of all I let go of that angst, that grip, that worry that special intention that I had been digesting and worrying about for hours, days, weeks.
I pray. Out loud. Imperfectly perfect. Come, Holy Spirit. Come.
I rely on the scriptures to be my spiritual voice. To quote from Jenny, “When we pray the Word of God, we pray the Will of God.” So, I pray His Holy Word and I wait. I allow the Holy Spirit to come and move. Sometimes my young children have prayed such beautiful prayers over one another or over me, other times they are silent, even rebellious. But we press onwards. I know that this family, this home, is their training ground. We pray even when it is hard.
Because when we incorporate the habit of praying scriptures into our daily life, it opens the door for our prayers to become more specific. It turns our petitions into praises; our stress into surrender. We mature, we grow. We open ourselves up to the Holy Spirit. He moves.
Our prayers for our children change and we move from a posture of begging God to a humble offering. They change from our emotional grip on our children to placing these dear ones into His hands. We can literally lay them at His precious feet. We can surrender these children with confidence because He has told us over and over that He can be trusted, He is faithful, He will be with us always.
This. This is the peace I so desperately wanted to have in my earliest years of motherhood. I still remember the day Jenny shared with me the story of the MPC, and I asked myself how would I ever find that resting place?
This is where my Heavenly Father wanted me to arrive. He desired for me to surrender, trust, and rest in Him. And this place isn’t just for me. I desire this place for my children, as well. When my little daughter asked me to “read to her” she was asking me to “pray over her” - to speak truth into who she is and who God created her to be! She couldn’t articulate this, but it’s what her itty bitty heart desired. And as a mama, I need my children to know - without a doubt - to stand on this truth, that their Heavenly Father is faithful. He hears their every prayer, cry, hurt, desire, hope, fear, anxiety, etc...
So, you might be finding out that you’re still not so sure about praying with this MPC. You might be asking yourself, what’s the difference between the prayers I’m already praying for myself and my family, and these prayers?
Moms, your actions speak. Your actions direct and impact the course of your children’s lives. And I am here to challenge you, to boldly invite you, to roll up those sleeves and pray on your knees. Today. So what if you’ve never prayed like “this” before - neither had I. So what if your spouse isn’t doing “this” with you - you pray anyways. So what if your children are grown and gone and you have regrets as to how you never taught them “this” - God’s love and mercy is never ending.
The MPC is so much more than learning to pray scripturally and specifically for your family, it is about learning (and loving) to pray for yourself in this way same way.
When you are modeling this whether your loved ones can see you or if you’re praying privately in your home or while you wait in a car line or at a doctor’s office. These prayers of yours cause an infinite ripple effect - an eternal impact. They can literally change the course of not only your child(ren)’s and husband’s lives… These acts of faithfulness to prayer - adoring, thanking and blessing our loved ones will change the course our own lives too.
Push onwards, friends. Pull out that blue prayer book and get to praying.