Friday, September 7, 2012

Prayer Jar

One of my favorite times each day is the time I spend with each one of my kids saying goodnight.  Sure it's usually past their bedtime and I'm tried and sometimes cranky that they're still up, but when I go into their room and close the door I know it's going to be time well spent. This is the moment when they quiet down, reflect on the day, share their thoughts, and we pray together.  It's this last area I've come to realize we need a little help with.  I admit I'm guilty of something sometimes referred to as "drive by praying".  You know what I mean;  you bow your head and start off with something like, "Dear Jesus, thank you for this day... blah, blah, blah... in Jesus name we pray, Amen."  I want our prayer time to be meaningful and thoughtful, but in those last moments of the day I confess it unintentionally becomes very hurried, scattered, and sometimes lacking in substance.

Yesterday I was reading a devotion book to my youngest, Katherine, and it suggested the idea of a prayer jar.  I had heard of this before but like many good ideas, I had filed it away in my mind for another time only to be completely forgotten.  So when the idea resurfaced, I knew it would be a good project for Kat to present to the family.  She loved the idea so off we went to get the supplies.  Here's what you need:  1) a jar with an opening large enough to fit your hand inside, and 2) several slips of paper listing prayer requests.  It's that easy. 

Kat spent some time decorating our jar (which happened to be a water pitcher we rarely use), cut up slips of paper, and together we wrote down people we wanted to pray for.  Most of them are family and friends but we also included our country, it's leaders, our church, upcoming events, and anything else that was on our hearts.  We tried to include at least three specific things we are praying for about the person or subject on our paper.  Then Kat folded them up, put them in the jar, and made a presentation to our family. 

The LeRoy Family Prayer Jar

Everyone agreed this is a great way to make sure we are praying with purpose.  Each evening the kids get to pick a request out of the jar and pray specifically for that item.  When there are no more slips of paper in the jar we will know that each person or topic has been prayed for. Then we can fill it back up and start all over again.  A great idea at just the right time.


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