I have a bedtime routine with my younger daughter to lie down and pray with her each night then I sing to her. While she pretty much prays the same prayer each night, she made up the rule that I had to change my prayer each night. Rather than discuss the fairness of her rule, I embraced the challenge.
However, I had been praying “please let everyone sleep,” “help everyone stay asleep,” “don’t let anyone get out of bed,” “please help mommy sleep.” With two girls someone is bound to wake up and I’m not the type who runs well on little sleep.
Well, a few weeks ago, for some reason (unknown to even me at the time), I changed it up and prayed a “thank you” prayer instead of my usual. I prayed these “Thank you” prayers for three nights before it dawned on me.
My usual prayers of asking for sleep might be setting an example of “wishlist” or “gimme” praying for my kids. That’s not the example I want to set. Yes, God can meet our needs and He wants us to go to Him when we have a need, but that shouldn’t be the only reason we go to God in prayer.
I need to remember to thank and praise God and I want to set that example for my daughters. Now I make the conscious decision to thank God for something each night with my daughter, instead of asking Him for something.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”
– Romans 8:26 (NIV)
“Thank You, Holy Spirit, for helping me to be the example for my girls. And thank You, God, for showing me how to thank You even though I didn’t realize it at the time. Help me to always thank You each night….”