by Nancy Thomas
The time I spend on my knees is one of the most powerful parenting interventions I have ever found. For years, as my children left for school in the morning, I would hug them and send them off with “Have a good day!” As I would close the door behind them, I would whisper a prayer for them, from my heart to God’s ears. One year, while teaching in England, I had the honor of staying with an amazing family. The awesome mom would encircle each child in her warm embrace and pray out loud for their safety and wisdom throughout the day. She would thank the Lord for the child, using her gentle, loving voice. The prayers were softly spoken – as if she held as a treasure – yet, covered the child with God’s protective shield. Each child, or teen, was then sent off to school with the sound of their mother’s prayer echoing in their heart. What a GREAT IDEA! What a powerful message the child gets each day – to hear their mother cover them with God’s grace.
Research has shown that prayer works! Many of us already believed (without the scientific proof). But, for those ‘doubting’ Thomas’ (no relation!), here are two books filled with the statistics and measurements: “Healing Words and Meaning and Medicine”, by Larry Dossey M.D., and, “Healing The Hardware Of The Soul” by Daniel Amen M.D.
One of my favorite sayings is, “God gives free refills!” My cup gets empty many times as a parent of children with special needs. Talking to God is the best way I have ever found to recharge and renew! (The next best thing is a hug from my cowboy!)
The last thing I do at night, before I close my eyes, is pray. How many thousands of hours have I spent lifting my children up to Him?! The tally is immeasurable for the more than 45 years I have been praying. I remember the time that I had a family come to my home to study with me and learn better ways to help their disturbed child. I learn from every family I teach! The mother and father had a beautiful family tradition of kneeling together beside the child’s bed at night and praying together. What a GREAT IDEA! The child is sent off to sleep with the parents’ loving prayer filling their room, and the power of God’s protection through the night. Children that have been traumatized must feel safe at night in order to have healthy sleep patterns. If they don’t sleep well they have a much harder time controlling their actions during the day.
We have a family tradition in our home, of holding hands around the table, and having a different one of us lead the family in a prayer of thanks before meals. When we have a new child, we do not have them lead the family in prayer. Most of the children I have had in my home have shared with me that, before they arrived, they, either did not believe in God, hated Him, or worshiped the devil. They believed that destruction, rage, and hatred are more powerful than love, forgiveness, and creation. They were more drawn to the dark side away from the power of love and God. Unless we set the example of God’s unconditional love by loving the child, and loving God unconditionally, they don’t understand how amazing and powerful that love is!
“Where there is hatred… let me sow love.” (St Francis)
What a GREAT IDEA!