But first let me invite you to this year’s Mom’s In Prayer International back to school prayer rally on Monday, August 25, 9:30-11:00, our first day back to school hosted by my church this year!!!
I first became acquainted with moms in prayer through a playgroup activity I was invited to at another friend’s church called MOPS when my two oldest were toddlers. It was such a fun and doable activity. Then as my oldest stepped closer to kindergarten age, I was like, what do people do who don’t have preschoolers?! I couldn’t imagine my life without toddlers! I heard a mom mention that there was another organization unrelated to MOPS for those moms who have kids going to school called Moms In Prayer. Oh, I liked the sound of that! I already had imagined trying to find someone to be a prayer partner with because I knew with a first born going to kindergarten I needed prayer! And a cup of tea and maybe a Kleenex. Ok. A box of Kleenex!
I loved the idea of meeting with other moms and praying, but the groups were just moms and no kids. I seemed to always have little ones so I called this my golden ticket of conflict. But yet I did promise the Lord to pray more specifically for my children. He spoke to me through testimonies and godly influences like Mrs. Gibbs…I heard her say she writes her prayers out daily for her children then weekly tears them up. Convicting.
I made the commitment in my heart between me and the Lord to learn to pray and to pray more specifically using scripture for my children. I didn’t get to jump right into a MIP group when my oldest of four went to kindergarten, but I had a friend who partnered with me in prayer. Well, for sure had her door unlocked and a cup of tea and a box of Kleenex for that first-day-of-school-hysterical-woman she called friend in me who ran to her house with my toddlers after dropping my school aged kids off for their first day of school. We prayed and wiped tears and had tea.
Making the commitment to pray more or join a prayer group is one thing. Following through is completely another one. It’s like saying you will do the blob at church camp but then you have to climb the ladder, doable, and stand in line, totally doable, then step to the edge. Yep. Got that too. And then that first step to actually make the jump. And here is where I, what they call “struggled.” I believe the trendy term would be #struggle! (Hashtag struggle for the extremely unconnected!)
I always had something that kept me from stepping out and actually truly praying with other moms until we moved to Alaska in 2001. In the church bulletin. Tiny print. There was a moms in prayer group that met at that church! My heart pounded when I saw it. I thought I had the goldenest of tickets! We lived in Alaska. Isolated. Far far away from that lower 48 state of Texas where I told the Lord that I wanted to learn to pray and specifically pray more for my kids…and I knew no one. Anyone I would have wanted to pray with was in Spring! ( I did always like knowing who was praying, and I would watch them. It was a blessing even if they didn’t know me. Knowing there were women who were able to lift up the school my children attended in prayer weekly—those women were my heroes. They did the blob!)
And then I’d remember that desire I had to learn to pray better and to lift up my children in prayer more often and more specifically using His word to pray over them. I promised the Lord. I promised myself. I really did want to pray for my kids. So I signed up. Stepped off the blob tower. I even attended a training there and have lead or co-lead or prayed in a moms in prayer group ever since.
Several of my friends may want a do over of my hosting! They suffered through what I call my covert years of hosting a group under cover because I wasn’t officially listed because I had my youngest! And she would walk around my house if she didn’t need a diaper change while we were praying, she would be trying to feed us goldfish! But I promised the Lord I would lift up my kids. Pray for their teachers. Schools. District. Classmates. So anyone who didn’t mind a toddler toddling around we prayed. And ate goldfish.
This year I have two graduates and a transition. My oldest graduates from college in nursing, and my third child graduates from high school while my youngest transitions to junior high. And I think: What do people do who do not have kids in elementary school!? Never seemed even imaginable. And yet I’m there.
I promised the Lord. I committed to pray. Not sure she remembers this or not, but a good friend whose first born was ahead of mine by a year or two, I remember I just caught her by the arm at church in the hall and asked what are y’all’s plans!?! That year her son was graduating. I grabbed anyone, they may say yanked, but if anyone ahead of me transitioned before me I wanted to know what they were going through. (I tell people straight up what it’s like so if you grab my arm it will be ugly and sad!) What she said will forever ring in my heart and mind: she said it’s times like this time before sending them to college we ask ourselves did we get enough Bible in them; do they know His word? But mine hadn’t graduated from high school then. I had time. Didn’t I? I mean. What do people do who have kids graduate from high school!? It doesn’t really happen!?!
And then it did! I had the similar thought as the first high school graduate of ours stepped in our parental horizon: have I prayed enough. Did I keep my commitment! I don’t want to let my kids down even though I know I have, but I really don’t want to let the Lord down! And I promised I would pray.
There is nothing like praying with other moms for your children. There is nothing like hearing another mom call your child’s name out to Him using scripture. I don’t know what is easier. Praying with strangers or people you know. I do know it helped me make that mental step off the blob tower just knowing I had never met these people. These people don’t know me! Bowing in prayer that is guided by Him as well as simple steps from praise and thanks to confession and intercession to closing and praising and thanking….with other moms is absolutely precious. Recently in my Sunday school class we were talking about back to school and another good friend said this when asked about homeschooling and balancing the mom face and the teacher face: you just gotta be yourself. It’s too exhausting otherwise trying to keep up!
That is exactly how we have prayed in our groups. It’s how I survived moms in prayer praying. I am just myself. We are all just ourselves. It’s exactly like having a conversation but to Him and in agreement with another mom—take the step. I promise you will be strengthened.