Since our kids were very small, my husband and I adopted the idea (from Dr. James Dobson) of taking one day every week to pray and fast for our children. The idea behind doing this was to take this day and really seek the Lord on what He wants for our kids. It is the least we could do for the four little people that we love the most. So, this is what we have been faithfully doing for quite some time.
I like to journal; so every Thursday I would take some time and get my laptop out and type away... would type out my "bucket list" for each one of my kids. Some of the things that would come to my mind would be: may they grow to know you at a young age, may their confidence and security be in You alone and so forth. I even pray faithfully for their future spouses; that God would grant them someone with a love for Him that is stronger than their love for my child. While all these things are very good things to pray, something struck me one day not too long ago.
While fasting and praying every week with my husband is a great thing, I believe we fell into the "routine" of doing it and forgetting the purpose for why we were doing it. I remember distinctly the day that the Lord spoke to me in a very tangible way. I was driving my son to preschool and I was remembering that today was my day to spend some extra time in prayer, when the Holy Spirit "dropped" something into my lap. I felt as if He said, "Laura, you have forgotten to seek and pray for what I want for Your children." It is great that I had my "bucket list" to pray through for each child, but I had forgotten that the One that created my kids has things for each one to pray for. I had forgotten to ask "Lord, what is it that You want me to pray for? What is Your heart for my kids?"
So, when I asked that question for one of my daughters in particular, He gave me something so special to pray over her. He said that "she will be a voice for those that don't have one." This rings so true for my daughter. She cannot stand when others are treated unfairly and seeks justice for all. I don't exactly know what this means for her, but my husband and I have begun to pray this over her.
This made me think about all the other areas in my life; do I seek the Lord on what His heart is for this situation/person? I would like to say that I definitely do, but if I am honest, I would say that the time I pray through my "bucket list" outweighs the time I spend in His presence seeking out His heart for my life. God so desperately longs to spend time with us and so often, His presence is the place we spend so little time in. There is so much He wants to tell us, but He cannot tell us if we don't position ourselves to listen. It is really quite simple, but we can tend to complicate this so easily!
May I encourage each one of you to get in His presence and just "be." Ask Him this question, " Lord, what is Your heart for this situation? What is it that You want me to pray?" And then, listen for His answer. So many times we pray for His help, but we forget to take the time to sit and listen for His answer.
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him." Luke 11:13