Kids Need Their Mom…to Pray in Secret with the Door Open
In my first years as a mom, I desperately wanted to keep a passionate spiritual life with God. I wanted to read the Bible. Sit quietly and pray. Maybe even write a few things in my journal. It’s just that my little people would not cooperate. I had four babies in seven years, and not one of them was willing to go along with my plan.
Frustrated. I remember shaking my head about my crazy, chaotic predicament. I am trying to be with God so that I can be a better mom. Anybody with me here?
I’d love to tell you that the answer for my struggle came to me in a moment of brilliance. But I was too tired to be brilliant. One afternoon I put on a video for the kids to watch and went upstairs to my bedroom. For some reason I kept the door open and sat down on the floor to read my Bible for a minute, and then I stretched out, facedown, on my carpet to pray. I guess I had been praying for one whole minute, and then they came.
I could hear them coming down the hall, but that day, instead of stopping what I was doing, I just kept lying there, praying. Of course, they walked right in, and I’m sure you can guess what they did. They crawled on top of me. And they played with my hair. And they wiggled their little faces up to mine.
“Hey, honey,” a gentle, not frustrated, voice spoke from inside of me.
“Watcha doin’?” they said in unison.
“Oh…it looked like you were sleeping,” an honest observer said.
It’s been known to happen, I admitted to myself.
Do you know what they did next? Those little toddling children lay down beside me and prayed too. Oh, they prayed squirrelly prayers that lasted for only a couple of minutes, but they prayed. My babies were praying because they had seen their mama praying.
After a few minutes they were done, but I just kept lying there while they ran in and out. And God settled something inside of me that afternoon. The days of being a college coed with lots of time to be alone to pray were over. But lying on my bedroom floor that day, I knew I heard Him speaking to me:
This is how I want you to pray now. Pray in secret—with the door open. I want them to see you being with Me. I want them to catch you turning to your heavenly Father for guidance. I want them to learn from you how to walk with Me. No dramatic presentation needed. No fanfare required. Angela, this is a new season with a new way. And this new way for your heart pleases Me.
My kids are older now, but the lesson remains. They still need to catch me praying. I bet your kids do too.
The thing that shapes them more deeply is that you and I pursue God in the everyday of living—that our spiritual lives become the backdrop for their childhood. Bibles left open are normal. A kneeling, praying mom is an ordinary sight.
Angela Thomas is a sought-after speaker, teacher, and bestselling author of Do You Think I’m Beautiful?, My Single Mom Life, Prayers for My Baby Boy, and Prayers for My Baby Girl. She inspires thousands at national conferences, workshops, and through video studies that she filmed and wrote including Brave: Honest Questions Women Ask.