Originallly published in the Oakdale Homeschool Support Group Newsletter, May 2003
Prayer is about the most important part of the Christian homeschooler’s life. It is what keeps us focusing on God and able to hear His plan for our schools and our children. It should include daily personal prayer time, regular prayer with your spouse and children, and frequent prayer with other homeschoolers.
I have found that the only way to make sure I get my personal prayer time is to do it before I get up. My husband and children have learned that if I seem awake but my eyes are closed I am probably still in prayer. They are respectful of that and try not to interrupt. I still pray throughout the day as the need should arise—such as praise for a beautiful sunrise, thankfulness for good behavior (the children or me!) or petition for help with understanding math.
I use a four-steps approach to prayer that helps me make sure I cover everything and don’t get sidetracked easily. Some have learned it as ACTS (adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, supplication), I learned it in the Moms in Touch ministry as praise, repentance, thanksgiving, and petition. It doesn’t really matter what you call it, it has really helped me stay focused in my prayer time, beginning with focusing solely on God and who HE is, not what He has done for me or others.
Some people feel that these steps keep the prayer from being Spirit led, but I haven’t found that at all. I feel that as I focus on the different steps of prayer and those things on my list the Spirit shows me how to pray for each one and other things that need to be added to my prayer list.
Praying with your spouse, the teacher or administrator of your school, is another very important part of homeschool prayer life. It is best if it is father initiated, but wives can encourage it too. Try to take a few minutes each day to pray together aloud for your family and school specifically. If you don’t think you can find that much time together, start with once a week, make a date and put it on the calendar, and try to work your way up from there. Pray with a list and keep it in a handy place for both of you so you can add to it between prayer times. God has given power to the corporate prayer of husbands and wives
Praying with your children should be part of your daily school practice. This teaches children how to pray, as well as making it a lifelong habit. I have taught my children the four steps to help make it easier for them too. We go around the room and each share a praise, then silent confession time. Besides specific answers to prayer, I ask each child to think of one or more things to thank God for, especially in their relationships with each other, then we divide up the list of prayer requests we have and pray over those things. Older children can learn leadership through leading the younger ones in prayer time.
Often we have a few Bible verses that give us a focus for our prayer time, which often helps especially in the praise and thanksgiving times. Make sure to point out answers to prayer and prayer needs to add to the list whenever you see them so the children begin to understand the importance and power of prayer.
Praying with other homeschoolers can be such a blessing. I was fortunate to pray with other moms for the first nine years I had a school-aged child. We prayed every week over big and little things. God has always been so faithful. The power in our prayer was so strong and the fellowship so sweet as we lifted up our families and homeschools to the Lord. It is very helpful to include the CHEA and Home School Legal Defense prayer requests, as well as those of other homeschoolers in the area in your prayer time. Satan is on the prowl lately, Godly homeschool families are taking many hits from him and we all need to be joining together to overcome these attacks.
I have to confess, this was written out of personal conviction as God showed me that I had allowed all the disruptions and busyness of this school year to keep us from regular family prayer time. As I am renewing my commitment to prayer with our family, I wanted to share with you what God has put on my heart.
As we near the end of this school year and look back over what we did and plan for the coming years, I challenge you to add more prayer time into your school day. If you are not praying with your husband or children daily, make a new commitment to that. Ask God to bring you a group of other homeschoolers to pray with. Whether weekly or monthly, all moms or couples, find some prayer partners to share your joys and burdens with in prayer.
Reprinted from CHEA’s Support Network News by permission of the author.
Permission to share this article is granted for private use as long as you inform the author and it contains the following information. JulieBeth Lamb thanks God for allowing these words to flow through her and prays they are a blessing to others as God has allowed them to bless her. She and her husband Rex are the leaders of a homeschool group in Oakdale, California. They have been homeschooling their five children since 1993 and have three still to graduate. Contact her at [email protected].