A while ago, I started writing out little or sometimes long prayers and sticking them under Tripp's mattress. When I started doing this, I was still pregnant with Blaire Alice, so I drew a circle on the floor where her crib would be and I would lay my prayers in that circle. I did this nearly everyday. I had read something about prayers never expiring and I was so moved thinking about that the prayers I pray over my kids today would surround them for the rest of their lives. It also brought me great comfort to think of them sleeping on my prayers for them every night.
During this particular time in my life, I was really struggling. Since I had miscarried babies before, I was filled with fear over this one. I spent most of my days overwhelmed with worry... I woke up everyday questioning whether the baby's heart was still beating and wondering if I would get to hold this baby in my arms. The only way to work through my worry that day was to get out pen and paper and pour my heart out to God - tears often falling on the paper as I wrote. And in almost a ceremonial way, I would walk the prayer to its designated spot, kneel down, read it aloud and lay it in the circle or tuck it under the mattress. It was the best way I knew how to truly cast my cares upon Him.
The one thing I know about parenting: it is hard. It gets hard on day 1 and continues to get harder everyday thereafter. We are constantly entering into new phases (just when you thought you knew what you were doing) and I am always finding new things to worry about (I am really good at that). And most of the things I worry about are completely out of my control - well, that is until I pray about it...
I love this quote from Praying Circles around Your Children by Mark Batterson, "Prayer turns ordinary parents into prophets who shape destinies of their children, grandchildren, and every generation that follows."
My prayers are shaping my children's destinies, and their children's, and their children's... So I speak (or write) God's promises over them and ask God to bless them and keep them, pour His favor over them.
And after I have done that and tucked them under their mattresses, I don't feel so overwhelmed. In fact, I feel empowered - because there is power in prayer. Not mine, but His. And His power is made perfect in my weakness.
I don't have as much time on my hands as I did before I was chasing Blaire Alice around. So now I like to rotate the kids (and I do it for Patrick too). I think I might get each of them a journal and just record my prayers in there. If you decide to do this too, make sure you date the prayers. I can only imagine how cool it will be for your children to read through your prayers and see the ones that God answered. What a faith-building experience for them!
I have thought about writing this out for so long, but I always get nervous about sharing things like this. I knew God wanted me to share this - maybe it is just for one person who needs encouragement or needs a way to deal with their worry. I hope this becomes a helpful strategy for you. If you're looking to go the extra step, I highly recommend reading Circlemaker by Mark Batterson. The book will change your prayer life. The one pictured below is a shorter version and focuses on praying for your children. I believe there is also one for marriage, but I haven't read that one... hahaha... probably should. :)