Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: prayer

homeschool mom praying

Discipline & Prayer

I love running but for some reason I often find about a million reasons NOT to run.  It’s too cold… it’s too hot… my leg hurts… I don’t have time. Why is it that I KNOW running is good for me, and I LOVE to do it, yet I don’t so many days?  Well, it is a discipline. I have to purpose in my heart that it is a priority and that I will set aside time for it no matter what.

The same is true of our devotional and prayer lives. Do you start each morning by turning your face toward God and seeking His perfect will for your day? Do you seek Him before you even wake everyone up and get your homeschool day in full motion?

Prayer Heals

Prayer is a dialogue  where we can communicate with the Creator of the Universe. Prayer is healing as our great Father “heals the broken-hearted and binds up [our] wounds.” (Psalm 147:3) Prayer is aligning as God aligns our hearts to His, and prayer is so much more. Yet, how many days do we resist that still small voice urging us to fall before the throne of grace? How many ways do we come up with to put Jesus’ precious invitation to “come unto me all ye who labor” on our “to-do later” list?

Oh, dear sisters, may we elevate the discipline of prayer to it’s proper place in our lives. May we follow God’s directive to “pray without ceasing,” (I Thes. 5:17) for that is God’s will for us. He wants to meet us as we pray. He wants to teach us, direct us, comfort us, heal us, and so much more as we humbly kneel in prayer.

Even for Jesus, God in the flesh, we see prayer as a discipline. We are told in Luke that “he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” (5:16) Perhaps that was because Jesus knew what the Psalter said was true. Even he needed to “be still and know,” but he had to find a special place to hear his Father most clearly. He had to leave other people and obligations behind for the sake of communing with God the Father. He had to exercise that discipline.

If you took a few minutes to read this article, I imagine  you feel that tug on your heart to pray. You know that God wants to meet you on your knees. So, what’s holding you back? Which of the million excuses you can come up with to keep you from praying are you willing to give up to exercise that blessed discipline of praying?

Our Prayer

Dear Jesus, you set the example for me when you walked this earth as a man. I can see you laying aside everything that stood in the way of spending time in prayer. Thank you for that. Help me to do the same. May nothing in my life be more important to me than kneeling before your throne and listening for your still small voice. Amen.

Additional resources for Women Praying.

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How Praying for Your Children Will Affect How You Parent

Watch the Video, “How Praying for Your Children Will Affect How You Parent”

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Another element of living boldly, praying boldly. The video talks about how the strategies we can take truly affect how we parent our children. Check out the video for more information.

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Couple holding hands

One of the most heartbreaking things that David and I have been faced with since starting Teach Them Diligently is the realization of just how intense the attacks on God’s families really are. We have talked with countless individuals and couples through the last several years who have recounted to us the struggles they have had in their marriages, and far too many have crumbled under the pressure.

Why is this? Why would Satan have such a strong strategy in play for breaking apart the marriages of Christian homeschool families? Why would so many couples be facing such intense pressures and having such a hard time fighting for what was once the most beautiful relationship in their life?

Satan wants what is not his!

Since the beginning of recorded history, Satan has exalted himself and desired that which was God’s. He fell, along with a large number of other angels, because he wanted the glory and adoration that was due to God alone. Since that time, we have learned that he comes to steal and destroy and that he is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  If you and your family have determined like  Joshua  that “we will serve the Lord,” you have dedicated yourself to Him… and Satan is jealous.

The enemy knows that the strongest human relationship and God’s building block of culture is the family, and he has been relentless in his pursuit to tear it down. He has devalued culture’s view of it; he has distracted us from working on it; he has made us so busy doing “good things” that sometimes we find ourselves neglecting the best; and sometimes he has thrown temptations at us at just the right time to completely destroy the trust we had built.

How greatly we have underestimated our enemy!

Our Marriage Prayer

Many years ago, when we had but 3 tiny little children, I composed a prayer for David and I. Since that day, we have had it prominently  on display in our bathroom to remind us to always lay our marriage on the altar and lift this precious relationship before God’s throne every single day.

This simple prayer I composed is based on my study of I Peter 4, and I pray it is as helpful of a reminder for you and your spouse as it has been for David and me.

May we be clear-minded and self-controlled so that we can pray. —How important it is to exercise self-control in our marriages! When we allow our emotions to run wild and overtake our judgment, it really does become hard to even talk to God about what is going on in our lives. We first need to pray for clear-thinking and self-control, so we can pray effectively for our marriage.

Above all, may we love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.— Oh, how we need to allow love to cover a multitude of sins within our families. How easy it is to hold grudges, remember offenses, be easily offended, and lash out at the one we hold most dear. Love deeply, friends! Your spouse is a most precious gift on this earth!

May we offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. — Have you ever found that you are more accommodating of others than you are of your spouse? Should that be the case? Of course not! I want to make David feel wanted and welcome at all times. I want our home to be his favorite place to be. I want to show him even more hospitality than I show anyone else… and I want to do it without grumbling or making note of all that I’m doing. (Sometimes drawing attention to all we’re doing is a big temptation, isn’t it?)

May we use whatever gift we have received to serve each other.– God has gifted each of us in very special and unique ways. Do you utilize those gifts to serve your spouse– or are you only looking at opportunities to serve others? God really got my attention with this one. The gifts God gave me should most definitely be utilized in the service of my spouse and children. They should never just get what’s left-over of me. I wonder if many times this isn’t a big tool Satan uses in his quest to destroy our families. We are too spent to serve at home, so our spouses are truly only getting the brittle pieces of us that remain after we have given all we have to others.

When we speak, may we do it as one speaking the very words of God.– Oh, how our speech must be representative of the way God would have us communicate. Does your spouse get the very best of your speech? Are you as careful in the way you craft your words when you are talking to him or her as you are when speaking with others? If not, why? Why are we so careless in the way we speak to our spouses? Why do we expect them not to bristle at things we would never say to anyone else?  (Or at least we would never say it the same way!)

When we serve, may we do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised!— May our marriages be strong and healthy, pointing a lost world to the God Who created family in the first place. May we recognize that it is only by His grace and in His strength that we can live peacefully and lovingly within our marriages. May we be willing to serve Him and serve our families in all things.

Get your own copy of the Marriage Prayer I created years ago.

You can download a free printable PDF of Our Marriage Prayer  by clicking here.

I would also love for you to download my ebook about praying for your children. It’s merely a compilation of verses that I use to pray for my kiddos, but it offers a lot of great prompts for you as you seek God’s face for those most important to you.

This month, we have been talking about our marriages in Teach Them Diligently 365, and on Friday, we’ll  be looking even more closely at this prayer and how to protect our marriages. I would love for you to join us there. Learn more about TTD365 and how you can get involved here. 

Finally, I sincerely invite you to join us onsite for Teach Them Diligently in 2018. A large focus of the events is on strengthening our marriages, and many have even noted that it’s like a “homeschool marriage retreat.” :) There is no investment too large to make in your family, and I believe with all my heart that attending a TTD will be a great blessing and benefit to you. If you have any questions about the event, or if you just want me to pray with you about your marriage, family, or anything else you have going on, please never hesitate to send me an email. I would love to get to know you!

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Six Resources For Prayer

This week as we take our “Monday Morning Minute” together, we are focusing our hearts on Prayer and formulating a strategy for it. In this article, I wanted to share some of the resources I use or created to help my heart and mind stay focused as I come before the throne of God in prayer each day.

Six Resources For Prayer

Focus Your Heart On Prayer

If you want to grow closer to the Lord, you must set aside time for prayer, for how can you draw close to Someone with Whom you never speak? In the workshop I did on prayer at Teach Them Diligently this year, we discussed that in order to have a more passionate and powerful prayer time, we must understand that we are approaching the throne of a King. Yes, we are able to approach that throne at any time, which is an amazing thing in and of itself, but we need to do so with great humility and awe.

Sometimes, I wonder if  we have not so exalted Christ as our Friend and Father (both of which are true of Him) that we have downplayed Christ as Almighty Creator and King. The God with Whom we can talk freely has the power to change lives, rebuild marriages, heal wounds and sicknesses, and intervene in any situation we have before us. Come Boldly!

To have this passionate and powerful prayer time, though, we must have a strategy. There are so many distractions and road blocks to prayer that too many times we will neglect it if we don’t.

6 Prayer Resources– and Lots of Links and Ideas!

(Click on the headlines or other red copy to follow the links.)

PRAYER FOR YOUR CHILDREN

screenshot-2016-10-10-09-19-29This is a printable I created with verses that help guide you as you pray for your children each day. Honestly, these are things you would want to pray for yourself, your husband, and your friends as well. I would love for you to download it and make it part of your regular prayer routine. I keep copies of this list above my treadmill, in my Bible and devotions bag, by my bed, etc. to make it easy to find verses to pray when I’m prompted to.  This landing page will also give you access to a prayer guide for your marriage.

ACTS PRAYER GUIDE

This is a great way to pray, for it helps to keep you focused on one thing at a time. You will find that by slowing down and focusing on Adoration of Christ for Who He is first, you will worship Him far better. You will get a clearer glimpse of His power and majesty as well as His love and care for you and those you care about.

At the end of the time of Adoration, I always find that I can hardly hold back the Confession. When I see Christ as He is, I cannot help but see how far short of that I truly fall.

Next, Thanksgiving pours naturally out of a heart that is cleansed and in good fellowship with God.

Finally, there is a time of Supplication, where you bring your requests before the throne of the One you have already noted is powerful and loving enough to answer. This is my absolute favorite way to pray.

This resource is one I put together to give you verses and explanation for all of these elements of prayer. Try it out– your prayers will be more focused when you do!

PRAYER CALENDAR

For this season, I created a prayer guide for our families to pray for one another. This is a great resource, not only to pray for TTD families, but also for any families you know. It is set up on a monthly format, and there is a family prayer prompt on each day. If we would all lift up Christian families in this way each day, I firmly believe that God will do a mighty work among us. God tells us in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that if we humble ourselves and pray, He will heal our land. Let’s give it a try, shall we? To get the full story and strategy behind this resources, click here.

This is a blank version of the prayer calendar I created for our families. It is for you to personalize. I have one with names of ladies in our church. I am able to be reminded to pray for them on that day each month, and I generally send a text or Facebook message to let them know I am praying for them and ask about any needs they may have. This is a quick way to stay connected to the people God has placed in your life. I would love for you to use this among the ladies in your church or homeschool group! Pass around several copies, allowing the ladies to put their name and contact info in a different block on each page. You will be amazed at how much closer you feel to people that you pray for regularly!!

PRAYER JOURNAL

I like to write out my prayers, for it helps me stay focused and pour my heart out to God without as many distractions. I do not weigh my words, for my prayer journals are very personal– I just write to God. It is through these journals or diaries that I have also found that God directs my attention to verses that may be well-hidden in the recesses of my brain, but are perfectly helpful for the very moment I am in.

In addition to writing my prayers in journals or calendars, I have made prayer lists in notebooks that have tabs for each unique section. There are as many ways to handle a prayer list as there are individuals.

In my personal prayer diary, I have sections for my husband and each child. I also have sections for my parents, sister and her family, and my in-laws. From there, I have sections for family, friends, Teach Them Diligently families, marriages in distress, health issues I am asked to pray about, etc.

Often simply seeing the tab will remind me of the prayer requests on that page, and the act of writing them down cements them in my mind. I am amazed how often the Lord prompts me to pray for those who have asked me to. If you would like to be added to my prayer list, please never hesitate to ask me to pray. God has given me a great burden for all your families, and it would be my pleasure to join with you in praying for the needs you have.

PRAYER NOTES APP

This is a nice little app if you like to keep track of things electronically. You can even set up a prayer schedule that your device will remind you of– IE: Monday, pray for family. Tuesday, pray for church friends and leaders. Etc. In this app, you can set up different headings and note answers and changes just like you can on paper. I tend to use this app for many of the TTD family requests, so I can keep them all in one place. The downside to this app is that it does not sync between devices (at least last time I tried to.) So, I keep most of the lists on my Ipad for use when I am sitting for specific prayer times. Requests that are urgent or timely, I will put on my phone with an alert, so I get a reminder to pray for them.

INSPIRATIONAL READING ABOUT PRAYER

This is such a small list of resources, but I pray that it is enough to inspire you to start a passionate and powerful prayer life of your own. God is wanting to have that fellowship with you! He desires that you cast your care upon Him, for He cares for you more than you can even imagine. With the right strategy and a committed heart and mind, today can be the start of your passionate and powerful prayer life!

What are some of your favorite prayer resources or ideas? Tell me in the comments below– I am always looking for new ideas! :)

 

For the Sake of His Name,

Leslie

Did you miss our last Monday Morning Minute? Click here to pick up a printable and some ideas about Daystarter verses!!

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Homeschool Moms (or any other believer!), is there a verse or passage of scripture that fills your mind the moment you wake up? It can truly change the course of your day!

Day Starters- Scripture

I have a number of “Day Starters” that the Lord brings to mind regularly. For years my first thoughts of the day have stemmed from these verses or songs, so that even before my feet touch the floor in the morning my mind is stayed on Him. By meditating on these scriptures, I am able to bring my thoughts into submission before the Devil even has time to work on me, and God often brings different scriptures to mind depending on what is going on in my life at the time.

My favorite overall day starter for years has been I Chronicles 29:11-13, for it is such an offering of praise that it can literally change my outlook on the whole day.  I am reminded just how great and powerful, wonderful and awesome my God really is. Clearly, He is able to meet all needs and then some. My heart and mouth are filled with His praise as I magnify His glorious name.

 

day-starters-Scriptures To Get Your Day Off To The Right Start

Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. (I Chronicles 29:11-13 KJV)

When I start my day by quoting a verse like that I am submitting my heart to Him from the very beginning, and I absolutely cannot tell you the impact that has on my morning and the rest of the day!

Day Starters- Music

I also program the alarm on my phone to wake me with a song that is pertinent to what I am meditating on at that time.  “Make My Life An Alleluia helps me focus on serving others and bringing Him glory through my every word and action. My current favorite is “I Will Never Forsake You” which reminds me from the outset of my morning that what God calls me to do that day He is faithful to equip me to accomplish and to go with me each step of the way. You may prefer to start your day with familiar songs and hymns like “God is So Good,” “Amazing Grace,” Or “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” No matter what song you choose, allowing that to be the first sound you hear really does help set your heart and focus from the get-go.

Both of these ways of starting my day help me to realize that I am embarking on what God has planned for me that day in HIS STRENGTH alone.  I never cease to be amazed at how often my thoughts drift back to the scripture He impressed on my heart first thing in the morning as my day unfolds. Clearly, He is at work directing my thoughts– even when they are fuzzy and not really wanting to wake up!

What’s On Your Heart?

What passages would minister most to your heart today? How would your day be changed if your first thought was one of praise or rehearsing your theology and bringing your thoughts captive? No matter what the struggle or circumstances in your life, there is a passage that will seem like it was written specifically for you, specifically for this moment, for God’s Word is living and powerful and our God is personal and loving!

I have included a printable of some of my favorite passages to start my day, but there are countless others that may resonate with you. I guarantee that if you ask Him the Lord will direct you to the specific passage that you should use to start your days this week, and you will see a huge difference in your days if you do start them that way.

Here is the live chat we had this morning on Facebook about Day Starters in case you have a few minutes to visit with me before you download your free printable. :)

daystarterspromo

 Download a Homeschool Mom’s Day Starters Starter Kit By Clicking Here.

To round out your morning routine helps, I would love for you to grab a copy of the prayer guide for children or the prayer guide for your spouse that I put together for you after years of praying this way for my own.

I look forward to seeing what the Lord has for us next week! :) In the meantime, won’t you scroll down and leave me a comment with what passage or song the Lord has laid on your heart to be YOUR Daystarter right now? I would love to meditate on those with you and even add them to my list in the days ahead.

Joining you in this journey!

Leslie

PS– Get regular encouragement year-round by joining me on Teach Them Diligently 365. With access to all the audios from Teach Them Diligently conventions of the past and new videos weekly often featuring our speakers and vendors, TTD365 is the perfect way to stay focused on the mission God has given you!  Learn more here.

PPS– We would LOVE to see you at a Teach Them Diligently event in the Spring! There is nothing quite like hanging out with that many other homeschoolers for a whole weekend– learning together, laughing together, growing together, and more! Get more details here.

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Homeschool Mom, have you ever had the Lord calling you to do something, but you really were uncertain about your ability to do it? Yeah, me, too!

Over the last several months, the Lord has really been working in my heart about the need to have a larger outreach with the moms who attend or follow Teach Them Diligently. He has really convicted me of the need to recreate the encouragement and equipping we all receive that weekend to allow it to start happening throughout the year.

He has specifically laid on my heart the need to encourage and share weekly via a Homeschool Mom’s Monday Morning Minute (#HSMMMM.) We all need to take a minute or so each week just to refocus and renew our minds… and Mondays seem like the best time to do that!

It is my sincere prayer that these times together on Monday mornings will be an encouragement to all, that they will start our week off on the right foot and with the right focus, and that we will all develop a deeper relationship with God and with each other through the year which will culminate in fantastic reunions onsite each spring at Teach Them Diligently.

So, won’t you join me?

Each Monday morning, Lord-willing, there will be a Facebook Live video element and a blog element of the Homeschool Moms Monday Morning Minute to encourage and hopefully give you a takeaway that you can refer back to through the week. Won’t you join me there? If you have not yet liked our Facebook page, you can do so by clicking here. I look forward to “seeing” you Monday morning around 9:30 am EST! (As a fellow Homeschool Mom, you know why I had to add the “around” to that sentence… who knows what will pop up during our mornings.) :)

What would you like to talk about during these moments together? If there is a specific need or subject you would like for me to address, please leave me a comment in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you!

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Teach Them Diligently events have been drenched in prayer since their inception in 2011. The Lord made it very clear from the beginning that His plans for Teach Them Diligently were well beyond our imagination and definitely beyond our ability to do on our own.

This year, though, The Lord has really impressed upon us the need for all of our families to band together in unified prayer.  Our family has started an intensive focus on prayer in our family devotions, and we have been amazed at the difference spending dedicated time as a family in unified, specific prayer has made in both our faith and practice. Won’t you join us in praying for revival among God’s people and a renewed passion to reach others with the good news of the gospel? Our prayer has always been that Teach Them Diligently would be a time of true revival and refreshment for families, and there has not been a time in my lifetime when God’s people need revival and refreshment more than now. Thank God He is able to do a mighty work among us!Will you not revive us again?

Download this free prayer calendar and join us in praying each day for Christian families.
Prayer Calendar Small
The calendar is set up with a specific prayer need corresponding to a day of the month. You can use this calendar each month of the year, knowing that we will all be praying in unison to our Loving and Holy God. I cannot wait to see what He will do when His people humble themselves and pray! He promises in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that  He will hear from Heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land. How we long for those things! Imagine how thousands of Christian families banding together to pray for each other and for the lost could change the world by God’s grace!
Will you commit to joining with us in praying for our families, our nation, and for God to send revival? Please scroll down to leave a comment below when you download this prayer calendar if you and your family will join our prayer team. I think you will be amazed at how clearly you will see the hand of God at work all around you when you are really looking for it!
TTD_PrayersForMyChildren
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Please Enjoy Your FREE Printable Prayer Guide!

My husband and I have always prayed that God would work in the hearts and lives of each one of our children in very special ways. We have prayed that He will use them to turn the world upside down for Jesus. We have prayed that they would be able to stand strong, be secure in what they believe, yet be humble enough to serve. We have prayed that all their actions would spring from a heart that loves Jesus Christ supremely and that His love would be evident in every aspect of their lives. This prayer guide compiles many of  the prayers that I have prayed for my children for years. I pray that you, too, will experience the peace and joy that comes from praying scripture over your children.

 

 

 

Click here to subscribe to receive our blog posts in your inbox and receive your free copy of Prayers for Our Children.

What verse or verses do you find yourself praying for your children most often? Please share your favorites in the comments below.

 

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The rule of law is being mockingly abused all around us. Just a couple of weeks ago,  the president of the United States set aside the constitution of our land and gave himself powers that are simply not afforded to him. He mocked the American people who just a few weeks earlier had weighed in so heavily against him and his policies and compadres in the midterm elections. He moved forward with an ideological and political advance against his own country. My Facebook feed became filled with articles  and rants about his executive order, along with alerts about the craziness happening within the schools of this country, the inequities and injustices all across our land, and more. I became angry and anxious.

The Faith I claim to have...As God so often does, He turned my angry and fret-filled thoughts about these things inward. As I stewed about the president’s disregard for constitutional separation of powers and the vocal minorities’ sway over those with political aspirations, I began to wonder if I am displaying for my children the faith I claim to have that God is indeed on the throne and that He alone is in control and not a leader with an ink pen, for I know that President Obama can do NOTHING that our omnipotent God does not allow him to. One day he too will bow before the One Who is much more powerful than he.

How About You?

Do you ever feel like everything is upside down and inside out in the world around you? Do you struggle with how to talk to your children about the craziness of policies and happenings in our own land or the brutal persecution of believers around the world. Do you find yourself becoming nervous or insecure, allowing fear to replace faith, as you look at how quickly things are changing and our liberties are eroding? How can you or I display the faith we have in Christ to our children if our own faith is weak?

In these days of chaos and craziness, we must remember Jesus’ words in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

This is a season to take heart. This is a season to rest in our powerful Father’s embrace and trust that no matter what we see, HE has overcome the world. We know the end of the story, remember– GOD WINS! His People WIN! (Check out the book of Revelation for the exciting conclusion.)

This is a season to fall on our knees and pray for the strength of faith to show our children!

The Apostle Paul reminded us to be anxious for nothing but to take everything to God in prayer. Philippians 3 is where we find that comforting passage, yet Phillipians 3 finds Paul in a Roman prison in a day when things were definitely upside down and inside out. The world Paul knew was governed by a total madman, Nero. He soon would have Paul executed, along with many, many others. Yet Paul rejoiced. Paul, even in prison, claimed “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.”

Do we?

Do we take all the craziness and injustice we see around us here in the US and around the world and lay it at Jesus’ feet? Do we trust that greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world? Do we tell our children that all will be well regardless of whether it turns out like we would like to see it, because one day every knee WILL bow and every tongue WILL confess that Jesus Christ is Lord?

Do we display for our children a sincere and unfaltering faith? Do we rehearse for them the great and mighty things God has done for us and around us, and thereby help their faith to grow?

Oh moms and dads, let’s not become so wrapped up and indignant about what we see around us that we forget the One Who rules over all, and Who is even now preparing a place for us that where He is we may be also. He is worthy of our trust! What great opportunities are presented to us daily to disciple our children and help their faith to grow as well.

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