A Prayer Life With Toddlers
Toddlers are busy! As a mommy of two of them, I’m learning just how busy they are during the day. Sometimes I am so busy with them that I may not get a chance to finish all of the laundry in one day or finish writing that chapter that’s been taking me weeks to write. Housework responsibilities can get pushed to the side easily when you’re busy potty training, doing pre-school study work, and playing building blocks and baby dolls. So can prayer.
When my husband and I first decided I would stay home with our son Kellus, I was thrilled at the opportunity to be home to watch him grow and that I would get such wonderful quiet time to devote to prayer and communion with the Lord. With one child, I felt like I could do it all — kept the house clean, spent great time with the baby, and even got some writing done. But, when baby number two came around, things shifted a little. I still spent quality time with my children, but other things fell behind. I still managed prayer time once they finally were on the same nap schedule. That was a miracle!
Now that Karina, our third blessing, is here, things have again shifted quite a bit. When I’m not feeding Karina, I’m playing dolls with Kerissa, and when I’m not doing that, I’m doing study work with Kellus and entertaining him — trying to balance it all. I admit, sometimes during the end of the day, I feel terrible because I didn’t get that hour or two I would have liked to have for praying and studying.
I prayed and asked God to show me how I could still commune with him daily. God has taught me not to fret about trying to meet a ‘prayer quota’ for the week. God absolutely knows my heart and my devotion to my family.
Here are a few ways God has shown me when and how I can squeeze in that precious time with him:
1. Pray without ceasing: I used to think that I had to have a solid hour of prayer in order to connect with the Lord. But to be honest, that’s just not true or realistic when you have small children. Instead of focusing on time, maximize your time all throughout the day. I talk to the Lord when I’m washing dishes, washing clothes, or spending time with my children. And occasionally during naps, I get to sit in the quietness of my home for a few minutes just to talk to God more and listen to the Holy Spirit.
2. Pray with your children: Prayer in our house is just as important as eating food. My husband and I make sure to teach our children about the Lord and how to communicate with him. So, sometimes during the day, I randomly pray. It’s amazingly cute to see my one-year-old and three-year-old talk to God. It touches my heart each time.
3. Prayer through songs: My husband and I love music. We are always listening to Christian music that glorifies the Lord and edifies us in our walk with Christ. Sometimes you may not get a chance to sit down and read through the Word like you’d like or pray, but what’s so amazing about music is the lyrics that speak to your heart and that cause you to repeat them back to the Lord. This is a form of prayer, as well. Speaking or singing praise songs to the Lord always helps me commune with God.
God delights in us and wants to come closer to us. He knows that as mommies, we have a lot on our plates, but he’s also asking us to seek him every chance we can. Today, I’d like to encourage you to know that every day does not have to be the same. We have a relationship with Christ, and communication is essential to any healthy relationship. So, whether it’s while you’re folding laundry, washing dishes, or closing your eyes for a quick ten-minute break from the noise of life, use that space to pray!