We are all dying, even if one is in complete health right now. We are born dying. From the cradle to the grave, each second that passes puts us closer to our graves. That has to get us thinking about the future.
Since anybody can die at any time, I’ve asked myself: What is the one thing, just one thing, that I want to make sure I leave for my kids before I die?
For me, that is how to pray. And not just in general, but pray with a specific focus.
Our Family Prayer: The Most Frequent Prayer I Pray With My Kids
Every evening, before my two elementary school aged boys go to bed, the four of us huddle together to pray. It’s our tradition and we’ve done it for as long as we can remember. When I pray, day after day, my prayer is either exactly like the following or something very close.
Help us to do great work at work and at school.
Help us to honor and obey our bosses, our teachers, and our parents.
Help us to love the people we work or attend school with.
Help us to love the people we take care of.
Help us to love you, God, more and more every day.
Help us to live a great life every day,
In the name of Jesus, Amen”
There have been times that I have asked my kids to pray the way Baba (me) usually pray, just to help teach them.
I that prayer, I want them to learn the value of work, the value of honoring and obeying authority, the value of loving their team members, the value of serving others, and the value of loving God. I simply don’t want them to learn to value these things but to pray for them daily and to work towards making them a reality.
I want my kids to grow into their own people. But when they have their own families, I want them to be able to tell their children, “this is how my father taught me to pray.” And they may also teach their children to pray using a pattern they see fit.
That prayer is the one thing I want to teach my children. It is what I want to see happen in their lives.
The question is: What do you want to teach your children (or others within your influence) before you die?