Whispered Bedtime Prayers

 "Pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord.
Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children"

Lamentations 2:19

As a Mother needing all the help I can get, I take this verse very literally. It has become an important part of my relationship with God-a time to reflect on the day's happenings and whether they could have been better.

We have a Bedtime Routine. Brian and I tuck the children in, pray with them and give good-night kisses all around. But I always return to their rooms before I lay down to go to sleep.

I walk quietly to each child's bed, straighten rumpled, twisted covers, watch for that gentle up and down of their tummies as they breathe, lay my hand on warm, sweaty foreheads and pray. I make each prayer specific to the child, trying to remember discussions, playtimes, and boo boos. I may ask for something as simple as healing from seasonal allergies, or I might ask for guidance on how to deal with a certain behavior, or how to get over a learning difficulty. I've asked God, more than a time or two, "Please give me more time, one more day to be with them, to be their Mother." I've also had nights where my prayers have not been easy prayers. I've had to ask forgiveness for something shameful I did or something the child and I battled over, and I took it too far.

Late at night, when our home is quiet and asleep, I look forward to this prayer time--a time when I beg for His blessing on my children, who are not really mine at all, but His. How could I care for them well enough without seeking Him, without pouring out my broken heart like water, and without lifting up my full hands to Him for the precious lives of my seven beautiful children He has entrusted me with, through my whispered bedtime prayers?

KATHI BAILEY
Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA
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