Ps Joel Krigsman
Neuma Hobart - Location Pastor
“Isn’t it amazing how young kids intuitively always respect your space when you set aside time to intentionally focus on Jesus?” – Non-Existent Parent
I don’t know about you, but this statement belongs with my daughter’s fairy costume – in the make-believe box!
I was so blissfully unaware how upside down my personal time would become once we had kids. I don’t know where I developed the expectation that I would be able to keep my routines untouched by little people. Four years in, I’m still learning – a lot! But I’ve also developed a very different mindset when it comes to spending time in prayer.
Perhaps most significantly: Prayer life isn’t supposed to be separate from the rest of life.
I knew this intellectually pre-kids, but never really had to live it. I would by habit, compartmentalise my life into nice and neat boxes. Although there would be some cross-over, it was a tool to help manage the growing demands of life and it really worked.
But kids confront this head-on!
They don’t ask me “is this a good time to chat about _____?”
They don’t look at the clock and think “hmm, it’s a bit early, I’ll wait another hour before waking Mum and Dad.”
We read scriptures like Mark 1:35 “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he [Jesus] departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” and think “yes, that’s the key – get up before the rest of the family”. Next morning – success! Day after – success! But eventually (perhaps when they start teething, again)… the plan is thwarted!
While a dedicated and protected daily time with God is desirable, the reality is that prayer is so much more than a calendared event. If we hold tightly onto a constrained approach to time with God, we actually begin to minimise prayer and develop a small view of who God is.
We’ve got to remember the goal is knowing Jesus, not keeping a schedule. Occasionally I have let prayer become the end, rather than the means to the end. I’ve approached prayer as an item on my to-do list, rather than a lifestyle with the living God. When I get priorities in their right order, other parts of my life can begin to contribute to developing an intimate relationship with God.
For example, when our eldest daughter was about nine-months-old and having a few months of poor sleep – I remember a handful of times in the middle of the night, holding her, pacing her room and speaking in tongues. The time with my daughter in those early hours was actually a gift to me.
Or when I’ve taken time off work to care for our youngest who couldn’t be at day care because of a cold – I remember being at the park surrounded by God’s creation, watching my daughter explore the world and whispering a quiet prayer of praise and adoration.
What my ‘old self’ saw as constraints or interruptions are now becoming a growing awareness of God’s presence. He’s in the prayer closet as much as he’s at the dinner table or in the car.
Being a parent has deepened my prayer life. My daughters have taught me about the Father’s love and in the often-chaotic demands of parenting, I’m learning to sense and respond to God’s presence.
I pray you sense God’s presence today.