Cultivating a heart of gratitude is central to your role as a Prayer Warrior Mom. As you become more thankful and effective in prayer, God will transform your family life and your marriage from the inside out. You’ll be amazed by the difference in your kids’ hearts, attitudes, and actions as you learn to “stand in the gap” for them (see Ezekiel 22:30). You will break through to blessing as your prayers on earth engage the limitless power of your Father in heaven.
For me, having a joyful, thankful spirit used to be so easy. God created me as an optimist by nature, with a “glass half-full” perspective on life.
Then I had kids. Two kids, fourteen months apart, to be exact. And having children somehow broke my half-full glass and spilled out much of my joy. Sleep deprivation combined with the burden of caring for my little ones caused my once-cheerful personality to deflate until I hardly recognized myself anymore…
Slowly, God helped me regain my sense of joy as I relearned how to be grateful and find new ways to express my love for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I had to learn to act on my faith rather than on my feelings.
I discovered that gratitude is central to our worship of God, as well as to the development and nurturing of healthy human relationships.
I’m not talking about “Pollyanna praise” here. I’m talking about letting God shape, soften, and mold our hearts until we can accept everything He gives (whether it seems heavenly or horrible) and truthfully say, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21, paraphrased).
Just like gardeners, we’re called to keep careful watch over our children and step in with the pruning shears when we see signs of danger. These might include:
- the “insects” of anger, withdrawal, dishonesty, bitterness, envy, and quarreling
- the “weeds” of friends who may exert a negative influence on them
- the “disease” of words, behaviors, choices, and heart attitudes that are not pleasing to the Lord
You are the first line of defense for your kids. Your prayers create an umbrella of protection over them, shielding them from spiritual, physical, and emotional harm. You must engage in spiritual warfare and help your children defeat “joy stealers” so they may continue to thrive in Christ.
I recently saw a wall hanging that said, “Thanksgiving is once a year. Thanks Living is all year long!” I’m sure you know a “Thanks Living” woman. She radiates joy and thankfulness. Everyone loves to be around her. She has a servant heart, a smile, and an uplifting word for everyone. She exhibits boundless energy and offers a spiritual perspective that transforms even the darkest situations.
Guess what? You can be that woman! How? Start infusing your prayers with adoration and thankfulness. I like to bookend my prayers with thanksgiving at the beginning and the end. According to Jesus’ examples of prayer in Scripture, we should give praise to the Father before we launch into our laundry lists of personal requests.
Heavenly Father, I love You. Thank You for being my magnificent, almighty, loving Creator God. I lift up my children [state their names here] to You today. Please help each of them to become grateful people. Forgive me (and them) for any sins of ingratitude, discontentment, or negativity. Create in us clean hearts, and give us all an attitude of thanksgiving. Thank You for Your blessings. All of our lives belong to You. Every breath we take is a gift from You. Thank You for adoring my children, Lord. Thank You for crafting them so beautifully and for numbering each hair on their heads.
Lord, help me to show appreciation and model a heart of gratitude to my husband and children each day. Keep me from taking them for granted. Teach me to be thankful to You in all circumstances, no matter how challenging. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to die in my place and to give me the gift of eternal life with You. I pray that each of my children will establish a saving relationship with You through Jesus. I praise You for all the good gifts You have given me. Help me to trust You and give glory to You in all circumstances. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Watch the Video
Excerpted with permission from Prayer Warrior Mom by Marla Alupoaicei, copyright Thomas Nelson.
* * *
Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you about learning to be a prayer warrior mom!