photo by US Geological Survey
This article was originally written in February 2008, after our town suffered not one, but two, serious floods within a four week period. The picture to the left was taken at Legion Park, a beautiful recreational area that sits on the Iroquois River. We weren't living in Watseka then, but would move there within the next few months (not on or near the river, mind you). Catastrophe comes in many forms, but all provide opportunity to demonstrate prayer to your child.
For the second time in a month my children and I found ourselves baling water out of our basement following torrential rains, a large snowmelt and having a ground so saturated that there was nowhere for the water to go. The first time was on January 7th, when I awoke at 4am to two feet of water in our basement and a parade of Christmas decorations floating by. This second time was nowhere near as bad, having caught it as it was happening and being able to keep up with it as it came in, finally getting ahead of it by eleven at night. Our legs and backs ached for days after.
We were fortunate we didn’t fare much worse. Our neighbors to the west, across the Illinois state line, found themselves evacuating their homes once again as the waters of the Iroquois River overran its banks, flooding their streets, homes and businesses. For the second time in a month our church was converted into a Red Cross shelter, providing safety and warmth for those who by now felt nothing but a sense of resignation and overwhelming fatigue.
As my children and I put up our buckets and peeled off our wet boots and socks, I wondered out loud how our neighbors in Watseka were doing. My children shook their heads in wonderment also. No telling, they both said. I recognized this as an opportunity to teach them concern for the welfare of others, and announced, “I want us to pray for them right now.” Wet and tired as we were, we bowed our heads and asked the Lord to look after our neighbors, provide for their needs, and to stay the waters of the Iroquois.
Opportunities to pray with our children present themselves everyday. Sometimes my husband or I will take the lead, sometimes one of the children will step up. That the children feel comfortable enough to pray out loud is due to years of my husband and I setting the example. As a result, the children know that they can stop anyplace, any time, and speak to the God of the universe with whatever is on their heart.
Praying with our children is a tool we as Christian parents have to help them develop and maintain a relationship with their Savior. Whether they’ve made a decision for Christ yet or not, they know He is only a spoken word away. Take advantage of opportunities to pray with your children so they may see how special your relationship is to the Lord, and desire the same for themselves.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009
photo by US Geological Survey