As I waited on the school yard for my daughter, I overheard a conversation between two mums.
They were arranging to meet up for a coffee and to pray for their children. Without wanting to stereotype, I asked myself the question – do dads meet up to chat and pray for their children? I’ve often heard my wife say that she’s meeting up with other mums to pray for our daughters. But I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard any of my dad friends say the same. It got me thinking – are ‘we – the dads’ the lesser species when it comes to intentionally praying for our children?
I am not saying for one minute that dads don’t pray for their children. But there’s something encouraging and incredibly powerful, when we meet together to pray with others. So, are we missing out if we only stick to praying for our children on our own? Firstly, praying with others creates accountability. When life feels like it’s dragging us in a million directions at a crazy speed of knots – it can be easy to forget to pray from one week to the next! But having someone to prompt me has been a game-changer. Secondly, it encourages us to keep praying when we know others are praying into the exact areas of need too – this can raise our faith game!
So, with this in mind, a few weeks ago, I swallowed my pride and made contact with another bloke who attends my church. He’s a similar age to me and happens to be journeying through family life at the same alarming speed as I am. My hope was we’d be able to share our concerns and thoughts and pray for our children. He was taken aback that I’d asked. But he was totally up for it and even suggested that as well as praying for our children, we prayed for each other as we run this ‘dad race’.
We simply agreed to connect online every Monday lunchtime, just for half an hour or so, to make our prayer time count. So far, it’s been so good to touch base and pray into our children’s lives, which has involved all manner of requests, such as making good friends, school test results and potential boyfriends (no, I was not ready for that). But it’s also been encouraging to be honest and pray for each other too. He’s been vulnerable to share how he was struggling with his patience and I’ve had to agree – having two hormonal teens is driving me crazy.
This is one of the many great ways in which technology serves us. It’s convenient for us to meet in this way, especially when time is such a precious commodity and we don’t live close to each other. I’m an advocate for meeting in person as it forges better connections and let’s face it, we have been designed to be relational face-to-face people. But, in this scenario, it allows me and my friend to do business with God without having to fit this into family life! So, I guess the challenge for us as dads is this: let’s be brave and make connections with someone who we can pray with – it’s not as scary as it may first appear.
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"It was so good to talk to other mums who are struggling with the same things as me."
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