Yesterday I wrote a post entitled “5 Prayers to Pray On the Way to Work.” Today I want to follow that up with 5 more prayers to pray on the way home.
Just as on the way to work, you have a finite amount of time on the way home before you come into the house. And when you come in, you’re bringing something with you. It might be frustration; it might be resentment; it might be fatigue; but it will be something. Here, then, are 5 prayers to pray on the way home to ask God to help you bring the right thing with you as you step foot in the house.
1. Guard my heart from the lie of entitlement.
Maybe you know the feeling. You’re put in a full day at work. Your nerves are fried. You’ve had difficult conversations. You’ve made tough decisions. You’ve exercised your brain to what you think is your limit, and now you’re headed home. This is when, unless the Lord helps us, we can easily trick ourselves into feeling such a dramatic sense of entitlement that we are ready to blow our top at anyone who infringes upon it. We have worked all day, so we tell ourselves, and now we deserve some peace and quiet. It’s that word “deserve” that always seems to get us into trouble. With the Lord’s help, though, we can recognize and fight back against that sense of entitlement, remembering that the only thing we are truly entitled to in this life is the death our sin rightfully condemns us to.
2. Help me not to confuse rest with laziness.
Those are two very different things. And while one is not only good but commanded, the other is a waste of the resources of time and energy God has given us to steward. But it’s very difficult to tell the difference. This is why we must pray, so that God will not allow us to simply sink into an easy chair for the afternoon and evening and call it rest. In fact, He may well remind us that the most “restful” thing we could actually do is take a good, long walk with the family or throw the ball around outside with the boys. Even with physical exertion, we can rest from our emotional and spiritual weariness, as God reminds us that the greater rest we need is the rest of the soul bought for us by Jesus.
3. Give me energy to be active, not passive, in my home.
It’s entirely possible for us to be present at home, and yet not be present in the home. Being present is not just about a physical location; it’s about who is receiving the focus of your attention at a given moment. And there are any number of tasks, screens, and other things to rob our homes of our true presence. Here again we need the Lord’s help to put down the phone. To turn off the TV. To look our spouse and our kids eye to eye and actually listen deeply to what they are saying, and then to feel it with them. God help us in this – help us not to be the people who are physically present but so emotionally and mentally gone.
4. Give me the wisdom and energy to ask the right questions.
Here is yet another temptation I often feel, one that’s exasperated by every kid’s standard answer when asked about their day: “Fine.” If I want to know more (and I should want to know more) it’s going to take some wisdom and creativity. And as a parent, I feel like those are in short supply. I need God’s help here, and maybe you do, too. I need Him to help me see the right places to probe with further questions and the way to ask them without bringing my children to anger. I need His help in being creative in those questions instead of demanding. And I need the energy that can only come from Him to follow through with it all.
5. Help us to create an atmosphere of safety.
This is what home should be, shouldn’t it? A safe place? A place where you don’t have to worry about how many “likes” your photo got or what the kids said at school today. This is a place where you know and are deeply known… and loved. This is home.
But this is also where we need the Lord’s help because unless we are very careful, our homes will deteriorate into just another atmosphere of competitiveness, back-biting, and dishonesty. Just another place where everyone from the top down feels like they always have something to prove.
Lord help us. Help us on the way home. Help us to bring the right “stuff” into the house so that we might be engaged, serving, energetic, wise and loving toward the people we call our families because, of course, that is exactly how You are with us.