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Charlotte Mason on Prayer

PrayingIf there is one thing I have become strongly convinced of over recent years, it is the importance of praying for our children. Every day. We cannot know what thoughts assail our children’s minds and hearts, all that transpires within their spirits; yet our Heavenly Father knows perfectly. And more than that, He is the One Who has access to those inner regions to comfort, convict, reassure, and redirect.

I challenge you to make a commitment this month to pray for each of your children every day by name. Ask Him to do what you cannot, and surrender yourself anew to do what you can and as He directs.

But that is only a tip of the iceberg. Charlotte spotlighted two complementary principles that we would do well to keep in mind when it comes to prayer—for our children and for all of life.
Charlotte said, “We must give ourselves time to pray and times of prayer.”

Do you give yourself time to pray as you go about your daily tasks—to recognize God’s hand in what you witness around you? Or are you so busy, harried, and distracted that there is no room in your mind or your schedule for any thought of God to squeeze in?

Charlotte described the sweet ideal of living each day in constant communion with God: “A hundred times a day our thoughts turn Godward in penitence, in desire, in fear, in aspiration, and—this is a truly delightful thought—in sympathy. Our hearts glow with delight at the blue of a gentian, the glory of a star, the grace of some goodness that we get news of: we lift up our hearts unto the Lord, though without a word; and the throb is one of sympathy, for we know that His delight, also, is in beauty and goodness.

“These continual movements of the soul Godward hardly seem to us to be prayer, but they meet with response. We cry in fear, and hope is spoken to us; in penitence, and we breathe peace; in sympathy, and we expand in love. These are the answers of our ‘Almighty Lover’ to the dull, uncertain movements of our poor hearts.”

What a blessed refreshment is in store when we purposely keep enough margin in our day to allow us to pray as we walk through it!

Such a budding habit of prayer will be reinforced by the second prayer principle Charlotte mentioned: “But, though there is this continual commerce between God and the Soul, the habit of prayer must be strengthened by set seasons, places, and purposes.”

Just as private time spent one-on-one with your spouse prepares you both to be on the same page in the daily pushes and pulls of life with the children, so setting aside specific times and places for the purpose of focused prayer will tune our hearts to God’s still, small voice and prepare us to hear it in the midst of the daily-ness of life.

We need both: time to pray and times of prayer.

(For more on prayer, read Volume 4, Book 2, pages 188–190.)

2 Responses to “Charlotte Mason on Prayer”

  1. Marguerite May 3, 2015 at 7:26 am #

    I love this, thank you!!

  2. Jamie May 29, 2015 at 9:53 am #

    I really like this blog and website that appeared on my newsfeed. Thank you. The blog on prayer is a reminder to me of putting God first every day. If I do not do this as soon as I wake up I get too busy with ‘ life’ and then I end up leaving the ‘ Lifegiver’ out. Connecting to God and loving Him first above everything else is ‘ life sustaining, life enabling, and life’s loving measure poured out to others’ all through the power of the Holy Spirit. I have always liked Charlotte Masons ways on education as well as living the purposeful Christian life.

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