There are certain life-phrases that stick with us and create a warm glow in our hearts. “Tuck me in, Mommy” is one of those phrases — the time spent between a parent and child where intimate reflections and conversation occur — the re-bonding of two hearts at the close of a day.
As a result, this time-honored phrase provides the perfect tone and framework for evaluating how we can more effectively increase the time we spend in prayer. It’s all about “tucking.”
Luke 5:16 records that Jesus would often slip away and pray. Another way of saying this might be: “Jesus often found moments to tuck-in conversation with his Father.”
What a great concept for busy parents. After all, the demands on Jesus’ time were similar to the demands on working parents or parents with large families. How did Jesus find time to pray? One way is clear — he made time by tucking it in around the events of his busy day. He did it so frequently that it became a way of life.
So what are the moments in which we can tuck prayer? Here is my list:
In the shower.
Watching children board the bus.
While walking or exercising.
Whenever I pass an apple tree.
Upon seeing or reading something interesting.
In the car, on the way to wherever.
In the midst of frustration.
After fulfilling conversations, before I start another task.
When overhearing gossip.
While watching the sunset.
In the dark of night when the moon and stars take my breath away.
Three intriguing things about this way of approaching prayer are:
1) The concept is endearing. For me there are no heavy “oughts” involved — only privilege.
2) It’s fun to look for new places in my life to tuck-in time to talk with God.
3) Children mimic what they observe in those they admire. If meaningful prayer is part of my everyday life, it has a greater chance of becoming part of my children’s lives also. (Tucked-in prayers don’t always have to be alone. They can include others.)
Dearest Father, Teach me to often slip away from my hectic schedule and pray — just like Jesus. Make me more aware of times I can use to tuck in just another few moments with you. I love you. Amen.
Note to Parents: What a wonderful opportunity we have to teach our children to tuck-in prayers into their day by guiding them to converse with God when they are tucked into bed. If you feel stuck in this endeavor, I recommend my children’s book, My Whole Self Before You. It is an illustrated rhythmical child’s prayer and learning guide modeled after the Lord’s Prayer. The pictures, words, and Bible readings give parents plenty of material for increasing meaningful prayer and discussion about knowing God. The yellow book is great for 0-4, green book 4-8, and the frog book 8 and up.