What's your biggest challenge as a dad right now? One dad said, "Giving myself to my family after a long day at work. Giving them all my attention even when I’m tired and cranky."
Trust me. I get it. It's easier to disengage after a day at work.
But, God calls us to something better. If we can get back to basics of prayer, we just might find enough energy to thrive at work and home.
Question: Does prayer REALLY help you have more energy at work and home?
As you know if you've been following my last few posts, I’m nothing if not practical.
I want to know what works and what doesn’t. I don’t want someone to tell me my kids should be the most important part of my day, to point out the lies I hang onto, and then to leave me hanging without some practical tips of what to do to help.
I've promised NOT be the guy who leaves you hanging. This post is habit four of six. Six habits of what I think are the most practical habits we most often overlook.
The point is to give you practical habits you can implement in your life so you have the energy you need for both work and home.
The first habit was finding rest. We simply need to get more rest. I believe we can operate as we are called to by God if we get some of these practical steps in order with our physical lives.
The next habit was drinking enough water. We can't operate at optimum performance if we aren't properly hydrated—and most of us aren't doing this well. Ask your doctor!
The third habit was handling our physical bodies through exercising and eating well. Let's talk about the fourth vital habit.
Re-engage your prayer life.
We tend to divide our lives into different compartments–spiritual, social, physical and so on. The reality is all these areas are inter-connected and inter-dependent on the others.
It's why Manhood Journey created the Field Guides for dads in the first place. To get at helping the ten most common struggles we all face as dads.
Here's the deal: A strengthening of your prayer life can help you with energy at both work and home.
Your prayer life helps you maintain focus on what’s important, declare dependency on God and rely on God’s protection.
"Our Father in Heaven"
Jesus offered a model prayer for us to learn from that we often refer to as The Lord’s Prayer. The first part of that prayer is about focusing on who God is and what He’s about.
Matthew 6:9b-10 says, “’Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
“Your prayer life helps you maintain focus on what’s important, declare dependency on God and rely on God’s protection.”
Are your prayers primarily about you or about God?
Jesus challenged us to pray first by acknowledging who God is; and, second by seeking His kingdom agenda.
You probably have your own agenda when it comes to what you’d like to accomplish in your job, family and recreational activities.
A key to maintaining energy you need for family time is to have your heart focused in the right place.
"Give us today our daily bread"
The next part of Jesus’ prayer comes in Matthew 6:11-12, “Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
I believe the focus on daily bread highlights a key function of prayer. A healthy prayer life reminds you of your dependency on God.
Get this part right so you can address the bigger issues of leadership, communication and discipline of your child.
Our culture loves to tell stories of self-made people. The greatest value in our society is to be independent.
But in God’s kingdom, we are called to continually shift our lives from a position of independence to one of total dependence on God.
So, when you feel like you don’t have enough to give back to your family, you’re probably right. On your own, you don’t have what it takes to be all that your family needs.
But with God’s help, you have everything you need to do all that God has called you to do.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
Matthew 6:13 shows us how we are to rely on protection from God. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
You have an enemy who would love to see you get taken out of the game of life.
Satan would love for you to come home each night and be completely disengaged from your family. Make the better choice. Choose to rely on God’s protection. Ask God to protect you from temptation and spiritual attack.
Temptation will come your way at some level, so decide to choose wisely how you will respond.
Vital habits so you thrive at work and home > series recap
- Habit #1 from this series was on Finding Rest
- Habit #2 discussed the importance of drinking enough water
- Habit #3 covered our physical bodies
About the author > Mike Lovato, M. Div.
Mike lives in Riverside, California with his wife, Nicole and two daughters, Addison & Harper. He’s a graduate of California Baptist University and Gateway Seminary. Mike has served on staff at Magnolia Church since 2005, loves good coffee & enjoys being a weekend explorer. Learn more about Mike here and get his Field Guide Power Plant.