The Bible places great emphasis on prayer. We read many examples of how important prayer was to Jesus (Luke 5:16). We are taught that prayer should be for God's benefit and not to gain favor in the eyes of men (Matthew 6:5–6), and that we need not use "many words" in an attempt to impress Him (v. 7). We are even given examples of the words we should use (vv. 9–13).
But why, exactly, is prayer so important to our Lord? Incredibly, it is an expression of His desire to have a relationship with us. Though it is impossible to explain why, our Lord wishes to know us intimately—to have a personal, two-way conversation with each of His children. Though He can read our minds, He wants us to seek Him, to love Him, and to talk with Him daily. The reason is that there is no relationship in eavesdropping!
As a father or mother, you naturally desire a close relationship with your kids. You appreciate hearing about their new discoveries and joys. When they tell you they are afraid, you quickly offer reassurance. Our heavenly Father, who loves us even more than we love our own children, responds to our prayers in the same way. Scripture tells us that "the prayer of the upright pleases him" (Proverbs 15:8). That's true for you, your spouse, and your kids. Let's please our loving Lord by seeking Him often in prayer.
My great-grandfather George McCluskey prayed every morning from eleven to noon for his children and for future generations of his family. Toward the end of his life, he announced that God had made him a promise: Every member of four generations of his family would become Christians. That promise has been working itself out in remarkable ways. By the time I came along, every family member from my great-grandfather to me not only had accepted Christ, but also had been or were ministers. H. B. London, my cousin and a member of the fourth generation, is also a minister. I am the only one who did not feel specifically called to this service. Yet considering the hundreds of times I have talked to audiences about the gospel of Christ, I feel like an honorary member of the team!
My great-grandfather is long dead, but he still provides the richest source of inspiration for me. If you want to have that kind of impact on your family, we suggest you get on your knees daily and seek God's power and blessing through prayer—not only for your children, but for future generations as well.
From Dr. and Mrs. Dobson's book Night Light for Parents.