By Marleen Flood (guest blogger)
We live in a day where busyness prevails. We are constantly on the move. We always seem to have or “need” something to do. Even so, there are times in our lives where we find that we are sitting still with “nothing to do.” I can think of several situations where this time of stillness may be the case. To mention two: during times of illness and during a long sit in a waiting room. There is, however, one situation in life that comes to the forefront of my mind, as I have been in this situation many times—a baby’s feeding time.
Babies are great blessings from the Lord. They bring us so much joy and add something special to our families, churches, and communities. They also bring us, especially parents, those quiet moments. New babies may feed up to eight hours a day. That is a lot of down time. Whether bottle-fed or breastfed, the fact is that babies eat a lot. And parents, especially mothers, spend a lot of time just sitting with their babies. We sit and sit and think about all of the things that we should be doing. We may try to hold a book or phone, but this is quite a difficult task while holding an infant. We then soon give up and just sit.
Bonding is amazing, but even bonding gets old fast at three o’clock in the morning. So what should a parent do during these quiet, long, and lonely hours? I would posit prayer. Why? Well, because prayer is something that we can do without the use of our hands. We can pray quietly, anywhere and anytime. Now, as Christians we ought to be praying anyway, though I have found that in our busy world, prayer has become more and more brief and shallow. We tend to pray in church and at meals, perhaps at bedtime, and then we throw up quick prayers throughout the day for a myriad of reasons. These types of prayer are all good. But where is the deep and thoughtful prayer? I have found through personal experience that late night feeding times are wonderful occasions for this kind of prayer.
When is the last time that we have prayed for our neighbors, long lost friends, extended family, Christians in other nations, leaders of our nation and of other nations, or the worldwide church? What about thanking God for things we forget to thank him for, like health and vigor, the ability to function in ways that others cannot, for our freedom, and for people who care about us? This list can seem overwhelming, yet it is not meant to make Christians feel guilty about their prayer lives. Jesus Christ has paid the price in full for all of our sins, both those of commission and omission. We have Christ Himself interceding for us and the Holy Spirit giving us the very words to pray. Thus, let this post be an encouragement to Christians everywhere, especially to those with little babies, to use their quiet moments to pray in a way that they may not often have the time to. I promise praying in this manner will be profitable for you and for others, and most importantly, will be glorifying to our Heavenly Father.
Note: Marleen Flood is wife to Durell, stay-at-home-mom to their seven children, and a member of Dutton United Reformed Church, Caledonia, Michigan.