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Flare Prayers

Flare Prayers

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Sometimes parenting is a marathon. Other times it’s a sprint.  We can feel like we’re working so hard to keep up that we’re missing what’s important.

Early on, when I was still learning about prayer, I came across a term, flare prayers. I asked what exactly this meant. I was told this was a type of prayer we shoot off in a time of panic or distress. The person explaining it went on to say it wasn’t the best practice for prayer. She told me that I needed to get in the habit of praying regularly so that type of spur-of-the-moment communication wasn’t necessary. She even went on to say it was slightly disrespectful to call out to the Creator in that way.

I took her instruction and did my best. But life with small children can be overwhelming without the added burden of unrealistic expectations. As I hard as I tried, I still found myself in situations that called for those desperate flare prayers.

  • I used them when I was in the midst of morning chaos, getting three active boys ready for school.
  • I used them when I was driving through a parking lot looking for a space near the entrance because I was exhausted by pregnancy and the two toddlers I had in tow.
  • I used them when we lost track of our young son at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

The more I learned about prayer, and especially the more I spent time praying, the less I agreed with that original advice about flare prayers. I do believe she was correct in admonishing me to pray regularly. But this dear lady—who had never had children—was way off base with the rest of her advice.

I’ve learned that God is a loving Father who wants to hear from us about everything. He loves our regular conversations just as much as we do, but He also wants us to cry out to Him when we’re in distress. Even if it’s just an exhausted mom begging for a parking space.

He doesn’t want us to let ceremony come between our relationship, any more than we want any kind of formality to come between us and our kids. He truly wants us to run up to Him anytime we need Him. This is part of learning how to pray without ceasing.

Moms and dads, don’t hesitate to call out to Him, in times of happiness or times of stress. And never let anyone shame you into thinking your prayers aren’t the right type.

By: Edie Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including her most recent, While My Child is Away. Married to her high school sweetheart, Kirk, they live in the upstate of South Carolina and have raised three sons. Connect with her on,  Twitter and Facebook.

Join us at for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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