I mentioned that our great friends and the kids God parents were visiting from the States this past week… and amidst all the chatting and catching up I thought “Oh my goodness it is time for the Sunday Snippet.” While I was wracking my brain for a topic The Godfather stepped in and typed this one up for me… My first ever guest post. Enjoy it!
I had the most amazing experience this morning while in church. When the time came for the scripture lesson to be read before the sermon, Hood 1 read from Hebrews 11. His voice was clear, his diction was perfect and he read the text with obvious feeling. It was amazing. But I shouldn’t have been amazed at all. Because over the course of our visit with the Hoods this past week, I have heard several of them pray ‘in public’ both at home and in a cafe. They talk freely to God without embarrassment — as if they were talking with him face to face.
Here’s the thing. I teach Biblical Studies at a Christian liberal arts college in the States. Each term I teach a large number of 1st years who are taking either Old Testament or New Testament Introduction. During our class sessions I often ask students to read the passage of Scripture under consideration aloud. On occasion I’ll call on someone to pray. Many of the students really struggle with this request. Perhaps, college students are more prone to having nerves in front of their peer group. But I suspect that for some of them, it’s a totally new experience.
That’s what made listening to Hood 1 read the Scripture so very exciting this morning. It’s evident that in the Hood household, children learn to read and pray aloud. They do so cheerfully and confidently — in the joy of the Lord! I confess that I am not terribly objective — these children are truly amazing. But I also suspect that this does not come about by accident. Rather, they have, over the course of their lives, had the regular experience of listening to their parents both pray and read the Scriptures aloud. It seems as natural to them as talking to one another within the family. And so it should be — we are part of God’s family, and his beloved sons and daughters.
So, what to do? Can I encourage you to begin today to read the Scriptures aloud to your children — and to encourage them to join you in this as soon as they are able to do so. Lead them in prayer aloud — and teach them that talking to their Heavenly Father is not really any different than talking to their earthly father. Flowery words and complex theological thoughts aren’t required — just a heart that longs to know the Saviour. Your children are asking: ‘Mum and Dad — teach us to pray aloud. Please!’
And lets try not to forget our Bible Verse of the Week Project, here is the sixth verse:
Bible verse of the week: from the Bible Gateway
11 Teach me your way, O LORD,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.