There is this idea that when we pray for our children it should be in a solitary place at the end of the day as we go to bed, or during our quiet times in the morning… and there is nothing wrong with that but I want my children to know that I am praying for them throughout the day… for the big things and the little things… for the difficult things and the wonderful things… By wearing my heart on my sleeve and praying out-loud with them throughout the day I am hopefully teaching them that Our God is a living God, part of our lives every moment of every day – not just during Sunday morning church and not just during Bible Study, not just Grace before a meal. I really want my children to know that prayer is a way of life and that they do have direct access to our God…
Folk often think that children are too small to understand the nuances of prayer. When we pray with our children the idea is that they only understand short simple prayers but I have found that my children can understand complicated themes in books and movies… why should their prayers be a collection of sweet and blessed little thoughts. Pray with your children about everything and you will see that they respond and eventually they will want to pray in a meaningful way too.
Se7en + 1 Ways to Talk to My Children Through Prayer:
- Many a teaching moment can be had during prayer: When a child hurts some one else’s feelings I can tell them to think about how the person they offended feels, they naturally become defensive… just as I would. It is often easier to move in close with that child and pray out-loud for their heart, asking that God might help them understand how the offended child feels. Somehow having God on their side helps them to know that they are loved even when they are in the wrong. Often a child will say Amen with me and be able to confront their “opponent” ready to ask for forgiveness and ready to heal the pain they may have inflicted.
- Many a Lazy Day is Avoided: How often do we feel like lingering longer, way after we should have started our chores and gotten school going in the morning. I have found that as we leave the breakfast table a quick pray that we might work really hard and serve the Lord with all our heart in the hours that follow, can really get us all out of our lazy rut and into the spirit of doing our best.
- Many a Beautiful Day is Noticed: How easy is it to get up in the morning and just get straight into the chores and by the time you get out the door to hang the laundry you have quite forgotten to thank God for another beautiful day… How often do we stop and look at amazing bug, or a beautiful flower… we are filled with wonder. It takes just a small effort to say thank-you to God for his amazing creation. When we spend our days saying thank-you it becomes so much easier to appreciate the wonderful blessings that are literally showered upon us.
- Many a Greedy Heart is Contented: When a child has a serious case of the “I wants” or “Everyone else…” A prayer of gratitude and thanks for all the blessings that we do have can often be pivotal in them seeing that many of the things we want are just that… things we want but not things we need or even really desire at all. When you get on a level with your child and prayer for the children of the world that need a blanket that night or whose tummies are empty that night… suddenly the fact that they don’t have the latest and greatest gadget is not actually that important.
- Many a Pain is Eased: Only a parents can know often in a day a child can approach you with a minor scratch and a tiny scrape and a potential bump and an impending bruise and it literally can go on all day… All these injuries can be treated with a trip to the first aid box and multiple creams anne bandages… but very often it is prayer that is the medicine that the heart is after that really counts. Before I grab a dose of medicine I always pray with my kids that they might receive comfort from their aches and pains.
- Many a Fear is Eased: There is this strange idea that children should grow up worry free, but I have found that my children do worry and hiding things from them doesn’t help at all. They just find other things to worry about – we are natural worriers. This is your chance to turn them into warriors, prayer warriors. I have found it more comforting to them to understand what is worrying them and to prayer for strength and comfort with them can really ease their worries. Huge worries because a friend’s dad died, little worries because the gas tank is way too low to get to the gas station, all these worries can be prayed for.
- Many a totally Overwhelming Day Can Become Manageable: How often have you looked at your to-do list and just thought – where on earth do I start… my kids can feel exactly the same way about school and chores and assignments and getting the library books back… When we pray that God’s will be done, no matter how many things we have on that to-do list, it often becomes a whole lot easier to prioritize our day and to leave the things that really just aren’t part of the bigger picture!!!
- Many a Miserable Child Can Know that they are Loved Despite Themselves: There are days when a child of mine has behaved less than admirably and they have received a lot of flack from ALL the people that they live with… often that child can be feeling quite pitiful and unloved. By praying with that child and asking God that that child knows that we love them more than anything and that their hearts may be filled with love despite their bad day can help to ease that pain.
And the se7en + 1th thing – my trump card:
I am not for a moment saying that prayer replaces discipline and training, but if I sit and pray with them, not only do they learn to pray in times of distress, but they learn to feel the comfort of prayer as it wraps around them. And I know it works because there are plenty of times when my parenting is far, far from perfect, and yet as my kids get older they will say to me “Let’s pray together.” Many times, when I have deserved a rebuke, and received a kind word of prayer… it has not only comforted me but restored my attitude.
Last week I updated all our Sunday Snippet posts and they can be found by clicking on the Sunday Snippet button, if you want to read more then you are welcome to click on and explore!