Praying with your children may seem like an arduous task, but it’s not. It’s not a task. It doesn’t have to be arduous and it’s not something you have to know how to do right now in order to be able to do it well.
Prayer is something we learn and practice.
Jesus taught the disciples about how to give, how to heal, how to have peace and how to love. In doing this, the disciples didn’t learn to act like Christ all at once. They had to walk with Jesus and practice these things.
They watched Jesus daily and learned from him as they went.
Teaching our kids to pray is like this, and one way we practice prayer is through praying God’s Word. We don’t know God’s Word front to back. We can’t always think of the right scripture to articulate our feelings. Sometimes we don’t even feel like praying. It’s understandable for us to assume we are ill equipped to teach our children, but that’s not the truth.
God’s Word says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3 NIV)
We have everything we need to teach our kids, not because of who we are but because of what we have.
We have God’s Word. It steers our hearts and speaks clarity when our souls are vacant of the proper prayer.
One of the very best ways to teach our kids how to pray God’s Word is to learn right along with them.
By thumbing through God’s Word to find a verse, we are showing them exactly how we do it as adults. If we can’t think of a verse right away, we search for it until we find it. If we can’t pray right away, we wait in silence until the words come. If we are angry, we pause and consider whom we need to forgive. If we are rushed, we slow down and take a deep breath. It is within these simple actions where children will learn the correct posture and practice of prayer.
It’s as simple as this; we practice prayer and learn God’s Word with our little ones forever.
It is up to us how diligently we keep the appointment to intentionally pursue this practicing.
Dear friend, keep making time to pray with your children. When you feel empty, instead of deciding to skip out on prayer time, show your kids how to overcome emptiness by asking God to fill you. If you are too tired, ask God to open your eyes and awaken your spirit. When life is busy, show your kids how important prayer time is by whispering, “I know today was a long day, but prayer is too important to miss.”
When you do, their ears will be listening and their mind will be remembering what you have modeled. Like Jesus, we are available to our kids daily. Let’s make the most of what we exemplify in prayer. Remember that prayer is not an arduous task but a beautiful exchange. Let our hearts keep this perspective as we pray to our Heavenly Father in unison with the voices of the precious children He has given to us.
Ruth Schwenk, TheBetterMom.com
Would you like a practical resource to help you pray God’s Word with your children? The I Can Learn to Pray book by Holly Hawkins Shivers is an excellent way to lead you and your child in this process. This resource will guide both of you through 52 weeks of various prayers and lessons to give your child confidence in saying their own heartfelt prayers. As your child grows and faces new faith challenges, this book will address all the scriptures and related feelings that your little one may experience. Having this book will encourage you to keep your daily prayer appointment so that you both can complete this book in one year! Each devotion is short enough to keep your child’s attention while offering them something to apply to their own life. You will learn right along with them as you both practice praying God’s Word together.
What steps have you taken to teach your child to pray God’s Word? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced and what are some of the joys you’ve shared on this prayer path with your little one?