Teaching our children to pray is probably one of the most important “skills” we can give them. They need to know that no matter what life may throw at them, they can take it to Jesus. He will guide, comfort and give wisdom, but we also need to teach our children that Jesus is not just a genie in a bottle that we can call upon ONLY when we need/want something. Prayer really is a learned skill.
Teach your children to pray with JOY and let them see the power of God in their lives!
J – Thanking JESUS for all that He is and has done is something we can so easily forget to do! We start looking at our present situation and forget all that Jesus has already done in our lives. Taking the time out of our day to just simply thank Him for all he has done can lift our spirits and cause us to be grateful rather than downcast. When your kids are worrying about something, remind them to count their blessings and thank Jesus for all that He done for them… they will realize that Jesus already has everything under control and the worry will begin to fade!
O – Praying for OTHERS teaches us to be humble. Sometimes it is so easy to be consumed with our own problems that we forget to pray for others. I often personally find that when I pray for others before myself, my problems no longer seem so bad! When I’m worrying about a situation and begin to pray for others, I find my focus changes. I become less selfish and find that I begin to dwell on all of the positive in my own life. My priorities change… Our family is healthy and happy… worrying about that upcoming move or job change seems so minor when I stop to pray for others who maybe are sick and hurting or do not have a job.
Are you sensing a theme here yet? Yep… praying requires thankfulness!
Y – Now that you’ve spent time thanking JESUS and praying for OTHERS, you can spend a few minutes focusing on YOURSELF. By the time you get to this last step, your problems will seem so much smaller. Don’t feel like your problems are unimportant though! Jesus wants to hear about your day. He wants to know how you are feeling. He wants to hear you ask for his help and guidance. He wants a personal relationship with you… Just like you have to talk with your friends and family to keep a relationship strong, Jesus wants to talk with YOU! He wants you to share what is on your heart. Sharing your problems and concerns is not wrong. In fact, that is what He wants you to do! Thanking Jesus for all He has done and praying for others just changes your perspective and gives you a positive outlook before coming to Jesus and just “unloading” your burdens on him. Oh… did you know that Jesus wants us to “cast all of our cares” on Him? Jesus has pretty big shoulders… I think he can handle all of our problems!
The Bible says Jesus will “provide all of our needs” and we can teach our children to be expectant and thankful for all of those provisions!
Looking for a tool to help teach your kids to be thankful for God’s blessings? Check out A Pumpkin Prayer! Colorful pumpkins, crunching leaves, crisp breezes―celebrate the abundance of the harvest season through charming illustrations and sweet rhymes that are perfect for young hearts. Families will want to look for other titles in the new Time to Pray series including An “I Love You” Prayer.
How do you teach your children to pray for and trust God’s provision?