It might sound crazy but I don’t really pray with my kids. I pray for them. A lot. But I realized this morning I just don’t pray with them.
Prayer is so important not just for us as individuals but as families and as the body of Christ.
And really how well our children learn how to pray if we are not there praying with them?
I think about all the things that they can learn from praying with us. They can hear the many different ways and things that we talk to God about every day. They can hear and see our honesty, are open communication with God. They can hear us bring the big things and the little things before Him.
Sure we can tell our kids that God loves to hear from them and wants to be included in every little thing that matters to them but if we don’t show that what does it matter?
When we pray with them we can show them our faith, we show them are needed, we show them I depend upon God for all things.
No we pray at meals but it never occurred to me that perhaps we could go deeper. What if we allow just one to say the prayer before meals each day? I think the same could be said for bedtime. Instead of us praying and then simply being present, get them involved and make it something intentional. They will get into the habit of praying and be a great example for the little ones too.
My oldest son has always been fascinated with missionaries and the idea of preaching the gospel. I found out not long ago that his Sunday school teacher has nicknamed him their Little Preacher.
Does he understand though that praying for a family or friends, neighbors and even the strangers that live in our community makes him a missionary? When we pray for those we know are sick and have a need, we too are on the mission field.
God’s word tells us to pray for those leaders, who are in authority. I think of that was in the government locally and nationally. Even our country, how desperately all need prayer. Perhaps it is time to teach and reach out more specifically to our communities. I will split we see God move?
Then there are the Scriptures themselves how we love the Psalms! My sons Bible quizzing program had a whole year where we studied only those verses and what a beautiful year it was. May we gather together with our children and pray the word of God together.
A number of years ago we had a prayer box in our house. Nothing fancy, just a small shoebox that my oldest son decorated. It was where we would write down our needs or the needs of others. Every now and then we would open that box and go through those little pieces of paper to see what the Lord had done. Talk about ways to testify to the goodness of God!
I don’t know about you but I need to be more intentional. I need to spend more time praying, not just for my children, but with my children. One mama recommended trying “round robin prayer” for you pray oldest to youngest.
My family will certainly be giving this a try. What habit is more important for our children to develop and strengthen than that of prayer? And they do say the family that prays together stays together.