Today I am so excited to share with you a guest post by Bre from the blog My Abiding Home on the importance of praying with our children.
Bre is a young, Christin wife and mother who is passionate about being the heart of her home and encouraging others to do the same through discipleship and healthy living
I hope you are as encouraged by her words as I was xo
It is imperative that parents are praying with their Children. There is power in prayer and our children need to be taught that.
Growing up in a home that did not pray taught me some things. Being saved much later than some, at age 18, I distinctly remember being intimidated by prayer as a new Christian. I’m certain I’m not alone in how I felt.
Often, we think that we have to say a certain thing when we pray for it to be heard. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Prayer is simply talking to God. But how would a child know that if they don’t see or hear what that is to look and sound like? I feel so grateful to have found a mentor who taught me to do this well.
I hope this post leaves you encouraged and enlightened on just how important it is to pray. Ultimately, I pray that all who read this post feel the overwhelming desire to teach their children to pray.
What prayer is not:
Let’s start out by talking about what prayer isn’t. Prayer does not take the place of knowing and loving God’s word. Another thing prayer is not is, it is not a special set of words or phrases that we can say to win God’s favour or get what we want. That is not to say that God doesn’t see the desires of our hearts, but we need to desire His will alone.
I’ve witnessed that some people, specifically unbelievers, get uncomfortable when being around a praying Christian. This is simply due to the fact that God has not opened their hearts to receive Him. This should not shy Christians away from praying in public. God can use even our simple prayer to draw and unbeliever to Himself.
An example of consistent prayer
The power that prayer has is truly unfathomable. I have witnessed this countless times. One example that stands out for me is the prayer I said over my husband for years. There were times I got discouraged when it didn’t seem that God was answering my prayer like I wanted. My persistence and faith in Christ produced fruit in the form of God answering that prayer years later. Though, it is important to note that sometimes God does not answer our prayers in the way that we think he should.
For some time I prayed that God would mold my husband into a godly man that I could physically see. Some examples I wanted to see were of my husband reading The Bible daily, saying genuine prayers, and encouraging me in my walk with The Lord. All of those things are great but I was focusing on what I wanted God to change in my husband, instead of praying for myself! I was seriously SO selfish. Nevertheless, God still answered my prayer.
I am in complete awe and admiration that God would answer the prayer of a broken sinner, me! Since praying, my husband is now reading God’s word with me daily, raising up godly sons, and has been voted in as an elder at our church due to his passion to love on God’s people. The prayer I prayed for 2 years was answered 10 fold and I am forever grateful.
That is just one example of how God has answered my prayers, personally. Hundreds of other answered prayers I could share with you as well. Pray fervently, as we are called to do in His Word. The bible gives us an explanation of what this is to look like. See James 5:16 where He tells us that we need to pray for one another and we will be healed! Praise God that the verse doesn’t say might be or could be saved, instead it says…”WILL be healed.”
Practical Tips For Praying With Your Children
- Get on their level and show them that they need not be fearful of prayer.
- Pray at all times of day, without seizing. Pray when an ambulance goes by or when someone comes to mind who you’ve been meaning to pray for. This way they know that prayer isn’t just for mealtimes or bedtime, but for anytime!
- Teach them how God instructs us to pray in His Word. 1 John 3:22 tells us to “pray without ceasing.” This means we are to pray continuously. Matthew 6:5 is instruction straight from God telling us how to do so. Read this Lord’s prayer to them daily so that they understand The Lord’s instructions.
- Consistency is key. Over time your children will begin to take over prayer times and begin doing it on their own without even really thinking about it. This will take time and consistency for us to be praying in front of them and with them.
- Make prayer a fun activity not a chore. One way to do this is with your attitude. Our children can see and feel if our words are sincere.
- Teach them to always pray in Jesus’ name. They should know that it is in Jesus alone that we are able to come to The Father in prayer.
- Lastly, be patient with them. My toddler is so used to me praying that he expects it for every booboo he gets. This took time for him to first expect prayer. Don’t give up on consistently praying.
Lord, I pray that every eye that looks upon these words would feel encouraged by you. You alone are worthy of our praise and you alone can teach us to pray for our children. Please help us to do that today. Thank you that you do hear us and see our desire to raise godly, praying children. In Jesus’ name, amen!