When I think of what I want my kids to know spiritually by the time they are grown, high on the list is the value and power of prayer. I want them to know that God is relational, interested and involved in our lives. By the time they are leaving my household, I want them to have an established repertoire of answered prayer and a big concept of who their God is.
So, we seize every opportunity (and shouldn’t we, as adults, too?) to teach about prayer. We pray at meals and bedtime, but we also pray at other times…when someone is sick or if we are presented with a prayer request. It is my desire that my kids learn to pray in times of trial but also in times of thanksgiving, that it be as natural as breathing to them.
One of our new family routines is to pray on the way to school. Now, keep in mind that my son is in preschool, so our prayer time revolves around praying that he would be a good listener and a good friend, that the Lord would bless his teacher and the other children. Sometimes my kids ‘shout out’ a couple other things they are thankful for, but for the most part, it is pretty short and simple…and a great way to start off the day!
I do imagine a day when we are praying for the deeper issues pressing on their hearts. You know, the inevitable conflicts at school (heart-wrenching for the moms too), tests and yes, (big sigh) even for relationships.
By praying with my kids at this early stage, I hope to make it a habit, not only for me and not only for them, but for us as a family. I believe it will build our relationship but also introduce them and keep in the forefront the One who has changed my (and my husband’s) life forever.
How do you teach the importance of prayer to your kids? What kinds of things do you pray for?