Without communication, there is no relationship. It is a simple truth that applies to our relationship with God. As such, the subject of prayer is a crucial one in the context of your child’s journey along the Faith Path.
Parents have a responsibility to teach their children, by both demonstration and instruction, what it means to communicate with God through prayer, and to establish the practice of praying together as a family.
Some people understand prayer to be a big speech to God. From that understanding grows a hesitation to engage for fear of messing up the delivery, bringing up an inappropriate or unimportant topic, or lacking some divine format. But prayer is the honest conversation of our heart and God’s heart. It is talking to and with the Lord God as we talk with another family member.
The subject of our prayers, and your child’s prayers, have no limit. We are instructed in Ephesians 6:18, “… pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Giving thanks, adoration, petition, and confession all delight the Lord when we bring them to his feet. This is what our children must know from our teaching and from what they see in our own lives.
When you teach your child to talk to God you help your child:
- Connect with God
- Have access to God
- Praise God
- Seek God
When you model prayer to your child they need to see:
- Honest prayer
- Regular prayer
- Natural communication with God
Have you ever listened to how we, as parents, pray? Often we barely scratch the surface of what’s going on in life with survival-type prayers.
Don’t let them get pregnant in high school.
Keep them from doing drugs.
Help me not ground them until they’re sixty.
Those are important prayers, but we want to encourage “pinpoint prayers,” the kind of prayers that Jesus modeled for us in Matthew 6 with the Lord’s Prayer: Biblical and Specific. This is how we should pray for and with our children. We believe you’ll see transformation as your children grow to understand the importance of prayers, and come to know their importance by how you intentionally and specifically pray for them.
And there is no better prayer script than the Word of God itself. In Psalm 119, the longest chapter of the longest book in the Bible, there are 153 verses dealing specifically with the Word of God. These are promises to pray over your children. That’s just in one chapter; you have the whole book to work with.
When you pray together as a family…
- Ask, “What can we pray for today?” and “How can we pray for you?”
- Encourages children to think about and become engaged in their own lives.
- Your interest in them teaches them about God’s interest in them.
- Establish your own prayer traditions. Be creative!
- The emphasis on prayer takes your child’s understanding of prayer to a new level.
- Your child will see that prayer matters.
- You set the standard of prayer in their lives.
- Children are taught Biblical truth and about the character of God.
- You grow in wisdom, as do your children.
- The family becomes more connected God and to one another.
Prayer is a powerful gift from God, and you have been entrusted with the responsibility to teach your children about that power, its source, and its purpose.
The resources we are providing cannot replace your teaching, but are meant to support you and guide you into a greater quality and theology of prayer.
To help you get started, this kit includes a guide that offers practical tips and what we consider the best resources on the topic of prayer. The kit also includes a Prayer Calendar ideal for dry erase notes that can help your child create a habit of prayer.
Right now, a film about the power of prayer is being shown nationwide, aptly named The War Room. For more information about the film or to find it in a theater near you, check out www.warroomthemovie.com.