Teaching Kids the Power of Prayer
Prayer should be as natural as breathing.
After all, in Thessalonians, Paul tells us to pray without ceasing.
For the longest time, I wondered what that meant. I couldn’t imagine being on my knees 24/7! Who would raise the children? Make dinner? Do the laundry?
Patiently, over many years God opened my eyes. I gradually realized that it really means inviting Him into all those tasks as I’ve doing them. Breathing simple, sometimes one-word prayers as worries cross my mind. As I face unexpected dilemmas throughout my day — both big and small. Thanking Him for ways I see Him working throughout my day.
Every time we do this, we acknowledge the power of prayer.
Bottom line: It’s a “top of the mind” awareness of God’s presence. Asking Him for His guidance, praising Him for His answers easily and naturally as we go about our day.
I was a little slow on the uptake in this area. So I have been trying to give my kids a head start. Had I known years ago, the power that is unleashed by this kind of continual prayer and relationship with God, I would have been a lot quicker to get with the program.
It’s great to tell our kids about prayer. But I’ve found that showing them the power of prayer in our everyday lives has been so much more effective. Making that direct connection to keeping in communication with God and how it affects our lives and our sense of peace. So how can we help make prayer their “go to” response as they encounter obstacles, challenges and triumphs throughout their days? Here’s a few things I’ve found helpful:
I began praying with my kids before they could pray themselves. When all they could do was clasp their chubby little hands together and bow their sweet heads. They never remember a time when prayer was not a part of their lives. But mom, if you haven’t been as consistent in this as you wish, don’t despair. Start now. Our God has the power to redeem those lost years. (Joel 2:25). He has done this for me in so many areas of parenting!
Do it yourself.
I tell my kids what I’m praying for. Specific ways I’ve seen Him answer prayers in my life. Big things. Little ways He’s been so sweet to me.
Point out and celebrate answers to prayer.
Foster an environment of gratefulness and point them constantly to where our blessings come from. This can be in the simplest of ways. For example, here’s a recent text conversation between my daughter and I. She had lost her wallet and was panicked. We both prayed to find it. Later in the day she sent me this:
This is pretty typical of both text and verbal interactions I have with both of my kids throughout the day. See? These don’t have to be long, drawn-out, in-depth heart-to-hearts (however, sometimes they are. Ask God to help you be aware of when they’re open to these!)
Share the power of prayer in your own life.
God has been so faithful to me, time and time again. I’m sure He has been to you, too. Our kids need to know this. I share answered prayers and ways He’s helped me through struggles. I also share how He’s guiding me and helping me through current struggles — the ones I’m in right now. The depth and detail to which we share will depend on our kids’ ages of course, but we can even share our journey in simple form with our little ones.
Teaching our kids to rely on their Creator — moment by moment — is the most valuable gift we can give them.
They’ll see and experience the power of prayer as they pray to a God who cares deeply about their every concern.
It’s a lesson they won’t forget.