We say mealtime prayers and pray with our kids at bedtime, but let’s also gather the family to seek God with the expectation for Him to answer! Let’s fervently seek God’s heart and will; praise Him, thank Him, ask for forgiveness, and pray for others and our needs.
George Barna’s research revealed that less than 10% of parents in the church pray together with their kids other than at mealtimes.* Let’s change those stats one family at a time starting this Easter as we lead our kids to trust Him through prayer.
Here are 5 benefits for praying with our children:
- Teaches them how to approach God. Telling someone how to change a tire is a lot different than doing it with them. How we pray is most probably how they will pray. Praying together models for them, guides and teaches them. What a privilege it is to lead our children to connect with God!
- We hear what’s on their hearts and minds; their major concerns. We learn about their character as they share their challenges about friends, tests or siblings. It’s such a blessing to hear their prayers for those who need help or God’s healing touch.
- Helps us connect with God and each other. Nothing can restore relationships better than asking for forgiveness! We teach our children to ask for forgiveness from God and each other. We want them to know God does forgive and that we are all in need of a Savior, even mommy and daddy!
- God answers the prayer of children! God hears a child’s prayer. God listens to children; God uses children. It was a child who had the 5 loaves and 2 fish (John 6:8-9). Do you remember Josiah, the faithful boy king (2 Kings 22)? He was used to restore a nation to God. Sharing these scriptures and encouraging our kids to build their relationship with God now, communicates to our children that God wants to work through them and that He listens to them today, not just when they are older! It was Jesus who said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
- The most important benefit is so our children will experience GOD AT WORK. Too many children are going to church and hearing terrific stories of what God has done in the past, but aren’t experiencing what He is doing today outside of Sunday mornings. This is the biggest reason why the majority of children in church today are walking away: they are not experiencing the fruit of a home devoted. We must point out God’s answered prayers, so our children know He is at work; that He still answers prayers! Let’s make God known at home for doing great things here and now and then when our kids grow up and reach that age when their only hope is to rely upon God, they will know He is alive and working in their lives; that He is faithful; that He cares.
Let’s continue to sharpen each other. Respond with your comments, thoughts, questions below.
Questions to ponder individually, as a couple, or as a small group:
- How do our children experience God at work?
- When will they experience God’s answered prayers for themselves?
- Why do you think the majority of children in the church grow up and out of their faith by college?
- When can we pray together? (Suggestions: at a meal, in the car, after dinner, before going to bed, etc.)
*(Barna, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions, p. 78)