Monday, September 29, 2008

Teaching a Child to Pray

I believe in tiny prayers prayed by tiny people. :) My kids love to pray.... when they can understand what is going on and truly reach out to God. Their little hearts are huge in their capacity for faith, and I can learn from them every day.

"People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."" Luke 18:15-17

So the question is, how do I let my little children go to God, and not hinder them? I believe one way is by encouraging them to pray in a childlike way, a real way for their tiny lives. Here are some of our favourite ways to connect to God:

We make ourselves small on the ground in a bowed down "bubble" position, and give God thanks and praise for everything that comes to mind. Humility is easy for a child (usually) and this teaches them to be small before their BIG God. And its fun! My kids love to call out "Bubble Prayer!!!" and watch us all bow down.
Teach them this verse: "Come, let us bow down and worship him. Let us fall on our knees in front of the Lord our Maker. Psalm 95:6"

Sometimes I just cuddle up with my boys at night and sing a prayer while they listen. It has no particular melody but just is a "talking to God" prayer sung out loud. Amazing how singing captures the attention and hearts of little children. They listen to these prayers... and are always eager to sing their own prayers too.
Teach them this verse: "Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth." Psalm 96:1

I often start a prayer with, "Hi God! Here we are. Hope you are happy with what we have done today. If not, we are sorry. So... thanks for... this is what we ask... You are so nice to us... " etc. A real conversation with small words that little ears can follow and genuinely add an "amen" to.
There is a great principle in the verses
1 Corinthians 14:16-17: "Suppose you are praising God with your spirit. And suppose there are visitors among you who don't understand what's going on. How can they say "Amen" when you give thanks? They don't know what you are saying. You might be giving thanks well enough. But the others are not being built up."

My prayer is that I will be leading my children to God and building in them the desire to stay in His presence, because He is real for them, and loves them perfectly. Amen.

1 comment:

Perfectlove said...

haha, I love your creativity.
keep up the good work!

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