Sunday, August 16, 2009

How should we teach our children to pray?

One thing I hear Christians complain about consistently is the quality (and quantity) of their prayer life... or specifically, the lack thereof. Having a deep and consistent prayer life is essential to remaining in the vine. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, and unless we remain in Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

So it is no surprise that we need to teach our children how to pray. I think the Lord's prayer is a wonderful model. You can teach children to memorize it, which has certain benefits, but it is also important to teach the principles behind the prayer. Matthew 6:9-13:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Acknowledge God, who He is, and praise Him for His greatness and holiness.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
So often I pray my list of needs, as if everything is about me, and forget to pray that God's will be done. He works everything for our good, and for His glory, so of course I want His will to be done. I want my children to desire His will also.

Give us this day our daily bread.
Ask God for our needs. He desires to give them to us. Be specific. The bible says that we do not have because we do not ask (James 4:2).

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Confess and ask God to forgive us our sins. At the same time, forgive others who have hurt us, so that we can be forgiven. That's the deal. And it's a pretty good one if you ask me.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
Before Peter denied the Lord three times, Jesus warned him that this would happen. He also told him to pray so that he wouldn't fall into temptation (Matthew 26:41). There are specific sins that we are all prone to, depending on our circumstances and personalities. Again, pray specifically for protection from these sins.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
Again, praise Him! He is worthy of all praise and honor and glory! Our awesome God!

Amen.

No comments:

Powered by WebRing.