Praying as a family is fun!

Jan 30 2020

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How can you help your children to love to talk with God?

As parents, we would so like our children to love to speak with their heavenly Father – to have this trust and desire to come and freely express to their Creator all the things they experience, their joys and also their challenges. After all, we KNOW that it is their relationship with God and the revelation of Jesus in their lives that will lead them to fully enter into their destiny. It is the image they have built of God the Father that will allow them to come to Him and ask for guidance when they are no longer under our protection. So how can we help them to love prayer? How can we help them to see prayer as something interesting, fun and essential?

First of all (and we already know this very well) children learn by example. Our role would be to make sure that our children know or can notice that we love to pray. How can we do this? By the way we speak or the language we use when we talk about prayer, we can show that it is something natural and everyday. For example, “yesterday when I talked with God” or “while you are taking a nap, I will spend time with God, I like to talk with Him” or “I had a difficult day, I would like to talk to God about it”.

The Bible also encourages us to tell the next generation about the beautiful things God has done in our lives. Psalm 78:4 (VDD) tells us, “We will not hide them from our children. We will tell the generations to come about the glorious deeds of the Lord, His power and the wonderful things He has done”. Further on, in verse 7, we are told why: “And their children’s children will be able to put their trust in God. They will not forget His deeds; they will obey His commandments”. This is the dream of every parent! Talking to our children about what God is doing in our lives will encourage them to also want to have a relationship with the Lord. They will want to talk with this real God, this God who is doing great things in our lives.

Practically, how do we pray with our children? In response to the request of His disciples – “Lord, teach us to pray” – Jesus entrusts them with the Lord’s Prayer, the fundamental prayer that nourishes all prayers and gives us a foundation. With children, we can take this model and adapt it with simpler and more meaningful words.


Here are some tips that could help you to pray with your children:

Gratitude

Questions to ask our children:

  • What did you like most about your day?
  • Can you name 3 things you liked most about your day?

Great! We’ll thank the Lord for that! Because He is the source of all good things.

Requests

Questions to ask our children:

  • Do you need God’s help with anything?
  • What would you like to ask God for today?

Great, God is Almighty. He loves you and He want to help you! You can ask Him for whatever you need.

Repentance

Questions to ask our children:

  • Is there anything you’d like to apologize for?
  • Did you do something today that you know was wrong?

It’s OK, we all make mistakes. The Lord just asks us to repent and ask for forgiveness and when we do, He forgives us and we can move on! He also helps us do better next time. We all need God’s help to do the right thing. You can ask Him for forgiveness now.

Forgiveness

Questions to ask our children:

  • Did you experience anything difficult today?
  • Has anyone been mean or unkind to you today?

I understand, it’s hard when someone hurts us. But we can give this sadness to God and He will exchange it for His peace and joy. Also, we will forgive that person, you will feel better by doing that.

Intimacy

Questions to ask our children:

  • Is there anything you’d like to share with God today?
  • Is there anything you would like to tell God?

That’s great, God is close and He loves to hear your stories. You can share everything with Him.

Listening to Him

Question to ask our children:

  • Would you like to listen to God?

A conversation is a two-way street. God speaks in many ways: it can be in your heart or it can be through the Bible. You can close your eyes and wait a while to listen in your thoughts.


It is also important to create a good atmosphere of trust and grace, so that children can express what is in their hearts; to show them that we, the parents, also need to pray, forgive and repent. We too make mistakes and experience difficult things, but God, who is good and who sent His Son Jesus to restore the relationship with us, cares about us and wants to help us.

If you are short of time, simply choose one or two questions to ask your child. Why not start with gratitude?

Our desire as parents is for our children to have a real relationship with God. This means demystifying prayer and making it attractive and accessible, so that it becomes natural for them to turn to God in all circumstances, without fear of being judged but knowing that God’s grace and love is accessible to them. Let’s create the habit in our families of remembering the good things God has done in our lives and invite our children to speak with God; this is the best legacy we can leave them.

Peter and Tatiana Rothlisberger
Family Leaders – Paris Campus