As humbling as it is to admit, I have failed as a mom many times. There were times with each of my four kids when I just got it wrong. They are all young adults now and they survived. THANK GOD that He is there to stand in the gap when we fall short. However, I do take great comfort in knowing that I got one thing right . . . I taught my kids to pray.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is prayer. For them to learn how to reach out to the Creator of the universe is priceless. Life can be beautiful but it can also be devastating and difficult to navigate. Why wouldn’t you take all your hardships to the One who cares and helps?
Our kids need us to pray for them and to teach them to pray. Not sure how? Keep reading.
The reasons for including prayer in your family’s daily routine are too significant to ignore.
- It lets your children know what’s important to your family.
When parents demonstrate that God is first in their lives, it establishes a foundation that will sustain them throughout their lives and hopefully, into their next generation. Even if our children aren’t following closely after Jesus, when the storms come, they will always know where to turn – even after we’re gone.
- Prayer is foundational to spiritual growth.
God tells us that we are the spiritual leaders of our children. “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when. You walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 11:19) As such, the best things we can teach our kids is who God is and how to talk to Him. The season and culture that our kids are navigating is challenging. They face issues and situations we never imagined. When our kids learn that they have direct access to The One who has all the answers and all the power, they can feel more confident and safe maneuvering through life. He becomes their refuge in the midst of their storms. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
- Family prayer strengthens your relationships.
When your kids hear you pray for them, it demonstrates that you are their advocate. It shows that you care about them and the things that they are concerned about. It can improve trust and openness. Prayer time provides an opportunity to open up and share in a safe and supportive environment.
- Your family’s prayers are needed!
Prayer changes things. Your home, neighbors, and community need your prayers. Your kid’s friends, teachers, and school need their prayers. The Bible tells us, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16) We ALL need to be praying for ourselves, our loved ones, and the world around us!
- Start today! If you don’t know how, learn together. A simple format is, “Thank you, God, for ______” or “Jesus, we need your help with ______” and grow from there.
- Make it a routine. Find a time of day that works for everyone and stick with it.
- When struggles or crises pop up, immediately pray together about it.
- Keep it short (to begin with). Prayers don’t have to be long and religious-y (not a real word) to be effective. It is a simple conversation with God.
Just talk to Him – He’s waiting!
Sylvia Gaston is Family Ministry Pastor at Koinonia Church in Hanford, CA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-582-1528.