I want my children to understand the nature and power of prayer. I want them to be in constant communication with their Heavenly Father.
As a Christ-follower, I find myself praying silently often as I respond to God’s open invitation to come before His throne with any request, fear, insecurity, thanksgiving, or praise (Hebrews 4:16).
So, what better way to train my children in this fulfilling and wonderful act, than to vocalize these very prayers and so involve them in my inner spiritual life?
And how exciting and fun to celebrate with them when God answers?
Let me give you a few examples from our lives to get you thinking about how and when you might do this:
- Driving home after dark, in the rain one night, I felt nervous. I noticed myself praying internally, so I began voicing these prayers for my children. When we made it home safely we thanked and glorified God for hearing our prayer and protecting us.
- When arriving at the zoo at a crazy time of day, I knew parking would be a huge, stressful issue. I noticed myself praying for a close parking spot as we neared our destination, so I vocalized my prayers and included my children. The fun thing was, God totally, miraculously answered it! We celebrated together.
- The most fun one yet was when driving to the mall for a play date one stormy day in a total downpour. I knew there was no covered parking, and it would be stressful trying to get in with a baby and preschool, plus get our stroller out, etc. We prayed together that God would stop the rain long enough for us to get in, and that’s exactly what happened! From downpour, to nothing, to downpour again. I was so relieved I erupted in exuberant praise to God. I hugged my daughter. We cheered. We thanked Him. She was so excited (seeing my excitement). She still talks about how God stopped the rain that day, now months later.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been many other times when we haven’t gotten what we’ve asked for in a direct, immediate sense. Those become perfect opportunities to talk to them about God’s wisdom and sovereignty. We get to teach them to trust God and have faith, to know that we can ask our loving Father for anything, but not control Him. He is God and we are not. Ultimately He has a good plan for us, and we trust Him no matter the outcome.
When you notice yourself praying silently in the presence of your children this week, voice it. Let them in on your inner-life and reproduce a healthy and vibrant understanding of prayer.