Prayer is an essential tool in every Christian’s toolbox. It is how we communicate with the One who created us. How can parents guide their children to pray so that it becomes an essential tool that they use?
When we pray, God hears
God wants us to communicate with him. Christians are able to converse with the creator of the universe – the one who created us – because of our faith in Jesus. Prayer is us talking with God. Daily prayer blesses us, our family, and those whom we pray for. It helps us learn more about God’s plan for us, brings us peace, and helps us develop a relationship with our Heavenly Father.
Prayer helps us gain a better comprehension and appreciation of our purpose in life because God helps us understand. Conversation with God helps us work through big decisions and keeps us from pursuing harmful temptations. When we have a consistent prayer life, it enhances our spiritual wellness and aligns our will with God’s will. Prayer invites the Holy Spirit within you to direct and guide you, and helps you to discern God’s voice.
Jesus set the perfect example of prayer
We read in the Bible many instances of Jesus withdrawing from the crowds in order to pray. In Matthew 6:9-13, we learn the pattern or model of prayer Jesus shared with his disciples. It’s not meant to be our only prayer, or a rote prayer that we pray over and over, rather an outline of prayer.
Prayer is an expression of the relationship that we have with God. All relationships require consistent communication and time. Jesus always made time for communication with God and, since we are to be more like Jesus, we too need to make prayer a priority.
What about the kids?
Yes! They should be praying, too. Making (and keeping) prayer an essential part of life is a necessity. Parents, this is where you can lead by example. Let your kids know (through your actions and words) that prayer isn’t optional, that it is very important. It is beneficial, powerful, and instructing. Let your children know that when they pray, they’re communicating with our Holy God and that He wants to talk with them.
There’s power in prayer that can’t be found any other place.
How do we hear God?
We speak to God in prayer. He speaks to us in a variety of ways.
- Through Scripture. All Scripture is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). This means that reading the Bible is as important as praying. It’s God’s Word. It’s living and transformative, applicable to your life today and every day.
- Through other believers. God may use a parent, teacher, friend to convey His message to you.
- Through music. Praise and worship music may also be a way for God to communicate to you.
- Through His Spirit. Some people refer to this as ‘God whispers’. You might ‘feel/hear’ it as a strong impression of ‘God’s still, small voice’, an ‘inner nudge’. This may happen as we pray or when we’re going about our day.
This isn’t an exhaustive list. We’re all different and so God speaks to us in whatever creative way that we’ll hear and respond to. I have a friend who has experienced God speaking to her in dreams. I used to think there was something wrong because I didn’t have ‘God dreams’. That’s not how God has chosen to speak to me. However, I have ‘heard’ God when reading a passage of scripture (even Scripture that I had read many times before and this one time it stuck out like it was brand new text and very applicable to something I had been praying about). I distinctively ‘heard’ God speak one afternoon – December 27, 2022 at 3:00 PM, to be precise – when I was carrying a basket of laundry into the living room. It definitely wasn’t my own thought; it was different. It was powerful and it connected significantly to a life situation, and to continues to keep me aligned with God’s purpose for me.
An important thing to remember is that God will never contradict His Word so whatever He speaks to you (and your children) will always bring glory to God. Not sure if what you heard is from God? Speak to Pastor Dan or another Christian about it. Pray about it.
Teaching your kids to pray is essential for their spiritual health and will benefit them long after you’ve parented them.
In His service,