Updated: Jun 21, 2018
God came to save sinners. God is big. God is good. God made everything. God knows everything. God is almighty. Even though God is so very great and holy, and we are so small and sinful, we get to talk to Him! And He listens! That is wonderful news for us!
This truth is so big and glorious that we ought to be anxious for our kids to know this truth. The God of the universe, who created heaven and earth, who sent His son to die for our sins, is anxious to hear from us. Just as God the Father is Jesus’ Father, He is our Father too if we believe in Jesus. He wants us to tell Him all about ourselves just as we want to know all about our kids. He listens. However, we also delight in listening to what He says. Our Father in heaven answers us. He answers us through His Word and through God the Spirit in our hearts.
How do we teach our kids to pray? We should look to scripture at how Jesus taught the disciples to pray, using the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). Begin with praising God, then ask Him for the things we need, and then praise Him again. God is worthy of praise and He loves to hear how much we love Him, but He also wants us to rely on Him for our needs. Through discipleship, your children should know how to approach God when they are worried, afraid, or sad. When your children begin to feel sorrow for their actions, what a great opportunity to teach them to turn to God in prayer! Teach them about grace and how to confess and repent. Prayer can be an incredible place for children to work out their feelings they are only just beginning to become accustomed to.
Should we teach our kids to pray even if they aren’t yet believers? Yes! As soon as our kids can speak, we can teach them to utter thanks to God. As they grow older, alongside conversations of what God did for us on the cross and who God is, the prayers can, hopefully, become more abundant and more genuine.
Some things we can teach our kids to pray for, even when they are young, are for hearts of kindness, generosity, and forgiveness. Prayers for missionaries serving locally and internationally—even better if you learn specific missionaries to pray for specific needs. Prayers for more and more people to come to love Jesus in our community. Prayers for people to turn from sin and find freedom in Christ. These are a few ways to begin cultivating your children’s love for God’s Kingdom. Please let us know how Redeemer Stillwater can help your family pursue discipleship in your home.
By Jennifer Reeves