Why is it Important for Parents to Pray WITH Kids?
Modeling how to connect with God through prayer is one of the absolute greatest gifts parents can give kids.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.
When my wife and I first accepted our foster kids into our home it was a tough transition. Getting the little ones on a schedule, getting the oldest into school, keeping up with the groceries were all on our minds. Who knew how much 2 year olds could eat!?
Even though all of that was tough, it was honestly manageable. The real hardest part was teaching the kids how to communicate their needs. As you can imagine, getting removed from the only home you know and put into a stranger’s home at 8 years old is pretty jarring and you don’t even know if you can trust these people. On top of that, the two-year-old guys only had a few words. We made the decision to speak plainly and lovingly to our oldest so we could slowly gain her trust as well as build our relationships with her. We also did the same for the little ones so they could learn new words and become more vocal.
You know what happened? The more we talked to them…the more they talked to us! We modeled speaking about what scares us, or when we felt unloved, or about what worried us…. which made it easier and more acceptable for our kids to open up (mostly our oldest).
As humans we desire connection, and communication is the most natural way for us to do that. It is no different with God. As parents, we want nothing more than to know everything our kids worry about, think about, desire so we can fulfill those wants and needs.
However, as we know we are broken, unperfect beings (even though it is hard to admit sometimes) and we cannot provide EVERYTHING they need/want. But God can and wants to do that for our children. In Luke 11 it evens says that God being a perfect heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.
So, what are we to do?
Teach our children to pray. Teach them that God is not just “up there” waiting for us to mess up. Rather, He desires to hear us and help us whenever we call on Him. Model what it looks like to give God thanks in the good times and hard times.
Start a family prayer time, where everyone brings 1 thing they are thankful for and one thing they would like to pray about…then lead that prayer time with simple language.
One great model of prayer is ACTS:
Supplication (ask God for what you would like)
No matter what you choose, make sure you normalize talking with God in your home, because as we know prayer is so essential and crucial to our relationship with Christ and as parents that is the absolute best thing we can give to our children…teaching them how to connect with the Lord.
Model talking with God this shows He is approachable!
Pray early, pray often, pray consistently.
Be worthy of imitation.
Sometimes the best way to pray is to write down our prayers. It helps us focus on what we actually want to say to the Lord. Take some time and write down: why God is good, confess where you are struggling, thank the Lord for who He is, and ask for what you need!
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