How to Raise a Prayer Warrior

ShellyPrayer

If you are a parent, one question is never far from your mind . . . “Am I doing this right?” I know. I’m there, too. When your baby is little, you fret about how you lay them down to sleep, when to say goodbye to the pacifier, and the best method to potty train. As they grow, you worry how quickly they can learn the alphabet or why they don’t pick up their toys. Questioning everything from discipline to rewards continues throughout grade school, the dreaded middle school years, high school and beyond. And that’s OK. It means you care. You want to equip your child to thrive long after you are gone, right? Of course! Well, here’s one tool you can offer your baby to last a life-time: prayer. Equipping your little one to be a prayer warrior is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. The ability to talk to God will give them guidance, comfort, power and so much more when they are no longer in arm’s reach. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Consider these tips to empower your child for a life of prayer. Talk it out. Engage in an ongoing conversation with your child about prayer. “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). It doesn’t have to be a long, involved lesson every time. Do whatever is appropriate for the age and situation. When they are small, you might talk about the reasons for bedtime prayers or prayer over meals. Share stories from the Bible about people who prayed and how God answered their prayers. Older kids can read and discuss Scriptures about prayer with you. Explain why we pray and when and where we pray as they grow in maturity. When they mention friends or others who might be struggling in life, chat about why it is important to pray for those who are hurting. During family Bible study discuss the different promises concerning prayer found in Scripture. And don’t forget to explore what Jesus said about prayer. Point it … Read More

5 Principles To Teach Your Child About Prayer

ShellyPrayer

With the launch party of my debut children’s book about prayer last weekend (The Bubble Who Would Not POP!), children and prayer have been on my mind all week. I think raising a man or woman of prayer is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. I’m still working on it with my kiddos, but a few principles came to mind that I thought I might share with you. If we can imprint these fundamental truths about prayer onto our children, it is a great start to equipping them for a life of prayer.   Truth #1 – God ALWAYS hears your prayer. This principle is my favorite and something I address in my book. Isaiah 65:24 says, “Before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” Isn’t that just the coolest?! If you want your child to grow into a person of prayer, this is step one . . . the most basic belief necessary to pray. God hears your prayer. Period. In all of my favorite biblical stories about prayer, the heroes and heroines have one thing in common. When they pray, God hears them. Now, his answer might not be what they want . . . or they may have to wait to see how God is working. But, no matter the result, God hears them.   Truth #2 — You can talk to God about ANYTHING. Remember in Genesis right after Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit? Scripture says God was walking in the garden in the cool of the day and called out for Adam. Looks to me like God would often hang out with his creations. God wants a relationship with us . . . and that means talking. Children should know that God wants time with them through prayer. If they see God as a loving Heavenly Father who wants to hear from them about what is going on in their lives, they will be open later to spending time in prayer about bigger issues.   Truth #3 — Timing is everything. This is a hard one. I’m an adult and I like to see immediate results . . . so how can we blame children for wanting everything now? But to maintain a faithful life of prayer and faith, we must understand that God has a plan and an answer for … Read More