“Prayer is the greatest of all forces, because it honors God and brings him into active aid.”
In twenty words, I captured yet another precious glimpse of my son’s heart:
- A heart concerned for those who are sick. In his young life, my son has seen many loved ones endure sickness, most recently his beloved Papa Jack, who lost his battle against cancer almost two years ago.
- A heart compassionate for sick pets. My son loves animals, especially dogs. At dinnertime, it’s not unusual for him to pray for our golden retriever, Bogie.
- A heart yearning to draw closer to God through prayer. What could be better than that?
Oh, this is a resolution worth keeping! And it’s one that I want to encourage my son in fulfilling. His resolution inspires me to be more intentional about prayer in my own life and to teach him about prayer.
Last year, I shared a posting at BEEsy Mama on ways to encourage and teach young children about prayer, which included some of the following ideas:
- Regularly ask your child to say a prayer at mealtime or at bedtime. If your child doesn’t embrace these opportunities to pray, don’t be discouraged. It may take some time for him to feel comfortable with praying. In the meantime, step in and lead him in prayer.
- Start a prayer journal with your family. Select a day each week to write down the people your family would like to pray for. And then take time to pray together as a family. Jot down all answered prayers and give thanks to God for them.
- Read about characters in the Bible who had powerful prayer lives. Some examples include: Hannah (1 Samuel), Nehemiah, David (Book of Psalms), and of course, Jesus (i.e., Matthew 6:5-14, John 17).
- Go on a short “prayer” walk with your child in your neighborhood. Take this time to pray for your neighbors.
- Pray for the world. As a family, take time each week to pray for countries around the world. This would be a great opportunity to learn about other cultures and the needs of other people around the world.
Prayer is an extraordinary gift God gives us—one that connects us to Him, wipes away fears and anxiety, and fills us with a hope, peace, and joy unlike any this world can offer. I know this from my own experiences and from those shared by other believers throughout history.
My heart deeply desires for my son and the children in his generation to learn and experience the beauty and intimacy of prayer at a young age. As parents and grandparents, may we seek God’s help in being faithful to teach, model, and encourage these precious children in their prayer lives so that they can learn and experience the lasting truths and benefits of prayer.
“Prayer is of transcendent importance. Prayer is the mightiest agent to advance God’s work. Praying hearts and hands only can do God’s work. Prayer succeeds when all else fails.”
~ E.M. Bounds ~
Questions: What ways have you taught your children (or grandchildren) about prayer? What lessons have your children taught you about prayer?