Saturday, November 12, 2016

Teaching My Child To Pray

Over the years I've learned that the only way to develop meaningful relationships is to invest time and energy into them.  The same can be said about developing a relationship with God.  There is so much more to knowing God than calling Him in times of panic and trouble.  In spending time with Him and ultimately talking to Him I have learned not only is He King of King and Lord of Lords, the Sovereign I Am That I Am but He is interesting and pretty cool as well.

We have discussed everything from everything from college exams - pre and post marital sex.  How  I didn't believe in marriage - please note that since my understanding was enlightened I now have been married for 18 years.  Through getting to know God, I can also say that Abba is my most valued friend and trusted source.

So much so I wanted to pass on not only my knowledge about God onto my daughter, but I wanted to give my daughter a taste of my relationship with God as a prelude to what her own relationship with God could look like.  A gift of experience.

My thoughts about teaching my child to pray

Teaching Her To Pray

Modeling The Behavior

Our children pattern our behavior. They learn more from watching us than they ever will from listening to us and because of this living honestly is critical.

I've done many of the traditional things such as taking her to church, reading and studying the Bible and we practice memory verses. She is getting older now and you know the part that has clearly stuck?  Worship and prayer.

When she was born, I didn’t know any kiddy songs or nursery rhymes so I rocked her to sleep with hymns, choruses and prayers.  Often times those were the only moments I got throughout the day to catch myself (you know new mommy life! lol) so I would pour out to God during those times and He would come down and meet me.  It’s been years, but every night and every morning she wants a prayer and a song.  I would be silly to stop now wouldn't I?

Honoring Her Uniqueness

Ever come across that prayer warrior who lines everything up for God with a multitude of words?  Telling God, what and how to do it?  Well that is kinda my style, lol.  Very detailed and leaving nothing out.  Baby girl though she is talkative like me she prays like her father.  What may take me thirty minutes to say he will cover in three simple, heart felt sentences followed up by a grateful amen.  

When we first got married and he would pray I would feel that he wasn’t putting enough into it.  You know I have control issues why else would I be trying to tell God how to do what He does! Over time I learned to calm my nerves and appreciate the simplicity and integrity of his prayer.  Now I watch him in amazement because there is no doubt that his prayers hit heaven.

Looking back it would appear that learning to appreciate my husband's prayer was the prelude receiving my little one’s prayers and not feeling the need to fix them.

Providing Her With Prayer Tools

When I say fix her prayers I mean teach her the 'rules of prayer'.  Elements like asking for and offering forgiveness, intercession, gratitude.  As important as they are I realize that she is well on her way and there will be time to teach her everything she needs to know.  Right now she enjoys the presence of God and wants to pray.  I’ll make the next steps as I feel led.  I don’t want to desecrate her humble and honest beginnings.

The Proof

To date is it working?   What has been the litmus test?   Well, you know they say that what you have truly imparted to you kids is demonstrated by what they do when you are not around.

One day after I completing our nightly routine, in which she calls “rocking” but there is no “rocking” involved, I tucked her into bed and went on to have my mommy time!  A little while later I heard talking coming from her room. As I got closer, she was addressing the nightmares that she had been having.  Telling them that they were to go away “get outta here” and not come back in Jesus name.  Her voice was very stern.  Then she asked God to protect her through the night from the bad dreams and she thanked Him.

Tears welled in my eyes.   

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