Teaching Children About Prayer
Just recently a mom blogger asked me to help her answer the following question for her friend.
“My 4 year old suddenly won’t participate in our family prayer time. He just wanders off to play and refuses to pray himself. I’m worried that he’s no longer interested in spiritual things. What have I done wrong?” –C.L.
I have an eight and six year old. When my daughter was four years old she would grab her food from the plate and eat it while we were praying. With everyone’s eyes closed she thought no one noticed. I ignored it because I didn’t want to make a big deal about it. If I had, my sweet little girl would make fun and carry on.
The more kids are around prayer the more they learn that talking to God is a pretty cool thing to do. So keep on praying even when your son seems to be distracted by other things. He will hear you and therefore he will learn to know God.
My six year old daughter is now more focused during prayer time then she was. She talks to God and sometimes she says silly things. And that is o.k.! I’m pretty sure God loves her humor.
And there are times that she is very serious!
She asked God to heal me and to help me buy a bike. She would love for Mommy to go bike riding with her.
Her prayers are thoughtful!
Just the other day she saw a little baby fall out of his stroller and bang his head. She was very upset and worried. Later in the day she stopped me from what I was doing and asked me to pray with her. She prayed a heartfelt prayer for the baby.
She still has moments during prayer time that she isn’t engaged. There are times when she fidgets around when we read the Bible. And to be honest there are times that I’m not fully into prayer either. Sometimes I fall asleep when I read the Bible. It happens to all of us.
When I look back over the last fifty years of my life I see my relationship with God constantly growing. Our children’s relationship with God is ongoing with many rivers to cross and mountains to climb. It is God’s loving care that draws our children near to Him. We can’t make that happen. We can only provide an atmosphere filled with God’s mercy, grace, peace, and joy.
Relationship With God
I want my children to have a genuine relationship with God and not a rigid religious religion full of dead end rules.
My daughter is alive in Christ and she loves to make up songs about Him. Her words are refreshing, healing, and comforting. She enjoys dancing to Christian music and singing along with popular Christian artists.
God desires children to come to Him with open hearts and hands reached out to Him. My eight year old son prays when life gets hard and prays for others who are in need. He lets God know when he doesn’t like something. Sometimes my son prays from the heart and other times he prays from the head. There are weeks where he prays the same thing over and over.
I tell my kids that God loves to hear their voice. I reassure them that their feelings matter to Him.
God knows their hearts and He understands them better than we ever will. Your son is in God’s hands and he is blessed to have a mom like you who desires to give him a life filled with God’s love. He is growing in Christ at this very moment. So relax and enjoy the process.