Teach Your Children to Pray

Begin early to establish prayer in your children about big and little things. Dr Charles Stanley said, “The reason we should teach little children to pray about the little insignificant things (but significant to them) very early in life, is so they learn that if they talk to God, He will answer their prayers.”

The more they see and hear you pray, the more it will become a part of their lives. As you point out answers to prayer, the more they will want to pray.  Let your children hear you express to God your feelings (hurts, joy, love for God)

Be intentional in teaching them all about prayer.

Teach them what prayer is:

Prayer is simply talking to God about anything and everything just as they would with a friend.  Jo Bevington in her book, I Can Pray, described prayer as ‘feeling, thinking, listening, and talking to a very special Friend’. Your children need to know that their special Friend is always with them (Matthew 28:20 “. . . I am with you always. . . “)  Part of the joy of having Jesus with you everywhere you go is to realize you can talk to Him wherever you are, any time of day.

Teach them why we pray:

We pray because God tells us to (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and He is near to those who call to him (Psalm 145:18) God loves us and wants to talk with us just like we like to talk with our friends.  Praying is spending time with our best Friend, our Creator, who wants to spend time with us – wow!!

Teach them how to pray:

When His disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them an example that we call the Lord’s Prayer or the Model Prayer (Matthew 6, Luke 11) We can lead our children to memorize it, but please help them understand it so it can be a prayer from the heart and not just a recitation.

There are 5 kinds of prayer covered in the Model Prayer:

Praise – Tell God “I love you”. Singing praises is prayer too!

Confession – “I’m sorry; please forgive me for . . .”

Thanksgiving – Give God thanks as you go about your day.

Intercession – Pray for others.

Petition – Ask God for help or for needs and desires.

Teach them when and where to pray:
Children can learn this from Jesus’ prayer life.  He prayed in the morning (Mark 1:35); He prayed all night (Luke 6:12); when He was alone (Luke 5:16); when He was thankful (John 6:8-13); when He was sad (Luke 23:34); when He needed to make choices (Luke 6:12-13).  He prayed in a garden, on a mountain, and on the cross.  Lead your children to follow His example and pray anytime and anywhere.  “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” (Psalm 55:17)

 Teach them what happens when we pray.

God hears and will answer when we pray.  (“When they call on me, I will answer;” Psalm 91:15) The answer may be yes, no, or not yet – but God will answer!!! Point out that sometimes their dad answers with a yes, sometimes with a no, and sometimes with a not yet because he loves them and knows what is best. So it is with our Heavenly Father.  And we can trust that His answer is always best for us.

Give them prayer aides:
– With your older children, help them to start a prayer notebook divided into sections. Encourage them to write down praises; list things they are thankful for; name people to pray for; and list things to ask God to help them with or provide for them.  Encourage them to mark the date when God answers.
– A tangible way to establish prayer in a younger child’s life is by beginning a prayer box. Put in it pictures of people and things to thank God for.  Also include pictures that will be a reminder of things to pray about.  Look together through magazines to find pictures or draw your own. Let them pull out several pictures a night to pray about.  Mark these pictures with a ‘PTL’ or a sticker and the date when you see an answer and leave them in the box as a reminder to thank God for answering.

Create prayer reminders:
– Whenever your children use something that was a gift from someone, remind them to pray for the person who gave it.
– When you hear an ambulance, lead your children to pray for the person in the ambulance and for the people helping them.
– When you see a policeman or a soldier, say a prayer for their safety and thank God for their service.
– When you ride by someone’s house who is having a hard time or does not know Jesus, lead your children to pray for them.
– When watching a movie, pray for the people who are acting in it and for those who made it.
– When you go for a walk, thank God for things you see in His beautiful world.  Sing praises about it!

Remember the most wholesome experience in prayer is for your children to hear you express naturally your own love and confidence to God.  Your children will want to follow!!

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How to Have a Good Attitude

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬

Paul knew that what we think about affects how we  act so he tells us what to fill our thoughts with.  Here’s a way to help children visual this.

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Teach Your Children About Columbus

And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.
Mark 16:15

History:

‘In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue!’  But why did he set sail?

“Christopher Columbus had a belief that God intended him to sail the Atlantic Ocean in order to spread Christianity. He said his prayers several times daily. Columbus wrote what he called a Book of Prophecies, which is a compilation of passages Columbus selected from the Bible which he believed were pertinent to his mission of discovery.  Columbus’s own writings prove that he believed that God revealed His plan for the world in the Bible, the infallible Word of God. Columbus believed that he was obeying the mission God staked out for his life when he set sail west across the Atlantic Ocean.”  Phyllis Schlafly Radio Script, October 14, 2002

Washington Irving wrote of Christopher Columbus: “ Whenever he made any great discovery, he celebrated it by solemn thanks to God. The voice of prayer and melody of praise rose from his ships when they first beheld the New World, and his first action on landing was to prostrate himself upon the earth and return thanksgivings.”

Teach your children that each Columbus Day, we celebrate the life of a brave explorer who loved Jesus and obeyed the Bible’s command to spread the gospel.  He landed in the Americas on October 12, 1492. It was first celebrated in 1866.   October 12th was made a federal holiday in 1934.  Since 1970 it has been celebrated yearly on the 2nd Monday of October.

The results of Columbus sailing the ocean blue was the discovery that the Earth was indeed round and also the settlement of new lands.  This resulted in the further spreading of the Good News which led eventually to our hearing the Gospel of Jesus.

Activities:

  • Trace his journey on a globe from Spain to San Salvador Island:

  • Play with a ball, preferably an inflated globe ball, and talk about the fact that Columbus discovered that the world was round.
  • Tape off a boat on the floor or make one out of a large box and pretend to be Columbus discovering America.  Then get out and lay on the ground and thank God and sing as Columbus did.  Pretend the stuffed animals are the natives in the land and tell them about Jesus.
  • Check out this site for some Columbus Day crafts: http://www.dltk-kids.com/Crafts/columbus/index.htm
  • Consider getting a map of the world shower curtain
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Enjoy Fall With Your Family

leaves-300x224

Daniel 2:21
And He changes the times and the seasons;

Celebrate each season, emphasizing God’s hand in it all.  Autumn is such a fun time to enjoy God’s beautiful world with your children.

Go to a pumpkin farm.

Go for a hike in the woods.

Decorate the house with pumpkins, colorful leaves, etc.

Enjoy sitting around a fire outside on these cooler nights and just relaxing as a family.

Go outside and play in the leaves (then work together as a family to rake up the leaves):
—build a leaf fort
—bury each other in leaves
—walk on the dry leaves and hear them crunch
—see who can find the most perfect, colorful leaf. 

As you enjoy God’s handiwork at this time of year, be sure to lead your children to thank Him for His beautiful world.

And don’t forget to sing!!!

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Labor Day

Labor Day logo - Various cartoon workers

Let’s always teach our children the reason for the holiday being celebrated – that it is not just a day out of school or a time for a picnic. There is a story behind each one.

Labor Day is a day set aside to pay tribute to working men and women (whether they get paid for their work or not). It has been celebrated as a national holiday since 1894. Read the history of this holiday here so you will be equipped to tell your children what the day is about as you go about your celebration.

Use some of these suggestions to emphasize the importance of work to your children:

  1. Read the story of Nehemiah in your Bible. Then tell it in your own words or try to find it in a children’s Bible and read it to your children. The walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed and Nehemiah led the people to rebuild them. They had a mind to work. (So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height,for the people had a mind to work. Nehemiah. 4:6)
  2. Build a wall together out of pillows and talk about having a mind to work and working together.
  3. Think of ways your children can ‘work’. Find suggestions here for age appropriate chores.
  4. Memorize as a family Col. 3:23 ‘And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,’ Talk about doing your best at whatever you do and doing it cheerfully.
  5. Thank God for the work that Dad does and the work that Mom does.
  6. Play charades acting out different jobs.
  7. Lead your children (by example) to appreciate those who have a mind to work. Say ‘thank you’ to those yall encounter doing their work – waitress, teacher, trash collector, doctor, policeman, etc. Especially notice those who are doing their work heartily!
  8. Don’t forget to appreciate those who work to support your family.  One stay-at-home mom wrote a poem and made a card with her 4 1/2 month old to show appreciation for her husband diligently working to provide for them. FullSizeRender

 

Enjoy Labor Day with your family!

 

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