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How to pray with your children
Everything we do in life brings an opportunity for prayer and falling at His feet. And prayer can look differently for each child and each family. As a new Christian, I’ve always wondered, how can I pray with my children? Here are a few ways I’ve used, and you can try as well:
Pray from books:
At different seasons of life, it can be beneficial to read and savor prayers from books, devotionals and of course, the Bible.
This is exactly as it sounds! Praying in the moment, from the heart. It’s one of my favorite ways because there’s no planning or stress. LOL. Just plain ‘ol good worship. This is extremely powerful!
Pray with dance/movement:
When I had my first child, I knew that I wanted and needed to teach her the Word, but I had no idea how to do that. All I did *know, was that prayer was quiet and on your knees. [*based on observations as a child in a mostly Roman Catholic area] But, for our energetic, holy-spirit filled daughter, this didn’t seem like the best option for an infant toddler. And one day, my husband just started singing rhymes and coordinating dance movements that I’d never heard or seen before. They were catchy, easy to learn, and most importantly, they taught her, US, God’s truth!
I think this option may suit older children better [since they can understand the concept more], but there’s just something about teaching our kids that at any moment, they can quiet their spirits and speak to Him. Although this may or may not be an option for your family, its worth a try. I personally appreciate this type of prayer during certain times of the day, and when I opt for silent prayer, I tell my littles of 1 and 4 years, that ‘mommy is going to pray quietly now, so no loud noises. Only whispering. Time for quiet time.’
When family prayer doesn’t go as planned
Take 1. Take 2…Take 37! Have you been there? Are you there right now? In the midst of the ever chaotic, not going as planned, blue-faced moments of frustration… Yea. You’re replaying everything in your head, wondering, how and where the heck it all fell apart. Everything was going according to plan. You see, hungry and easily distracted littles[squirrel!] don’t particularly care for detailed plans.
We plan everything ahead, and we expect family prayer to go according to plan. BUT, we aren’t praying with our priest, father, reverend or a nun. That would be picture perfect. Instead, we’re praying with children, a jungle of family members that’s far from quiet or peaceful. Be prepared for tiredness, irritability, siblings bickering, and never-ending requests [potty or drinks anyone?!] Simply put, you will have loads of moans, giggles, and yawns, and that’s okay! I know its hard. It is. Really! Not many of us are prepared for the darts across the room like an action hero cartoon character, when we’ve envisioned little well-behaved, eager to listen- angels. Or those mid-sentence interruptions with ever so important demands while reading Proverbs 8:33.
These are some of the ways I pray with our children and always eager for new ideas. Don’t hold any high expectations and certainly don’t stress over changed plans. Its normal mama. Hang in there and strive for progress, not perfection.