Blogging is a funny thing in the sense that you have to be in the mood to do it or you just draw a blank every time you try to force a thought to emerge. With that in mind, I took a few months off do to lack of inspiration, but now I’m back and ready to share some parenting encouragement with you all.
I ran into a nice lady the other day who attended one of our Parenting Matters conferences some years ago and she had a question for me. She asked, “what do you do with your children when their prayers are superficial and repetitive?” She was frustrated with the quality of her children’s prayers. She said, they always pray for the same stuff i.e. having fun today or their pet hamster or some new thing that they want, but the prayers are rarely about others or anything about the Lord.
My counsel to her was this… teach into the issue with the kids at a time of non-conflict. An hour before prayer time ask them what they intend to pray about today and at that time give some gentle instruction regarding the direction and depth of their prayers. also, take some time to take them to the scriptures (think Psalms) and show them what deeper prayers look like. Additionally, she needed to manage her expectations regarding the children’s prayers. If you never instruct them in what a proper prayer looks like you can expect them to always pray for the stuff they want and little else.
Try this next time:
-Have each child pray for the person next to them instead of themselves.
-Create a basket with family prayer requests written on a piece of paper. Have each person draw a request randomly and pray for that request for the week.
-Have each chid make a list of all the things they are thankful for and pray over that list. Do the same with Adoration of God and Confession of Sin.
We should take the time to teach our children to Adore God, Confess sin, Thank God for his blessings, and finally, ask for Stuff. Instructing them before the prayer time begins will help them to succeed and help you to manage that upset that you feel each time their prayers repeat the same old thing they prayed the last time.
Pre-activity in this area will help us manage our expectations and bring glory to God through our children’s prayers. Let me know what you think.