Want to raise children who know how to pray? Pray aloud with them and ask them to pray with you.
Family Counseling Ministries -
Does it seem that you dont have enough time in family
devotions to cover all your familys prayer concerns? In the 9th
part of a 20-article series, Dr. Dunlap suggests that you divide up family
prayer requests in a prayer journal and develop a simple plan to pray for
certain requests on different days of the week. He also begins a discussion of
thirteen Life Principles that parents should teach their children as they train
them in the nurture and admonition of God.
People often ask me what steps they should follow to
conduct meaningful devotion times with their families. I suggest that they begin
with a time of worship and praise, and then spend a few minutes reading the
Bible aloud, or using a Bible resource, such as a cassette tape or a flannel
Do not neglect to pray together as a family. Children need to
hear their parents pray aloud.
The third essential ingredient of family worship is prayer.
Scripture verses abound that teach us how to pray and that instruct us as to
whom we should pray for. It is a good idea to purchase an inexpensive spiral
notebook and jot down current prayer requests as reminders to family members of
various prayer concerns.
God commands us in His Word to pray specifically for
missionaries, for unbelievers, for our enemies, for those who persecute us, for
our church leaders, for our government leaders, for our fellow church members,
for our closest friends and for suffering Christians around the world. Parents
should take a few moments each week to record updates as God answers individual
Children should understand the difference between praying in
faith and praying with a demanding, selfish attitude.
It is wise to emphasize the fact that we come as little
children to God. We dont have to phrase our prayers with fancy or impressive
words. God knows our hearts. Yet, we must also be careful not to constantly
come to God with our hand out, asking Him for anything that pops in our minds.
Instead we should teach our children to carefully think through their requests,
realizing they are coming before the King of the universe.
Mothers and fathers should make a special point of praying for
each family memberfor particular needs, for ministries, for growth in grace,
and for salvation if any family member has not yet placed his or her faith and
trust in Jesus Christ. In addition to intercessory prayer, family members
should be sure to take time to give thanks to God for His blessings, His
provision, His protection and His faithfulness to their family.
When you record Gods answers to prayer you have a priceless
journal of His faithfulness to your family.
It is important to ask each child to pray aloud from a
very young age. Children will learn to pray by doing it, and as they grow older
they will not feel ashamed to pray in front of other people. It is best to
address one or two prayer concerns each day and work through the list
When the family reaches the end of the list, they should
take a few moments to review aloud the specific answers that God has granted to
all the written family requests. Then they should work through the list again,
day by day, from the beginning. Children will learn the meaning of the
scriptural command to keep on seeking, knocking and asking.