Just as in school. young children are taught certain rituals each morning (figuring out the season of the year and today’s date, assessing the weather, and quoting memory work from a literary text or from the Bible in Christian education) children who grow up leaning on prayer begin their days talking to God. It doesn’t have to be long. It should never be arduous, but rather enthusiastic and positive. It should be the verbal and heavenward “prediction” by you and your kids that it’s going to be a great day because God is your Father.
I know I’m not the expert, but it’s my suggestion, although you’re going to listen to and assist your kids in prayer every day, that this first morning prayer be led by Mom or Dad. At the breakfast table is a great place to do this.
Your tone of voice is pretty important here. It’s not monotone and it’s not a daily quotation. Your breakfast voice to God should be the same one you would use to a friend who has just brought flowers and dinner for your family. It should radiate amazement at his goodness, because His mercies are new every single morning (Lamentations 3:23). Here’s a sample:
Oh Father! It’s a brand new day you have given us. That sunshine coming in our window is from You! You let us sleep in our own warm beds and now, here we are …ready to go and do good things to show people how much we love you. You gave us our kitty and our house and our car and…oh God, you gave us EVERY single thing that makes us smile. Oh God, thank-you! We love these biscuits and eggs, Lord. You never let us run out of food and we even sometimes have enough to save for later. Help us to not ever forget that you are our Father. Daddy is so good, but you are even HIS Father. Thank you for taking care of our little family. Help us to have a great day for you. Please keep us safe. Help us to be good and help us to be happy all day. Thank you for giving us Jesus. We love Him so much! And we pray in His Name, Amen.
Remember, the voice they hear should be the same voice you would use to encourage them before their piano recitals or tournament ballgames—excited and confident and supportive.
Next time: Should kids be required to put their hands together and bow their heads? What about prayer postures?