As I think about the task of teaching our children to pray, I know I need to make the case that developing rich and regular prayer habits are important, in the first place. But then again, surely every reading mom and grandmother can see that the society in which our kids are developing makes their love for and belief in the power of prayer, both hugely practical and comforting beyond what they can now comprehend.
For today, just four reasons to make teaching kids to pray a priority at your house. Next, we will move to some ways to make talking to God a first-nature go-to as they grow toward faithful Christianity.
- Necessity. God is the only one who can “fix” our problems in this wicked world. It has always been true, but, in an America that has left behind its Biblical moorings and become a secular society, there are many foreboding realities which, while your children cannot assess them yet, will present challenges later that are herculean in nature and for which your children will find no answers outside of appealing to the Supreme One. Our legal system has veered so far from recognition of any relevance of biblical morality (in fact, often punishing its adherents) that your children’s recourse in life may sometimes be limited to appealing to the God in heaven who sees all and finally gets it right. Another way to say this is that there may be times in life when no one else but God will/can listen and respond to our very deep needs.
- Obedience. Faithful prayer is commanded and, of course, command-keeping is essential in all areas of our lives. (Mt. 26:41, Mark 13:33, Luke 18:1, 1Tim. 2:1, Eph. 6:18, Rom. 12:12). We want our children to go to heaven!
- Priorities.Faithful prayer in the home is one great way to teach our children spiritual priorities. Kids always see what’s important to us by how we spend our time. (If tapping on our phones is all they see us do, even to the exclusion of bowing in silent prayer and opening the Word, they come to examine and know what it is that takes all of our time.) They know.
- Evangelism. Prayer spreads the gospel. It just does. If I’m on my knees in the morning and before I go to bed at night, I cannot help but to be aware of and vocal to the lost people around me in between those times of talking to God. When I am talking to God, I will be talking to people. And souls are, by far and away, the most valuable of this world’s commodities.
Today’s reasons for teaching kids to pray are necessity, obedience, priorities and evangelism. If you’re trying to remember an acrostic it’s “NOPE!” Let your kids grow up without learning to pray?
Maybe, for the next few days, moms and grandmothers could pray through these four reasons. Ask God every day to help you keep the importance of teaching prayer in your home at the forefront of your vision for your kids.