Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Introducing Praying to Children

Praying isn't something that has always come naturally to me. Even now, at times, it can feel awkward.

I never thought of praying as something that is taught, but when Andrew and I realized that we needed to raise Christian children, we were faced with huge problem. We weren't really raised, either of us, in Godly homes. Sure, our parents believe in God, but my parents never set time aside to read the Bible, pray, go to Church, or anything similar. So, when faced with this task, it was huge and overwhelming.

I realized right away that introducing prayer to our children should be a number one priority, but that means that I had to change as well. I couldn't always internally speak to God; I had to do this out loud as well.

It was so hard at first! Boy, the first time I told Caelyn to come pray with me, she looked at me as if I had 3 heads, but she did it.

I remember the first time that I sat at our large front window with her and we talked about everything she could see outside and then I said "Caelyn, God made everything you see. God made the trees, the grass, the sun." She was hooked and asked me if He made the rocks, the bushes, the birds - then we saw a birdie get a worm for its babies.
Then, I told her we have to thank God for what He gives us. She thanked him for the sun.... and her toys! (She thanks daily for her toys haha!)

We continued doing this daily, even a few times a day!

Then, we began to truly pray together.
It started when I realized one of my friend's had to bring her baby to the hospital for seizure. I called Caelyn over and we held hands and I prayed for the baby. After, she asked me all kinds of questions. It felt perfect.
Then, we began to do so all the time - we pray together when I know someone needs it or when I need it or her! The days I am feeling truly impatient or angry, when she is really struggling with her behavior, when Brayden is having a bad day - we pray. We pray before we leave the house.

I thought it would be so hard but I realize its not at all. Its always the perfect way to grow the bond closer with your child. I can't wait to see what our prayer life develops into!

We are now beginning to pray as a family at dinnertime; it is our next step. Then after that, we will begin bedtime prayers. I desire for prayer to be an everyday thing, not just something that takes place during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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