My Prayer Warriors
"Train up a child in the way he (or she) should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
If you're a parent, guardian or caretaker of children, you have a great responsibility. The scripture above says to train up a child in the way he should go. You can train or instruct your child to do anything, but I pray its positive and beneficial for them in the long run. In addition to stressing how important a good education is, instilling respectful manners, and teaching them to be productive citizens; I believe the most important training we can give our children is a spiritual foundation in God. It won't hurt to be good examples before them either. Jesus said, "If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone tied around his neck and to be thrown into the sea" Mark 9:42. Wow, Jesus is serious about his little ones. Hmmm. We probably should be too.
Children are a gift from God and we (adults) are responsible for raising them according to Gods instructions. God is not looking for perfection from us; just willing and obedient hearts to train up these precious children to know His ways. Can I encourage someone with a wayward child? If your child has veered off the path, and you've trained them in the ways of God to the best of your ability; pray for them, and love them right where they are. I'm sure the disappointment is overwhelming and the pain is great, maybe even unbearable; believe in faith that God will help them find their way back. For those who did not teach your children the ways of God for whatever reason, be the best example you can, NOW. Love your children, pray for them and trust God to put them on course.
This post will be about training up a child in prayer. Most of us have taught our children the common bedtime prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep," or the popular grace, "God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food." Those prayers are cute, simple and perfect for getting children accustomed to praying. Those prayers are good for a time, but I want to challenge you not to limit your children to cutesy prayers. I believe children "can be" sensitive to spiritual things because their minds have not been tainted by everyday life. The purity in children allows them to have extraordinary faith, and as their prayer life develops, they will begin to see there is power in prayer.Children should know "The Lord’s Prayer." This prayer encompasses our everyday living in the earth. It's a great template for basic prayer. If possible, explain to your child what each line in this prayer means so they'll have an understanding of what they're praying. A child's prayer is powerful because they simply believe that what they are praying for will come to pass. As parents, we have to nurture that simple faith.
Many times I purposely let my children see and hear me pray, so they'll be comfortable and accustomed to a lifestyle of prayer. My children are seven, nine, and sixteen years of age. I try to set aside time for prayer and bible study in my home, and I always let THEM open and close our study with prayer. In the mornings as I drive the kids to school, we have a short prayer session. Each day, a different child, will lead the prayer session which consists of The Lord's Prayer, Praise and Worship, and Intercessory prayer which teaches the children to pray for the needs of others. I teach my children to memorize bible scriptures because it’s important to couple prayer with the word of God. I feel scriptures add more weight and authority to our prayers.Our children need to understand there is power in their prayers, and that prayer can actually change things! Cute little prayers for children are ok, but we can’t let them stay at that level. The world we live in is becoming increasingly scary. Our children, who are the next generation, need to know how to pray with power and authority with the word of God if they are going to see change in the world and in their own lives.
Let your child freestyle in his/her prayer by allowing them to pray whatever they want, or you can give them something to pray for. Correct them when you hear the prayer is a little off, they have to learn, right? When my seven year old was first learning to pray he would say, "Thank you for worshiping us Jesus." I would chuckle to myself then correct him by saying, "We love to worship you Jesus" lol!!I hope you accept my challenge and teach your children to pray mature prayers so they'll start to develop a powerful, effective prayer life of their own. Teaching your children to pray establishes a strong foundation in communication with their heavenly Father, so when they grow old, they will never depart from it.