Pray with Your Children in the Day to Day

Pray with Your Children in the Day to Day

Along the Way: Pray with Your Children in the Day to Day.

Deuteronomy 6:7- You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

pray, children

Training our children in the ways of God wasn’t supposed to be relegated to a devotional time a few times a week or (God forbid) Sunday school at Church on Sunday morning. God intended for parents to impart the laws and the character and nature of God (for the laws of God reveal the character and nature of God) to our children in an organic way as we do life together.

Conversations about His goodness and perfect leadership are meant to be woven into dinner prep and car pool. Discussion about how we can trust Him when He asks us to take a step out of our comfort zone or to not take that path that looks so enticing are intended to be blended into grocery store runs and clean up.

I believe He intended prayer to be natural and organic as well.

Yes, there are set aside times for prayer. If you don’t schedule prayer time individually and as a family, you will not pray nearly as much as if you do put it on the calendar. Check out this video on getting a hold of your schedule.

But at the basic level, prayer is friendship with God. Friends talk. Friends listen. And not just at 6:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

Friendship is connecting daily, throughout the day, moment by moment. It’s taking those every day, mundane, routine occasions and lifting them up before the fire of His love. He ignites them with His Spirit. This is how we pray.

So, what can this possibly look like with littles? How can you incorporate prayer throughout the day to day with preschool age children and younger?

  • Bath time- Turn bath time into prayer time. As you pour water over your child’s head, pray or sing “Pour out Your Spirit on _____.”
  • Turn a long walk (or just one from the car to the grocery store) into a fun opportunity for prayer as you say or shout “Let _____ walk worthy of the Lord.” (There’s also a great Apostolic Prayer Song for Colossians 1:10 {#3} on YouTube!)
  • Attach a prayer to each chore and pray that prayer each time you do those chores together. For instance, every time you and your child make his bed together, you could pray “Give me peace.” You could pray “Show _____ your love,” every time she helps you put away the dishes, choosing new people to pray this prayer for as you hand her silverware to put in the drawer. (Use the Step One Prayer Guide for more simple prayer phrases that are perfect for this age group.)
  • Do you have to run a long list of errands? Pray “Let the Word of the Lord run swiftly and be glorified!” before and after each one. (Again, there’s an Apostolic Prayer Song {#1} for 2 Thessalonians 3:1 that you can find on YouTube.) Talk about different countries, cities, or missionaries you might be connected with and how you can pray for them.

 What about older children and (Gasp!) teens? What can “along the way” prayer look like with them?

  • Ask your child what the top three things on her heart are to pray for. Is it school? A friend? A family member? Use down time together, such as time in the car or time doing hair in the morning, to pray for those things.
  • Does your family have something that’s a collective burden? Perhaps adoption or missions is important to you as a family. Use the time you spend cleaning up the kitchen after dinner (or do some other chore) to pray for that issue as you clean.
  • Write short prayers for your child on the bathroom mirror and leave a dry erase marker nearby so he can do the same for you.
  • Write short prayers (or print them off from the Step Two Prayer Guide) and put them in your child’s lunch. Let him know you prayed that prayer for him that morning and play “Prayer tag” encouraging him to pray that prayer for someone else as he eats his lunch. At dinner, ask him who he chose to pray for.
  • Remember that prayer is not just talking to God; It’s also listening to Him. Make sure you’re not always rushing out the door. Allow time and space for quiet so that both you and your child can take a deep breath and ask the Lord a question, and then listen for an answer. Don’t always scramble for Google. Don’t always answer every question your child has. Sometimes the best answer is “That’s a great question. Why don’t we ask the Holy Spirit?”

Training our children in prayer can become a natural part of our day to day life and friendship with the Lord a rewarding adventure in the midst of mundane. Here’s to praying with your children along the way!

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