Prayer Lessons: Teaching Kids to Pray (Part 2)
I always like to start with something personal, so please bear it with me!
I am a Hindu-converted Christian and I grew up bonding with fellow members of my church. I still remember there was a lady called Jenna. She and her husband were great evangelists. Their testimonies about overcoming struggles were an encouragement to me. They even used to travel to foreign countries to share their inspiring testimonies and spread the gospel of God. Everyone used to think that they were a childless couple. However, one day we learned that they had a kid but never brought him to the church. In fact, they never taught him about Christianity.
This is the mistake most believers do.
The world says that religion, in general, cannot be taught to children because at this age, they’ll be addicted to this “poison” and won’t be free from it. It’s not appropriate to indoctrinate them at this age about the “condemnation of eternal hell.” Others say that they should make their own decisions about the religion they want to learn about.
Seriously? Let kids make their own decisions? Well, ask them to decide what they’ll eat and you’ll see their meal will only consist of Snicker bars and Coca Cola.
My point here is as a believer, you have had several spiritual encounters with Jesus and you now know the truth, way and life. But, what about your kid? Biblical scriptures ask us to share the good news of God’s gospel with everyone. That means, it also includes sharing it with your children.
You have to tell your child how Jesus saved you. You don’t need to tell him that some people don’t believe in the tenets of Christianity or speak against the other religions. You should not discourage them from asking questions or fob them off with answers like “that’s not important now” or “I’ll tell you later.” But, most importantly, you should teach them how to pray.
Tell Your Kid Why
All children are naturally curious. Curiosity is how they learn and I think it forms part of their mechanism. When you are going to teach your kid how to pray, expect him or her to ask you why.
Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship with God. And, prayer is a means to nurture that relationship. The simplest way is to tell your kids how prayer is a way to communicate with God.
My mom told me the same thing to my sister. And, one day, my sister told her that she was talking to God but she didn’t hear God responding back to her. My mom’s response was this: “God did hear you and He did respond. But, you couldn’t hear it because His voice is very special and it will take time to hear it. But, the more you’ll talk to Him and the more honest you are in your heart, the more chances you’ll hear His special voice.”
Prayer Is Giving Thanks
If it was me in your place, I would share my testimony with my kid. I would share how God saved me and why I need to thank Him.
“And on that day you will say, “Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; make them remember that His name is exalted.” Praise the LORD in song, for He has done glorious things; let this be known throughout the earth.”
– From Isaiah 12: 4-5
“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!”
– From 1 Chronicles16:34
“…let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”
– From Hebrews 12: 28