Praying for our children may come effortlessly because we wholeheartedly want them to grow into the best young men and women possible. We pray for their health, their friend choices, their performance in school, their power over peer pressure, and almost everything as it pertains to them. And while praying for them is absolutely necessary, praying with our children is just as important. Over the last 11 years that I have been parenting and praying with my girls, I have learned just why it’s so crucial for them.
1) DEVELOPS THEIR FAITH
During the period of my youngest daughter’s illness, I was adamant about bringing her older sisters in to pray for and lay hands on her. Not only did I feel that it was only right to have her immediate family completely represented in the prayer circle, but I also knew that the situation was going to be a faith building exercise for them as well. Once their sister was fully healed, the girls were elated to know that God had heard and answered their prayers. That increased their faith.
2) DEVELOPS YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Sharing prayer with someone is one of the most intimate acts that you can engage in. When you earnestly connect in prayer with someone, you create a spiritual bond that ties your hearts together and back to Christ. For this reason, you can create a deeper level of closeness with your child through the avenue of prayer.
3) TEACHES THEM HOW TO PRAY
Even though we each develop our own prayer style and our communication method may differ greatly from the next person, many of your children’s first prayer examples will come from you.
Also Related: 5 Daily Prayers for Your Children
4) FOSTERS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN PRAYER LIFE
Once you begin to teach your children how to pray, you can begin to teach them how to pray for themselves. Of course you will always be actively praying for your children, but it is never too early to teach them how to go to God for themselves. This principle ties back into number 1. The more they learn to lean on God and ask Him to guide their steps in every area, the more their faith will flourish.
5) TEACHES THEM COMPASSION
When you pray with your children for other people’s circumstances, you begin a lifelong lesson on compassion. I cannot recall the number of times that we have been in prayer and I will mention someone’s name or situation and after the prayer, the girls want to know more about it. Many times after an explanation that they could understand, I will find them praying on their own about the individual. Days later they will even come back and ask how the person is doing. They are genuinely concerned and prayer is what is initiating that compassion factor.
It may be difficult to set aside a designated time to pray with your children. However, I also know how crucial it is to do so. Just like you ensure that your children are eating on a daily basis, it is equally important to make sure that you are setting aside time to pray. Choose a time that works for your family’s schedule and commit to that time. Do not be afraid to have fun while you pray. Being serious and deep is not a requirement to speak to God. The only thing that He requires is for you to speak directly from your heart, so get busy praying with your children!
To learn more about praying with your children and empowering them throughout life, purchase my new book EmpowerMoments for the Everyday Mom: A 31-day Devotional here.