“Bless Your Children: Teach Them to Pray” by Jana Allard.
Holding my four-pound granddaughter in my arms, I was overcome with emotion and began to give thanks unto God. Due to difficulties during the pregnancy, it was a miracle that my daughter-in-law’s life was spared and her tiny baby was alive and well. The prayers of many people had been answered. It is a blessing to have prayer support, but what about daily, personal devotions and how can one teach the importance of prayer to a child?
Proverbs 22:6, a frequently quoted scripture, tells us to train our children but leaves us with the question of how. The answer can be found in Deuteronomy 6:5-7 which states, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Simply stated, teaching a child requires a tenacious persistence whether sitting, walking, resting, or waking. This is best done by example and through repetition.
From birth, children are ever learning. A mother holding her newborn in her arms while praying is already teaching prayer. As your child grows, include the toddler when you pray. Encourage communication with God. By the time a child reaches kindergarten, he or she should be able to independently pray simple prayers such as for their food and, with minimal guidance, when they rise in the morning and before bed in the evening. Repentance can be taught through prayer in a timeout. A child can learn to give thanks for any good thing, ask for protection while riding in the car, rebuke fear after a nightmare, or request healing when sick. When the child can write, encourage the child to journal simple prayers or write scriptures.
“We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done” (Psalm 78:4). For what purpose? Psalm 78:7 answers with, “That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.”
Mother, you teach your child manners, respect, love, and more to develop your child into an upstanding person; but you bless your child when you teach your child to pray.
Note: Jana Allard and her husband of forty years, Brian, pastor in Delano, California. In addition to her duties as a pastor’s wife, Jana is a recording artist, author, and a member of the UPCI Western District Ladies Committee. She is blessed to be mother of two sons, a daughter, two daughters-in-law, three GRANDsons, and one GRANDdaughter.
(Information from: Ladies Prayer Intl. August 2020 – UPCI LM – email@example.com)