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Dispelling the Prayer Myth
Generally as parents we tend to assume that our children already know how to pray. This isnt true though. Just as the disciples need to be taught so do our children. So you ask, "What if Im not sure how to pray myself?" Then this will be good for you too.
at Luke 11:1-4. As this chapter starts the beloved 12 are
listening intently as Jesus prays to his Father. As the
disciples heard Jesus prayer they saw and heard
something wonderfully moving and powerful that was
complete in his prayers. They also recognized that their
prayers were lacking. What was lacking in their prayers
was fully evident in the prayer of Jesus, and they asked
Jesus to teach
them how to pray.
His reply, has become one of the most cherished biblical prayers: The Lord's Prayer. Even more important than the words Jesus spoke, was the prayer model he provided. The key is that in Luke 11:1 is the fact that powerful, faithful, and strengthening prayer must be taught. The best time to teach is now, so that our children can pray with the full heart and authority Jesus grants them.
How can we expect our children to deeply grasp the promises, power, and full love of God? We must physically, emotionally, and spiritually teach them of God's faithfulness to hear and answer prayer. With the authority Jese entrusts to each of us, healing and intercession are to be nurtured as well as the two-way communication between God and our children that will drive them to seek the Father's strengthening love in their greatest times of need.
Consider a moment how many childhood prayers you may recall from from your past. Family grace at the dinner table or bedtime prayers, repeated word for word every night. How sad it is that our children aren't taught how to really pray. Take a look at a classic childhood bedtime prayer:
"Now I lay me down to sleep,"
"Okay, so far so good, It's bedtime and I am sleepy and happy."
"I pray the Lord my soul to keep."
"Hey mommy, who is Lord and what is my soul? I don't think I want to give my soul away."
"If I should die before I wake,"
"DIE? Mommy am I gonna die? I don't want to die mommy?
"I pray the Lord my soul to take."
"MOMMY! Don't go! I don't want to go to sleep, I don't want anybody taking anything from me mommy."
While this could be a slight overreaction, these are common things that run through the thoughts of children. To little ones this prayer is more terrifying than anything else. And night after night saying it to God is not getting anybody anywhere. Imagine, everyday you tell your bestfriend the same thing you told them yesterday and the day before and the day before. Your friend would be hurt that you didn't want to share with them.
Our children's needs change daily, and hourly, so their prayers need to reflect their sincerly open, honest hearts before God.
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