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July 18, 2016

Advice for Christian Parents: 5 Ways to Pray With Your Children

Open Letter to the Class of 2016

As parents, we have a great deal of responsibilities.  From the moment we wake up to the moment we lay down…well, let’s be honest, even when we go to bed we are still responsible for those kiddos!  Packing lunches, school drop-off, sports practice, piano lessons, homework, potty breaks – not to mention our own work and relationship responsibilities – there are so many things that are jam-packed into our daily routines as parents!

As crazy as life can get, it’s always important to pause the hustle and bustle of each day to do one of the most important things of all.  That very important thing is prayer - praying not only for your children but also with your children.  Whether its before bedtime or around the breakfast table, it is always important to include this special time with your kids.

5 Ways to Share Prayer Time as a Family

  1. Highs and Lows: This is an activity that could be done in the evening around the dinner table.  Ask your children and everyone around the table to talk about their “highs” and “lows” of the day.  Then afterwards, pray for each “low”, and praise each “high” together.
  2. Newspaper Prayers: This is a prayer activity that can be done in the mornings before school, maybe at breakfast. Pass out newspapers and have everyone circle articles or situations that he or she feels need to be prayed for.  Pray for each scenario as a family together and extend it to relatives to pray for the “newspaper” people and situations too.
  3. Prayer Journal: This is something that can be ongoing throughout each day.  For each day of the week, label a page in the journal.  Throughout the day, each child and family member can add something to that day’s page that they feel should be prayed about.  At the end of each day, one person can pray for everything on the list. (Something GREAT to do at dinner too, or as the kids wind down for bed.)  Each night, someone else can be the one to pray.
  4. A.C.T.S. Prayer: This is an easy to remember prayer you can do at any time of the day with your kids.  Each letter of A.C.T.S. stands for a different part of the prayer.
    1. A stands for “adoration”, so begin the prayer by adoring God for who he is and what he’s done.
    2. C stands for “confession”, so spend time to go around and each person can confess a sin or something someone feels they did that wasn’t very nice.
    3. T stands for “thanksgiving”, so take time for everyone to thank God for the blessings he has done for them.
    4. S stands for “supplication”, so lift up specific areas in each family member’s life in which God is needed to supply special needs.
  5. Mealtime Prayers: This is a prayer that can be said by a different family member at each meal.  Teach your children simple phrases they can remember, like: “Thank you God for this food and for my family, Amen.”  Make this a tradition to do at every meal, even when going out to eat.  Before you know it, it will become a habit and something your children will look forward to doing.

No matter the age, it’s never too early OR too late to begin to pray with your children. This will set them up for a lifetime of prayer time and will remind them to always set aside a quiet time in their day!

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