Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Power of Praying Child

Yes, I ripped off the title.

For a long time, Kinsey has not been a praying little girl. I don't know why, but it's something that she hasn't wanted to do very much. We had this whole litany that we did at night every night that she would recite for a while, but just didn't want to that much.

Recently though, she's started a little bit more. We're switching off at bedtime as to who says the prayer that night and hers are pretty rote at this point repeating a lot of the litany that we came up with a while back.

It is so lovely to hear her pray though. It's one of my favorite times of the night (even though I've generally just told a 10 minute version of Jack and the Beanstalk) and it's a time that I cherish.

What about you parents out there? How are you teaching your kids to pray?


Suzie said...

Our general outline has been "Dear God, thank you for" and everyone takes a turn filling in the blank, "Please help me..." with everyone taking a turn and "Please be with". Now DJ is branching out into his own prayers, but the format above seemed to work for awhile. It's been neat to hear his prayers range from "Please help me be a good football player in the NFL" to "Please help me say nice words to my friends" and you never know what the "Thank you for..." section will entail. It's also been good for DJ to hear David and me confess what we need help with and pray for one another. The prayers of children are beautiful. We even wrote the prayers down for awhile, so DJ could practice writing simple words, and we could also go back and see answered prayers.

Tony Arnold said...

By example and doing. I pray every night with Maria after story time. We pray before meals. We pray a lot with our college life group which includes long periods of silent, listening prayer. So she is exposed to many different styles and methods.

We always let your pray if she wants to.

Other than including her as a participant, we don't do anything formal. It seems to be working very well. When she hears bad news about something or someone, she will include them in her prayer or say we should pray for them. She definitely seems to have an understanding that we pray to a living God and this God loves her more than anyone else does.


Jeff said...

I've had the same thoughts recently. Right now, all Christian will do is repeat back to us the same prayer we will do every night...be with Mommy, Daddy, grandparents, our teacher at school, etc. The question I've had is when do I transform prayer for him from something we do to ask God for things, to adding more of a praise and thanksgiving theme. I don't think I grasped that until I was in college. I don't think I want to immerse him in the spirtual disciplines just yet, but I hope to teach him more of a communion concept of prayer as opposed to a "please and thank you" prayer.

I will say that I never realized that the whole VeggieTales thing does catch on. When Christian recently started having bad dreams and getting up at night, we reminded him of the "God is Bigger than the Bogeyman" song, and we talked about how he could pray to God when he was scared. After a couple of times of going back to his room and saying a prayer of protection and comfort, we've not had any more problems.

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