Last week we talked about praying over the kids in your home in the morning. Today we want to look at closing the day with prayer.
My kids are 13 and 6. I have tucked them in at night since they were born. My 13 year old son still looks forward to it. If we take too long he will call out, asking if we are coming. One thing that I have not done well at is praying with them during this time. What better thing can we start and end our days with than prayer.
Why? It’s important that we model prayer for our kids. Praying over them in the morning helps them to see the importance of starting our days with prayer. Praying with them at night shows them the importance of ending our days with prayer. But, it also helps us to model what prayer looks like. The prayer we pray over them in the morning is a blessing. However, when we pray with them at night we are wide open to pray for whatever is on our minds.
Let them pray. If you have younger kids, then they may not be comfortable praying out loud. But, you might be surprised. I have been very surprised at how willing some kids are to pray, even in front of their peers. So, when you sit down to pray with your child. Encourage them to pray too. Take turns. You start, then encourage your child to finish, or the other way around.
Meaningful and relevant. Repetitive, memorized prayers are great for preschoolers or even for new Christians of any age. They help someone who’s not be comfortable with prayer learn. But, when we pray with them at night be sure to make the prayers more than that. Pray about things that are going on in your lives. Pray about things that matter to you. Pray about things that matter to your them.
Get real. We want our kids to talk about and pray about things that they are struggling with. This night time prayer is a good time for them to share. But, you may have to model it for them. Certainly there are things that we, as parents and adults, don’t need to share with our kids, but outside of that we need to be real with them. Help them learn how to pray about life difficulties by showing them.
This post is part of a series designed to help anyone that is raising children learn how to disciple those children. Check the Home Discipleship 101 button on the home page for links to all of the posts in this series.Matt Norman
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