So, how then do we teach our children—and grandchildren to pray? Interestingly enough, I googled it today. I wish I hadn’t. There was an idea to pray a daily adverb. (Think: "Willingly!") There was another idea to spread marshmallows and chocolate chips on a map. Pray for the city or state before you get a sweet treat! And Bark for Prayer is a method whereby you pray for a dog’s human every time you see one. The dog, not the human.
Now, these are creative ideas. I’m all for praying "happily" for the whole world (especially for chocolate). And I sure love dogs! )
But let me suggest this novel idea.
Maybe the best way to teach our kids to pray is to get them into their Bibles. The Psalms will teach them to praise, lament, petition, call down God’s anger or his protection, and even to confess.
Lest you find this idea to be dull and overdone and one of those “Christianese” answers...hear me out on this!
I have two of the world’s most adorable granddaughters. Here's proof!
My chosen grandmother name is NanaDannah—one word. Not two. Addie and Zoe have just started saying my name. On July 16th to be exact. (But who’s keeping track!? And never mind that it came out “Nanda!”)
Language learning is an interesting thing. We learn it because we are spoken to. Think about this: we’re literally talked into talking. Syllable by syllable, we emerge with the ability to answer. A child’s ability to speak is profoundly affected by the number of words spoken to them. We speak to the degree we are spoken to. In essence, we receive our words.
Ever think about how that parallels talking to God? I think we have to recognize that we don’t have a prayer of a chance unless we first immerse ourselves in the language of God. We have to receive His words. That means we listen, study, think, reflect, ponder, and meditate on the Scriptures. We learn to pray the same way we learn to talk—by having the words given to us. The Bible says God put His words in the mouths of the prophets. They wrote it down for us. The Bible, then, is God’s written word. And it's where we get God's words to bring forth language from our own tongues.
I’ve been hearing a lot of grumbling lately about prayer. Moms feel the world is so messed up right now that they just don’t know how to talk to God. Let alone how to teach their kids to talk to God. I offer you this treasure from the Bible. It’s the True Girl theme verse. In some versions, it reads this way.
So He said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32
There is great evidence of the authenticity of our relationship with Jesus Christ found in continuing in God’s Word! That is to stay in it, to abide, to remain, and to meditate on it.
The outcome of continuing is knowing the truth. When we’re confused and don’t know how to talk to God, we’ll find clarity if we just CONTINUE being in the Bible. CONTINUE.
I think what this is really telling us is that God knew we’d find times when we don’t know how to pray or what to believe. But, friend, you've got to CONTINUE...keep at it...don’t give up...stay in the WORD! If you do, you'll find the clarity of how to talk to God about everything going on in our life. And out of that, will come freedom!
So, when it comes to teaching our kids to pray...I think we need to get them into their Bibles. And then, get them to CONTINUE being there.
And while we’re on the topic, how’s your prayer life? Today might be a good day to pick up your Bible and CONTINUE being a woman of God’s Word!
Truth Bomb Action Point: Pick your Bible up today and CONTINUE. Even if it's been a while. (Actually, especially if it's been a while.)
Our True Girl theme verse:
"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32
Mom, the best way to teach your daughter to live like an authentic True Girl is to live like an authentic True Woman. And to do that, you've got to get your life lined up with the Truth of the Bible. Listen to Dannah Gresh every weekday on Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's Revive Our Hearts podcast. The program features biblical teaching, interviews that offer godly advice, and other opportunities to abide in God's Word.
True Girl is a ministry of Pure Freedom, a non-profit 501c3 that relies on donations from friends like you.