Teaching your children how to pray and watching them spiritually flourish is a blessing and life experience that most Christian parents look forward to. However, the prospect of spiritually nurturing your children can also be a daunting prospect for many new parents!
As you held your baby in your arms and gazed into your infant’s eyes, did you ever wonder what you should teach them about prayer?
If you grew up in a home where prayer was not a part of your daily childhood experience – or if you were raised in an environment where your role models prayed by rote instead of by talking directly to God – the prospect of sitting down and praying with your children in a comfortable, conversational way can feel quite overwhelming!
Thankfully, the Lord Jesus anticipated our every need.
You Can Use The Lord’s Prayer As A Model To Teach Your Children To Pray
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, He gave them The Lord’s Prayer – a prayer that has been passed down from generation to generation, from teacher to student, from parent to child!
The Lord’s Prayer is the first prayer that most children learn to pray. As churchgoers, we often recite The Lord’s Prayer during our weekly services. In fact, some of us are so familiar with The Lord’s Prayer that we must guard against saying the words without reflecting upon their meaning!
However, Jesus never meant for us to simply memorize and recite the Lord’s Prayer without thought. Did you know that Jesus gave us The Lord’s Prayer as a model to teach us how to approach Our Father in prayer?
As parents, we are responsible for spiritually shepherding the children that God places in our lives. By using The Lord’s Prayer as our model for prayer, we not only teach our children to pray like Jesus prayed, but we can also teach them who God is and how they should live so that they can always approach their Loving Father with confidence and joy!
You Can Teach Your Children The Lord’s Prayer Through Books
One book that beautifully illustrates these principles and demonstrates God’s great love for children is Rick Warren’s new book, The Lord’s Prayer, which features the magnificent illustrations of Richard Jesse Watson.
The following video provides you with a preview of what this book is about.
Watch the Video for The Lord’s Prayer
Did you know that as an adult, you can also learn about prayer through this book? One important lesson I learned from Rick Warren is that parents often focus on what we have to teach our children about prayer – but we can also learn just as much about prayer from watching our children pray!
You Can Teach Your Children About God Through The Lord’s Prayer
As we teach our children The Lord’s Prayer, we also teach them about God.. Here are a few of the key concepts that are important to convey to our children as they learn The Lord’s Prayer:
Jesus gave us The Lord’s Prayer to let us know that God wants us to talk to Him each day, through prayer, and to share what’s on our hearts.
God is Our Heavenly Father. Our Father loves and cares for us very much. Whenever we need to talk to Him, we can go directly to Him in prayer.
God lives in a wonderful place called Heaven. One day, we will join Him in Heaven and live with Him too.
God’s name is hallowed, which means holy. This means we should approach God with an attitude of respect, praise, and gratitude.
God wants us to live a life that’s pleasing to Him – to live according to His will, not ours. That’s why we pray Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Each day, God takes care of our needs and provides for us. To show that we trust in Him, He asks us to bring our concerns to Him in prayer. That’s why we ask God to Give us this day our daily bread.
When we do something wrong, God forgives us. When others do something wrong, God wants us to forgive them. That’s why we ask God to Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
God gives us the ability to know what is good and bad, and the power to choose what is right. When we are tempted to do wrong, God wants us to pray for strength and protection and choose what is good! That’s why we ask God to Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
When we teach our children to pray The Lord’s Prayer and share the meaning behind the words, we can be confident that we are helping them to build a strong spiritual foundation for life!
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How have your personal experiences with prayer impacted the way you teach your children to pray? What have you learned from your children about prayer? What does The Lord’s Prayer mean to you? Please leave a message on our blog! We’d love to hear from you!