Intentional Parenting Through Christ: Praying With Your Children
Olivia A. Bowens
One day as I was mindlessly looking through YouTube I stumbled across a quite intriguing video called, "Masaru Emoto's Rice Experiment." Me being the foodie and health nut that I am I clicked play. After watching the one minute and twenty second video my entire comprehension of words was completely transformed. Basically, Dr.Emoto took three beakers of rice and water and set them on a table. He spoke over one beaker, "thank you" he said,"you're an idiot," over the second beaker, and to the third he said nothing at all. After thirty days the "thank you" rice began to ferment, the "you're an idiot," rice began to mold and the rice he did not speak to began to rot. Now there are different factors like light, vibration, temperature etc. Still, the fundamental key to this equation is spoken word. By this point your probably wondering:
Did I click on the right blog? This is supposed to be about motherhood and Jesus and such. Why is she talking about rice and words, where is this going?
To that I will give you the same answer I gave to my college friends when they asked me, "Why are you majoring in English?"
Because words are one of the most powerful tools in existence. They are distinct, beautiful and cannot be tamed. This Earth , the Sun, the food you eat was all spoken into existence by God with a word. He was the Word. He gave us words to live by. Words, besides our actions, are the most direct communication we can have with the Father. our first steps toward salvation is through words.
...if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:9-10.
It is literally our spoken word that petitions to Christ the plea for our salvation. Along with salvation there are many other prompts to use spoken words as a means of power. To baptize in Jesus name, to cast out devils in His name, confess your sins to one another, and so on. So what I'm getting at here is that there is an unequivocal, unbiased truth that your words have power. We are instructed by Jesus Himself to incorporate them in our Christian life. The question is how will we use them in our parenting? Prayer is one of our strongest tools as Christian women. It is not only a resource for our own problems but for the issues lurking in the spirits of our children. But lets be honest, children are quite unpredictable and that can affect the time and energy you have to put toward praying with them. So here are some ideas to help implement prayer.
Tips On Praying With Your Child:
- Incorporate praying into their bedtime routine. During a bath or while they are putting on their pajamas show them that you can pray anywhere. Allow prayer time to be something fluid and not a rigid chore.
- Make it relevant. Maybe your child is dealing with a hard class in school or has fear and anxiety about something. Show them that they can talk to God about those things.
- Be thankful. Thank God in your prayers for small things your children do. If they did something nice allow them to hear you thanking God for their love or obedience and ask them what they are thankful for.
Praying with your child is a two way street. You have to guide, be accountable and bring it to their level of understanding but also be open to hear your child's prayers and give them room to grow.
& if you begin to feel discouraged or lack the impetus to pray with your children consider this:
1. You are teaching them the importance of daily communicating with God. You are showing them how to pray and things they can pray for everyday. They'll be able to use this tool everyday of their life.
2. You are, like Dr. Emoto, speaking life and love into your child. It's not just a churchy saying, even scientist are beginning to see the remarkable ability of words to change a person. A study has shown that," a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress." A simple, "thank you Lord for my loving child" can have a lasting impression on your child's emotional disposition.
3. You are interceding in prayer right there with them. By praying with them you are demonstrating the ability for them not only to pray for themselves but to be able to pray for other people and with other people! That's a skill that some adults don't even practice.
Mothers are given a small amount of time to instill the essential building blocks a child needs to mature into a spiritually strong adult. Don't underestimate the power of your prayers.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Verses About Prayer:
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
1 Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
Psalms 145:18 The LORD is near to all them that call on him, to all that call on him in truth.
Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.