Be intentional about family prayer by going to God first for every problem and need. Teach kids to #prayfirst with these tips and resources.
There’s so much going on in our midst right now, it’s enough to make us want to bury our head in the covers and never leave our comfortable beds. . .or is that just me?
Political division, uncertainty and constant change cause adults to question our security. For our children, the issues are seemingly smaller in significance yet in reality, no less important to their sweet hearts. Friendship, schoolwork, hobbies and family dynamics can weigh heavy on our kids, leaving them stressed, confused and unable to enjoy childhood.
The Bible says in Matthew 11:28,
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” NLT
Jesus invites us to come. . .to communicate with him. . .to lay our burdens at his feet and find rest in him. How do we do this? Through prayer.
We’ve taught our kids about prayer from the beginning of their lives. We pray over meals. We pray at bedtime. We stop to pray in the middle of the day over boo boos and tears. But lately, I’ve been feeling the urgency to take our family prayer to the next level.
Our family will only experience the abundance a life with Christ has to offer when we learn to #PrayFirst.
The Bible is full of verses that instruct us to #PrayFirst when we encounter difficulties (see list below). But it can be hard to put this discipline into action when we are so overwhelmed by the fast pace of our lives. Prayer is our lifeline to God, the rope that connects us to him, our saving grace. I want to be more intentional about going to God, FIRST when we have a problem, then trusting him to carry us through.
Because I want to practice and teach my kids the intentional art of prayer, we’ve added a prayer board in our kitchen to display needs and prompt ourselves to pray over them daily. This intentional reminder will help each of us develop the discipline of prayer so that we learn to #PrayFirst when we encounter a problem. . .
When you are having trouble with a friend at school. . . #PrayFirst
When you can’t figure out a problem on your math homework. . . #PrayFirst
When you really want a puppy but mom and dad say they just aren’t sure we can handle it. . . #PrayFirst
When you find out the family down the street is struggling to pay their bills. . . #PrayFirst
When you aren’t sure if you should sign up for soccer or basketball or football or. . . #PrayFirst
When you learn that grandma is really sick and in the hospital. . . #PrayFirst
When you hear that our country is in trouble because its leaders aren’t great. . . #PrayFirst
When you see another kid at school being bullied. . . #PrayFirst
#PrayFirst and then talk about it. Because if we’ve already gone to God in prayer and asked him to show us HIS way, we’ll be better equipped to deal with the problem and/or trust him for help. And our hearts will be ready to receive his answer.
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In her book, Family Prayer Made Easy, author and mom Teresa Herbic says, “. . .time in prayer offers direct access to God’s heart. It offers connection with him – and a deeper, more meaningful connection with each other.”
This is our first, intentional step in making prayer a priority this year. I’m inviting you to join us. . .no matter the state of your home (complete chaos or surprising calm), no matter the level of need (big miracle or small request), in the moment, help each other remember to #PrayFirst.
Download the #PrayFirst printable here. Print on card stock, cut out #PrayFirst and post it on a board or your fridge. Then cut out the circles and use them to post names + needs for your family to pray over.
Do not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
Bible Verses on Prayer:
- Philippians 4:6-7
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- Jeremiah 29:12
- Psalm 145:18
- 1 John 5:14
- Matthew 18:20
- Hebrews 4:16
- Romans 12:12
Teach your children to pray using The Lord’s Prayer for Kids – a simple, kid-friendly version of Matthew 6:9-13.
What intentional prayer practices do you have in your home? How are you teaching your kids to #PrayFirst?