Modeling prayer, praying over and for, praying with
This month we are studying the practice of prayer with children.
Included in our focus is liturgical prayer (public, group, pre-written), spontaneous prayer, mealtime blessings, praying over our children, and praying with our children.
Head over to my IG to see new info each week, shared prayers and our prayer routine at night.
Naturally, I want to share my mealtime devotional with you this month. At the back of Table Salt , I included a glossary of mealtime prayers for children.
By using a rotation of pre written prayers at mealtime, we give our children the opportunity to pick which ones resonate personally with them, whether it be because of the beauty of the words or the rhyme pattern.
Spontaneous prayers are sweet as well. Personally, I learned my son's heart for others when he prayed on his own for others who had not food to eat. So sweet to see his heart grow larger for others, and that he believes in the efficacy of prayer.
The best way to make sure that you model prayers for children is to find your favorite resources and anchor them to a time of day. For example, if you want use mealtime as your anchor, keep a prayer book near by and set a slower pace for the meal that gives time for prayer and discussion of how/why to pray.
If your anchor is nighttime, keep prayer books by the bed. You can also use cd's made for nighttime that include Psalms and songs for children, or use a nighttime prayer app. Pray as you go is calming one that is for adults, but can feel formal and special to children, setting apart the time as sacred.
Each night, I pray Aaron's Blessing over my children (you can find it in Numbers 6:23-27). This is how I set apart this time as a special and holy part of the routine, speaking well worn and ancient words over my children. It goes like this:
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you, and gracious unto you. The Lord turn His face toward you, and give you peace.
I know for some parents, a feeling of insufficiency may rise up at thought of laying hands on your children and praying. You may think of all the curse words and gossip you said that day, and the one beer extra after work that you should have put back, how how you lusted after a co-worker for a split second. It's always wise to reset, confess, and ask for help to model well for our children. It is ok for them to see us try and fail, and always go back to Jesus in our weakness and need. By praying over our children, we aren't working to create the perfect Lion King moment...
we are working to show our children how depend on Jesus for all our strength and hope. We definitely don't want to live prideful, hypocritical lives, but we are not working for humility and wholeheartedness, not perfection.
I hope you join along to discuss and be encouraged in praying with and for our children.
The fun is at theologyandfamily on IG.
If you are interested my family mealtime devotional, you can get it on Amazon.