Importance of Prayer
Prayer is one of the most important things a Christian can do. It is a time they are communicating with God and it should be taken very seriously. While there is deep theological meaning in prayer, it doesn’t have to be something that is complicated and difficult. It’s something anyone can do anywhere at any time.
Drawing Near to God
It’s impossible to know someone if you don’t spend time with them. Prayer is an opportunity to spend time with God. To really understand the heart of God, you need to pray. In John 15:15, Jesus says He no longer calls us his servants, but calls us His friends. Talking with God develops a deeper relationship with Him. The deeper the relationship becomes, the more time you want to spend with Him. In 1 Corinthians 3:9, God calls us His fellow workers. How can we be His fellow workers if we refuse to talk to Him?
Prayer Brings Light to Darkness
Sometimes we forget just how powerful prayer is. We aren’t fighting against something imaginary, our prayers are fighting against spiritual battles that linger in dark places. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” The power of prayer is so great it has the power to defeat the devil and his power over us. He wants to destroy us, but God wants to bring us closer to Him. Prayer is our tool to win that battle. Prayer gives us the strength and the faith to finish the race victorious.
Prayer Changes Us
We often think prayer changes God. This simply isn’t the case. Prayer changes us. When we spend time with God, He is working to change our heart to be more like His. The more time we spend with Him, the more we are like Him. Our habits and lifestyles change. We no longer live a self-centered life, but one that is focused on others with a pure and sincere heart. Prayer changes us inside out.
Protection is ours just for the asking. We need to pray for protection for our loved ones every day. Pray for loved ones by name, one by one. You can never pray too much for one person. Sometimes it helps to make a list of all the people that you need to pray for each day. Doing this not only offers us protection, but also sets a great example for our children.
Prayer Brings Breakthroughs in Life
One of the most important aspects of prayer in your life is the breakthroughs that come. Sometimes we are faced with devastating circumstances and feel we have nowhere to turn. It’s at that point we should pray (although there should have plenty of prayer beforehand, too). Fasting and praying is powerful, too. Sometimes you need a message from God and you need to be solely focused on Him to get it. It may be painful during the prayer and waiting process but once you receive it you will be so happy you sought Him. While you wait, you can also sing praise songs, read the Bible, or anything else that brings you closer to Him. Even if the breakthrough doesn’t happen that day, you will receive the strength and the grace to carry on. Eventually you will receive an answer to your prayers, or a peace about waiting longer. When you look back over this time you will most likely see it as some of the most spiritually rich time of your life.
How to Teach Children to Pray
Teaching a child to pray is one of the most valuable gifts you can give them. It helps them develop their relationship with the Lord and helps them grow as a Christian. Prayer is a very personal thing and should be taken very seriously. Teaching a child to do it should done with gentleness and grace.
Consider the Age of the Child
Children want to learn to pray at different ages. A child asking to learn to pray should one of the first prerequisites to teach a child to pray. Forcing an intimate relationship with God is a mistake, as it will only push them further away.
Let Them Talk
Remember there is no one “one right way” to talk to God. Don’t try to teach children a certain way to talk to God. It is appropriate to teach them to bow their head and close their eyes. But allowing them to talk from their hearts is an important part of prayer. If they want to pray about a pet or a toy it’s acceptably to let them so they begin to feel comfortable starting a conversation with God.
Talk About How God Hears Prayers
Just as it is important to talk about how we can pray about anything, it’s also important to teach them how God hears all of our prayers. The fact that God is always there and willing to listen to their prayers is a hard concept to understands so sometimes they need proof. The best way to give children proof is to point out answered prayers. It might be something simple like when someone recovers from a short illness that they prayed for.
There might also be larger things when someone who was facing a financial crisis and is restored. It’s important that adults point out answered prayers and help the child thank God for the answered prayers.
Make it a practice as your child learns to pray to pray anytime. It doesn’t just have to be at designated times. While you will still pray before meals and bedtime, there are times throughout the day that the child can pray spontaneously. For example, if you hear an ambulance go down the street, your child and you can stop and say a prayer for the neighbor who may be ill and require immediate medical assistance.
You can also stop after a good belly laugh and praise God for the great time you are having as a family. There are many times throughout the day where your child can pray. This will help them as they develop a habit of praying to know it’s acceptable to pray at any time.
Want to learn more about praying?
Check out the eBook called “How To Pray: Your Guide To Powerful Prayer”
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