5 steps to producing praying people

Prayer is the language
Image by Lel4nd via Flickr

When our girls were born, Tim and I each wrote letters to them in their baby books.  Our goal for their lives is simple, that they know and live with Christ as their Savior and Redeemer and share Him with others.  Does that sound a bit narrow in focus?  Perhaps.  But allow me to explain this perspective.

In the book of Matthew,  it says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  We take this to mean, that with Christ in first position, He guides us to balance and put everything else in its proper place.

Knowing the goal and accomplishing it are two different things.  One part of that trip we’re taking involves getting our girls to converse with their Savior.  After all, without conversation, there’s no relationship.

Think about it.  Are you close to someone,  if you don’t talk?  I think listening is also important, but that’s for another article.

A step toward this goal within our home is prayer.  Here are 5 ways to make prayer a vital part of your family’s faith walk.

1.  Pray at regular times.

In order to truly make prayer a priority, we use certain daily experiences as triggers.  Life can get so busy that we settle in at night with regret in our hearts thinking, “oh shoot, we forgot to pray.”  In order to avoid that scenario, we regularly pray at meal-times, in the morning (when we separate for the day), and at bed-time.  That doesn’t mean all Christians have to do this, we do it so we won’t forget.

2.  Pray in regular words with regular thoughts.

My Grandfather used to pray at big family gatherings and he always spoke in King James English for the event.  I’m serious.  He really said things like, “Father, we gather to praise thee.”  I’m not knocking my grandpa, he had a wonderful faith he passed down to all of us.  We’re just talking prayer style here.

I’m not sure where we got the idea that prayer was supposed to be formal, but it can feel intimidating to many people.  It’s like we assume we should talk to God like our Sunday preacher talks to us.  If we don’t speak eloquently, He won’t listen. God created language.  He doesn’t require fancy words.  There’s nothing we’ll ever say to impress Him and nothing we cannot say to Him.  He gets us.

3.  Pray wherever and whenever

I know I just said to make it regular, but spontaneous is also good.  For example, when an ambulance or fire truck passes us on the road with lights flashing, the girls and I offer a quick, eyes open prayer for whoever is in need.  We can thank God for His creation as we go for walks.  When the car dies on the freeway, now that’s a family prayer moment.  You see what I mean.

5. Openly ask for forgiveness.

Mom’s and Dad’s aren’t perfect.  I know, it’s a precious secret we hold, but it’s true.  God is perfect.  If we can teach our kids to ask for forgiveness from Him by doing so ourselves, what an impact that will make. It’s tough, but it’s honest.  If we have an honest relationship with our children, what can we regret?

There are many more things we can learn about prayer, but this is a place to start.  Does your family pray?  Please share your ideas in the comments and help us all grow in this area.

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