Fellowship Friday: Prayers with our Preschoolers

But Jesus called to him and said "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these" Luke 18:16

photo courtesy of TPCC: Spring 2014

Ryan and I have been very blessed to find brothers and sisters in Christ over the course of our marriage. My last year in teaching, I was lucky enough to get to know one of these brothers and his families. Adam and Casie are two of the most loving and gracious people. They walk the walk.

After Briggs was born, I remember Adam telling me how he and his wife prayed with and over their children every night. With an infant son, I hadn't thought to start praying with him so early. He wouldn't understand. We'll start once he can communicate with us. But Adam and Casie's story made a huge impact. I felt God's whispers telling me,"Start it now. Pray over your son. Pray with him. Let him know I'm here. There should never be a day where he doesn't know me." 

So we began to pray over our baby. We prayed of course for his well being. We prayed for our family. We prayed for his future friends. We even prayed for his future wife. We prayed for her parents. To help guid and protect their own hearts so that they may raise a beautiful God-fearing young lady. We pray that together, they can impact this world for Christ. These are still the prayers Ryan and I send to the Lord. So now the question is...

How do we pray with our babies?

My dad taught me at a very young age a format to help structure my prayers using the acronym, ACTS. It has been around for decades but it truly helps you focus in your prayer. (Especially when learning how to pray as a little.) This model is something we've carried on with our kids. With Kerigan, we lead. But with Briggs, we make it a question and answer guide so that he is "leading" the prayer.

How great is our God? How much does he love us? How big is God? How good is He?

We're sorry for ________ today. Please help us learn from our mistakes. Next time this comes up, help us handle it this way.

Thank you for....(family, friends, school,) whatever is on their little hearts to be thankful for that day. Sometimes its as simple as...popsicles.

Please help us...(have a great day tomorrow, find a yellow shirt to wear, take care of all the zoo animals) you, know the things a three-year-old thinks up :)

I'm so thankful we are getting into the habit now to get them comfortable with talking to God. It's so sweet because even Kerigan knows when to say "Amen" during prayer. We bring it down to a preschool level. The two main things that are our focus now are: 
1. God loves them 
2. He is our friend. 

As the kids get older, I would like to implement prayer sticks and/or journals. One of my girlfriends uses Christmas cards she receives from friends. After Christmas, she and her children cut them out and glue them on popsicle sticks. Then they put them in a jar and pray for the someone they draw out that day. Awesome idea! 

When it comes to our minds and hearts, what goes "in" comes "out." If we raise our kids with prayer, conviction and compassion for others, that's what we are going to see when they become adults. I'm so thankful for our church community and the loved ones who not only influence my children but help Ryan and I become better parents and stewards of Christ. Happy Praying!

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