Part 8 of 10 study lessons. For more info on the study lessons click here. Parents, if you love your children, do all that lies within your power to train them to have a habit of prayer. Show them how to begin. Tell them what to say. Encourage them to persevere. Remind them that if they become careless and slack about it…. Believe me, if you never hear your children pray yourself, you are much to blame. J.C. Ryle
J.C. Ryle has been dead for over 100 years. Yet, his words continue to speak today. Notice what he says: “Parents, IF you love your children….”. Notice that’s a big IF. If you’ve read any of Ryle’s works you would realize almost immediately he didn’t play around. He spoke the truth and many times that truth cuts to the heart. If he were alive today he probably wouldn’t have a mega-church. He probably wouldn’t be invited to preach on TBN. Let’s remember to listen to these dead old guys. They knew their stuff. And many of them wrote tons of stuff about parenting.
Now, back to nurturing prayer warriors. Why must we train our children on the importance of prayer? I believe it’s simple. Jesus did. Just a casual reading of the gospels reveals the importance Christ placed upon prayer. We see from the life of Christ that prayer is a discipline. It’s not easy setting apart time in our busy day to pray. Reflect upon your childhood and compare it to your child’s. Our children (today) are bombarded with countless distractions, aimless activities and hinderances to their spiritual development. Fathers, this is where we must step in and teach/show our children what communion with God is in a busy world. If you don’t teach them to pray, who will? If you don’t model to them what prayer is, who will?
Meditate on these verses and answer the questions below. Remember, this isn’t a thorough study on prayer, just a “warm-up” study. I encourage you to utilize the additional resources available (Sermons, Books, andQuotes) on prayer.
Here’s a good prayer model to teach your children, regardless of their age. This is also a great model to use during family worship. I didn’t develop this model.
ACTS Prayer Model:
A– Adoration: Proclaiming who God is and the attributes of His Character (Psalm 103:1, Psalm 107:1) C– Confession: Confession and repentance of personal sin. (1 John 1:9, Proverbs 28:13) T– Thanksgiving: Offering a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the Lord; thanking God for His provision. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) S– Supplication: Praying for others; requesting prayer for yourself. (Philippians 4:6)
That God would give your children a passion for prayer