Parenting Tip For the Week:

Prayer with your family

Have you ever asked your child, “What do you want to pray about?” and received a blank stare accompanied by an over dramatic shrug?  Um, yup, I have several times. Praying with your family and teaching your children how to pray is not as easy as I thought it should be…at least for me.
Explaining to kids that prayer is simply talking to God helps to take a bit of the mystery out of prayer. It may help to rephrase your question to a statement like “Let’s talk to Jesus.” It may also be helpful to explain that closing your eyes and bowing your head is not required…it doesn’t make you more spiritual—it’s simply a good way to remove distractions. Have the conversation with your child about some ideas to remove distractions so that you can focus on Jesus.
Learning how to pray is a process for anyone at any age. Adults who come to know Jesus as grownups often have a hard time knowing how to pray. Here are a few techniques that will be helpful with most age groups as individuals are first learning how to pray.
POPCORN PRAYERS: Popcorn prayers are short words or phrases that pop up like popcorn. This is a great way to get used to praying in front of others. In a family setting, this could be started with a phrase like, “Let’s tell Jesus what we’re thankful for. Speak out what you’re thankful for by starting with, ‘Thank you Jesus for ________’” Give plenty of time for prayers to pop. There are many ways you can direct popcorn prayers. Some other ideas would be: Let’s pray for our friends, “Jesus, please bless________”, Let’s give our worries over to Jesus, “Jesus, I trust you with_______”, Let’s praise Jesus, “Jesus, you are__________.”
ASK MORE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS: Sometimes it just helps to “prime the pump” by asking more specific questions. An easy acronym to remember is PRAY. Praise- What do you want to thank Jesus for? ,Repent- What do you want to tell Jesus you’re sorry for?, Ask- What do you want to ask Jesus for?, and Yield-What is something that you’re worried about that you want to give over to Jesus? Some other ideas for questions are: Is there anybody at school who is sick? Sad? Lonely?  Which person in your family do you want to pray for tonight? Which of your teacher’s would you like to pray for tonight?
REPEAT AFTER ME: With your toddlers and preschoolers, it may help to simply have them repeat after you. As they get older this can transition into taking turns and alternating who goes first.
MODEL : As with nearly everything, kids will learn by watching you!! Pray your prayers out loud!! Demonstrate that prayer is simply talking to God. Lead by example to remove distractions so that you can focus on talking to God. Model 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Here are some funny prayers from children… Please share some of your own!
“Dear God, I went to this wedding and they were kissing right there in church. Is that OK?”
“Dear God, thank You for the baby brother but what I prayed for was a puppy.”
“Dear God, it must be super hard to love all the people in the world, especially my brother. I don’t know how You do it.”
“Dear God, are you actually invisible or is that just a trick?”
“Dear God, please take care of my daddy, mommy, sister, brother, my doggy and me. Oh, please take care of yourself, God. If anything happens to you, we’re gonna be in a big mess.”
This parenting tip comes from the wonderful blog Family Discipleship Path.  Check them out for sure!

On the journey with you,

Pastor Beau

Family Discipleship:

  • Family Discipleship Path - Wonderful blog that has some AWESOME ideas that I think are right on!
  • Dadvotionals - A great blog written by a guy I went to college with.  Here you'll find musings of a father who wants to be the best he can be with God's help.

Bible Study Tools:
  • Online Parallel Bible - An awesome online tool that compares two Bible translations side by side.  I've chosen The New Living Translation and the New International Readers Version to be the default.  Because it's written at a 3rd grade level,  I really like the NIrV for kids.  And the NLT is an excellent version for us older kids :)

A Christian Perspective on Current Media:


Parenting Tips:

Things To Do With Your Kids:
  • Boredom Busters - A wonderful site that is chocked full of brilliant ideas of things to make and do!
  • My Little House -  Sweet site with a lot of great, easy to make Biblical paper models, calendars, and dioramas that you can download and print for free!

* denotes blog is listed in the 'recommended blogs' on the right