“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NLT)
As parents, we want our children to learn about and ultimately choose when they reach that time in their young lives … to follow Jesus.
We want them to grow up “…loving the Lord with all of their heart, soul, strength, and mind” … in other words, completely and holding nothing back.
Our responsibilities as parents are to teach our children the truth of the gospel. This is not a singular conversation but an ongoing one between God, your children, and you.
If one thinks about and reflects upon what is called “the Great Commission” recorded in Matthew 28:18-20 … we come to realize that the words of Jesus begin in our own homes … with our own spouse and children as they come along.
It is our sacred responsibility and privilege to teach them in the ways of the Lord … to love, know, hear, obey, and worship with God. It is through this teaching and nurturing process that our families come to know the Savior and bring the honor and glory that He alone deserves.
Just as we prayed for them while still in the mother’s womb, we pick up the prayers and begin the teaching from a very early age with the reading of Bible stories and nightly prayers.
The questions are … do we pray with our children at every age? Do they see us pray at the table for every meal? Do they see us pray when we’re struggling for answers?
The point is … because we are living in such fast and furious times … if we are not careful … we will overlook or at least push Him back in priorities. And that will prove to be a fatal choice!
Perhaps, we need to reach a better understanding ourselves of what prayer is and isn’t … especially if we intend on teaching our children in a way that will prepare them to live lives that are pleasing to the Lord.
Even the Lord’s disciples, witnessing the significant place of prayer in His life, requested of Him, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
Here are a few suggestions that can and should be put into place if they are not present already:
Encourage them to become more comfortable about talking about everything with God and show them Bible verses to reflect His interest in guiding and helping them!
- Help them to realize that just as in any relationship, there must be communication and it is no different with God!
- God’s Word is truth … absolute truth … unlike what shows up on news feeds and social media!
- Plant the seeds of truth in God’s good Book into their hearts (2 Peter 1:3-4)
- We have the opportunity to teach them the value of being “a living sacrifice” one that is “not conformed to this world, but one that has been transformed by the renewing of their minds …” (Romans 12:1-2).
My good friends, there is no greater privilege … no more significant gift to give our loved ones than the truth of the saving power of “the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:16).
Do you want the very best for your loved ones, your children, and even your grandchildren … then lead them to Jesus! And start by making time for prayer with your family daily.
“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…” (Proverbs 13:22)
Bill Fairchild, Jr