Hey – I am Lori and I have a 13 year old son. I have been praying with him since before he was born. I believe prayer is as essential to life as air, food and water.
Skeptics all the time doubt that their teenager will pray with them, but I disagree. Children today are thirsty for a deeper connection with God. The world has cut off God in nearly every aspect of their lives. It is our job as parents, relatives, or friends to help educate the kids in our lives about the importance of prayer and having a relationship with God. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the suicide rates have significantly increased in nearly every state over the past two decade. Half of the states have seen suicide rates surge more than 30 percent. Our kids more than ever need a spiritual connection!
Here are three simple things you can do to incorporate prayer and God in your child’s life.
Tip #1 – Make Prayer Fun!
I created Kids Pray-N-Play Card Game to make prayer fun for my son and interactive for the whole family. I leave the cards in the car and we play on the way to school. Each card has an uplifting Bible verse and question for everyone to answer. I have learned so many new things about my son - from what is stressing him out to fun things like what he is thankful for. RESULT: I know what he wants and needs prayer for and just as important, what is on his heart. As a mom this is so helpful and I know how to better pray for him. We occasionally use the game as a dinner prayer or at bedtime, but in the car is where we typically use them.
Tip #2 - Pick a Signature Verse
Have each family member pick a signature Bible verse and memorize it. When I need a quick and powerful prayer, we all recite our verse and end with “In Jesus name AMEN!” It is fun and easy. As your need changes, you can always change your verse.
My son’s signature verse is: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 – my son has the hardest time with remembering 119:105 or is it 105:119 – we always laugh!!
My signature verse is: Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 You can always start very simple – God is Love! 1 john 4:16 I like using this technique because it lays the foundation for scripture memorization.
I started praying with my son when he was a baby, but do not let that stop you from starting at any age. Make prayer a habit and make prayer happen when you can… I put prayer on my “to do” list every day. I feel like it so important that I add it to my calendar and set reminders throughout the day to prompt me to pray for my son and family.
Tip #3 - Text the Word!
Since my son’s cell is always in his hand I will text him a quick and easy to read Bible verse. Even better, most kids’ texts go to their watches, so he sees it twice.
Examples of what I send him:
Be strong and courageous on the tennis court. Joshua 1:9 Good luck with your game today! Love MOM
God loves you more than you will ever know. Romans 5:8 and I love you too! Mom
I do this at 2-3 times a week. Email me at Lori@ShePraise.com with your cell number and I will send you the message so you can cut and paste and send to kids, grandchildren, or friends. I will always make them short and sweet so kids can easily understand the word.
Life is busy and crazy. Smartphones have taken over and God has been pushed out. The more your kids and family hear you pray, the more normal it will become and it will naturally become an important part of the family. Your kids will learn from you and learn to lean on God when life gets hard.