Ps Erin Planner
Neuma Church - Global Prayer Pastor
I love that Jesus is so clear about how He loves children to be close to Him, as the disciples rebuke the parents for letting the children rush to Jesus He rebukes them – Matthew 19:14 “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”
At Neuma you will often hear us say “there’s no Junior Holy Spirit!”, the same Holy Spirit that is in you, that is in the preacher, is the same Holy Spirit in your child! So we are always keen to lean into what our children are saying and sensing from the Lord.
Ps Corey often says when you need break through gather the children to pray! We value the prayers of our children, they are powerful, so how do we help them grow in this practically?
As parents you will know that the best way kids learn is through play! And prayer should be no different!
It’s hard enough for a 28-year-old to sit still in silence for half an hour let alone an 8-year-old! Right?! For the longevity of your child’s prayer life, we want them to associate “prayer” and “fun” together! So having fun activities that you do together as a family around prayer can be a great way to introduce your child to a prayer routine.
Simple things like reading Psalm 23 together and then getting them to draw the Psalm and putting themselves in the picture with Jesus. Then praying it together before bed with the picture in front of them.
Often our children have a lot on their minds before bed, especially if they have trouble sleeping or with anxiety, a fun way to pray 1 Peter 5:7 “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” is to read the scripture over them and then blow up a balloon and with a marker have them write their worries on the balloon and then release it up into the sky “to Jesus”. Another option is to pop it and see that what was written very “big” becomes very “small” as the balloon shrivels up and this problem is given to Jesus!
When it comes to the “listening” component of prayer, when training our children to “hear the voice of the Holy Spirit” sometimes we find they stumble on the whole idea of “hearing” as children can often think that God is not talking to them as they are not audibly hearing someone speak, but when we explain that we have “redeemed imaginations” 1 Corinthians 2:16 and that Holy Spirit can communicate with us by “showing us pictures in our imagination”, we often see a lightbulb turn on when the realise they have been “hearing” from God! Asking them simply to close their eyes and praying a prayer asking Holy Spirit to show them a picture and then helping them unpack that picture is a great place to start!
The best way to learn how to pray is …. strange enough … is to pray! And it’s no different for our children! However you can, where ever you can, just start and see the passion in your family for Prayer grow! Ask the Holy Spirit to come in and stir something in your family for prayer, and pray the prayer of disciples in Luke 11 “Lord, teach us to pray!”.