Want to have an incredible impact on who your child grows up to become? Want to see them have a meaningful spiritual life that shapes who they are? One of the most powerful things you can do is to pray with them for 5 minutes a day.
Now, for many people prayer can be intimidating and praying out loud can be even more intimidating. So praying with your child at any age, from toddler to teenager, can seem daunting to some. Before you choose to opt out on this one, there is a powerful opportunity here that I don’t want you to miss. Consider the following:
1. Your Rhythm Becomes Your Reality
90% of the impact is in the act of prayer, not in what you pray
Looking at your own family life growing up, you’ll notice patterns. Maybe you always listened to music at home, maybe you all cheered for a hockey team, maybe you always took a family vacation to the same spot, maybe you always respected your grandparents – these things shape who you are today. Your family rhythm became your reality.
Prayer is the same. Your child won’t remember 90% of what you pray, but the rhythm of regular prayer with you, even for 5 minutes, will shape who they become. Don’t worry about what you pray, it’s prioritizing the act of prayer that will speak volumes.
2. Prayer Shows Your Kids That You Are On Their Side
Prayer communicates to your child that you value them and your Heavenly Father
Prayer helps you fight for the heart of your child. No matter how difficult things may be in your relationship with your child, praying for them shows them that you are on their side. Thanking God for them shows them that you think they have incredible value. Praying good things for your child communicates that you think they are important, regardless of how bad you’ve messed up.
3. Personal Prayer Models Real Conversation
Authentic prayer creates a safe place for honesty
If you model honest conversation with your Heavenly Father, you are modelling that your child can be honest with their earthly parent. Obviously you want to communicate honestly with God in a way that your child can understand. But if you want your kids to be authentic people of faith, model it in how you pray. It’s amazing how many kids open up with their parent after their parent prays authentically in front of them.
4. Prayer Opens A Window Into Your Child’s Future
Praying with your child will change the way that you see your child
We all have tough days as parents. Some days we feel like we’ve blown it as a parent, other days we think our child is blowing it as a person. Praying for your child forces you to think about who you want them to become. It forces you to imagine the end, who you want them to become and focus your prayer and priorities on what matters the most.
It may be awkward to start, but our most awkward moments are often our most powerful. No matter how intimidating, not matter what the age. Take a moment to pray with your child. It’s 5 minutes that will echo into who they become.