Thursday, August 18, 2011

Teaching Kids to Pray

I just wrote this for our latest email update 
. . . and then realized that some of our blog readers might not get our monthly updates.  
So, I'm reposting here.

One of the things on my list-of-things-to-do-while-Matt-is-gone-list is "Prayer project with Eliana." I wanted to invite her to pray with me for Matt during his longboard camp.  But, I was struggling with how to invite this two year old to spontaneously pray for her dad while he is gone.  I mean really - she is only two.

And then a thought struck me - she hears all the random noises that we adults usually tune out.  (She is constantly asking me, "Mama, what was dat noises?")  She hears every siren, dog barking, airplane, kid crying . . . everything!  

So, a couple days ago I tried something new.

"Eliana, let's pray for Daddy and the longboarders every time we hear an airplane, ok?"  

But then I worried that we might not hear many airplanes, so I changed it to hearing a dog barking.  I did it with her a few times and then my adult ears went back to tuning out a lot of background noise.

Not long after that she came racing into the living room, barely making it around the corner, so intent was she on delivering her important message, "Mama! A dog barking! Pray for the longboarders!"  
I love it!  She is actually the one who is keeping ME on track with remembering to pray for Matt. . . whenever a dog barks OR an airplane flies overhead. 

(PS  I am always on the hunt for trying to find creative ways to teach spiritual truths to children.  I struggle with feeling like I'm winging it and would LOVE to hear any ideas or suggestions you have heard about or tried.)


Carolyn said...

Thanks for the idea.

Josh and Stacy Mathews said...

Yes, me too! I am reading a great book called don't make me count to 3 by Ginger Plowman. She talks about using Scripture with discipline rather than just saying don't disobey. She has a chart that you can order online. I think i will use it more when my kids are older but I am trying to use simple verses with the appropriate offense.
Love the prayer idea:)

Anna said...

I love this story Sharon and I love that Eliana went for BOTH the dog barking and the airplane...such a cute toddler thing to do! Here is one fun idea I got from someone somewhere...We gathered pictures of family, friends and missionaries that we support and put the pictures in a box we keep on our dining table. Each night for dinner we choose a new picture/family to pray for together. David loves asking who the people are and when we pray he is much more calm and excited to pray because there are concrete people for whom we are praying.

Ashley said...

I think these are some of the coolest idea's i've heard of... you should keep sharing your ideas with me sharon - i'm totally gonna start using this one with the kiddo's at church