Do you feel it yet? Has summer or break mode kicked in? Sometimes it takes me a week or two to adjust to not having to get up early and hit the ground running. I am so thankful God created breaks in our kids’ school year. It’s like a built in rest for our souls.
If you’re like me, this is a great time to focus on some of the things that might be hard to get to during the school year. As much as I love the slower pace and less packed days, I try to be intentional about the extra time I get with my kids.
Like you, I’m intentional about making my Moms in Prayer hour a priority in my calendar. It’s like a recurring appointment with my “special ops” prayer team and God. And I make this time a priority in my life because of its value, power, and effect, and the belief that it really is the most important thing I can do for my children. So, how can I not share this amazing battle plan with them? Praying for them is powerful and I want to TEACH them how to pray. A break in their schedule is a perfect time to do that.
Now I know some of you may be already shaking your heads and saying, “Great idea, but there’s no way I can do that.” Or maybe you’re thinking, “Nope, no way my kids would ever be interested in the Four Steps of Prayer.” Do you remember the impact on your life when you learned about Moms in Prayer and how to pray the Four Steps? God wants that same life-changing power for your kids too. So let’s give this a try. What do you say? Are you in? I hope you just screamed YES from the mountain tops!
You don’t need to sit down and have a formal Moms in Prayer hour right from the beginning with your kids (although it they want to, go for it)! You just need to be intentional about planting the seeds and watering them. You plant the seeds and God will grow the mighty oak. A slurpee run, ice cream in the backyard or maybe frappuccinos at the local coffee shop, allow some great time to sit and talk.
I’ve discovered that just talking and sharing things about God that I’m learning at the moment often stirs conversation. It’s a great way to open the communication about the attributes of God. And as you talk about the things you love about God (His attributes), you are essentially teaching your kids about the first step— Praise. When my kids were little, I would ask them during prayer time before bed, “What is something you loved about God today?”
Confession. Confession is so powerful in impact and yet so easy to do in practice. I ask my kids, “What’s something you did today you wish you hadn’t?” Super easy question and yet powerfully freeing for them to get their hearts right with God. This step is vital in their prayer time, so give them a moment to think it through.
And Thanksgiving— well break time always makes thanksgiving easy. The free days allows for new adventures and things to explore which gives us many things to be thankful for. And that is simply how I prompt them with praying thanksgiving. “What is something you are thankful for today?”
And lastly, Intercession. This is the step when my kids would surprise me the most, when I asked them, “What is something you would like God to help you with?” This time revealed things they were struggling with that I didn’t even know about.
SO, to simplify the Four Steps of Prayer for your kids it looks like this:
Praise: What is something you love about God today?
Confession: What is something you did today you wish you hadn’t?
Thanksgiving: What are you thankful for today?
Intercession: What is something you would like God to help you with?
Want a printable? Click here for a printable of these Four Steps to share with your child. Maybe post it next to their bed, or slip it into the pages of your nightly devotional with them.
Looking for something a little more in depth? We have prayer sheets adapted for your child of any age:
It’s never too late! Even if your kids are grown and out of the house or not walking with God, you can pray and share Scripture with them. Your example, even far away, speaks volumes. Don’t give up. Don’t lose heart. God is with you and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6).
Here’s a Scripture prayer you can download and send to your kids (click on the image to the left).
Keep your eyes open for next month— we’ll be sharing stories with you of how the Four Steps of Prayer helped kids from elementary school to college age, share the power of prayer with their friends. Stay tuned…you don’t want to miss it!
Bonnie Nichols is the daughter of a praying mom and also daughter-in-law to Moms in Prayer Founder Fern Nichols. She and husband Troy’s three adventurers—Josh 15, Mimi 13 and Jack 9—keep her prayer life alive! She has led a Moms in Prayer group for 11 years and knows firsthand how wonderfully God works when moms join together to pray for their children and their teachers and schools. Bonnie loves to encourage moms in their own adventures in motherhood and share the life-transforming power of God to answer their prayers.