The first time my husband prayed with my daughter, she was less than an hour old. He held her, whispering Bible verses and prayers in her ear, ensuring some of the first words she heard were things which could nourish her spirit.
We’ve kind of carried on like that. We really think that what we sow into their lives while they are young will form a foundation for the rest of their lives. We are unapologetically Christian. We do weekly Shabbat meals with our own mini liturgy. We read the Bible to them and we pray. We pray for them – my husband prays over them every night when they’re asleep, blessing them and praying peace on them (especially the one who grinds her teeth!). We pray with them – each time we go on a significant care journey (and sometimes just on our way to go swimming) we pray and we offer a chance for them to do so too. They are currently 4 and 6 and it’s fab to hear their blossoming relationship with God expressed as they speak out their praise, thanks and requests.
We also give them opportunity to pray for other people. When we’re praying for someone, either at church or elsewhere, we always ask the children if they’d like to join us. Their prayers are usually confident, to the point, without jargon or fluff, just as Jesus taught us to pray!
I’m a creative person, so my prayer life often involved Sharpies and canvas boards, so I offer opportunities for our children to join in. Like me, they enjoy making pictures with encouraging messages to give to people.
Our Shabbat liturgy is full of prayers, some from the Bible and others. They include a ‘sorry’ prayer where we wash our hands and ask Jesus to make our hearts clean, and blessing prayers on each member of the family.
I don’t think our way is the only way. It’s something which we’ve grown into and which I hope continues to grow with our family. And I think that’s true for all families – let’s commit to praying for and with our children, and giving them opportunities to grow in their own prayer life.
Author : Victoria Beech
Victoria Beech is a home educating Mum of two, and runs GodVenture to inspire and encourage families in their faith journey at home together. This year’s highlights so far include completing a triathlon and swimming with seals, and she is currently a bit fascinated with the Hebrew meanings of words in Leviticus!