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Turning the Hearts . . .Teach Me to Pray

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Turning the Hearts . . .Teach Me to Pray

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Our children do not naturally know how to pray. They need their parents to teach them not only how but also the importance of prayer. Here are some tips on how to teach your children to pray. • Remember that they are children. Don’t expect too much from them at first. • Help them understand God. It is difficult praying to someone you do not see. Perhaps explain it’s like talking on the phone to someone. You can’t see the person, but you know he is there even when he does not speak. Explain how great God is so your children may know He can do anything they ask. • Help them with words initially, but later give them concepts to pray about in their own words. • Show them the usual position in prayer (on our knees) and explain why we bow on our knees—He’s the God of the whole universe and our Creator! • Set the example for them in your prayers at mealtime and in family prayer before bedtime. In other words, pray with them. • Give them opportunities to pray at mealtime and bedtime. Coach them if they need help and explain that to conclude they should say, “in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.” • Put confidence in your children by asking them to pray about upcoming trips, whether for a church picnic or in a bad storm. Ask them to pray for you in your work or personal travel. Those requests make the children realize that their prayers are valued by their parents. • Explain some of the scriptures relevant to prayer (Matthew 6:1-15 Matthew 6:1-15 1 Take heed that you do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when you do your alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. 3 But when you do alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand does: 4 That your alms may be in secret: and your Father which sees in secret himself shall reward you openly. 5 And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly. 7 But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not you therefore like to them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him. 9 After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For your is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
American King James Version×
; Luke 11:5-10 Luke 11:5-10 5 And he said to them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 For a friend of my in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give you. 8 I say to you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needs. 9 And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. 10 For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.
American King James Version×
; Luke 18:1-8 Luke 18:1-8 1 And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, Avenge me of my adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night to him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?
American King James Version×
; various Psalms; Jeremiah 29:13 Jeremiah 29:13And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.
American King James Version×
; etc.). • Finally, encourage them to pray on their own over various matters of importance to them, the family, the Church and the world. Please remember to set the right example for your children. I remember older children who remarked that they knew their parents were godly folks because their parents were people of prayer and faith. May these tips be reminders to help you teach your children to pray!

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