Praying: Stages of Growth
All children vary in the time it takes to learn to pray.
If the parent would stop and pray aloud with their child when a situation occurs, your child would learn from the modeling. From this example a child would quickly learn to pray from their own heart when they find themselves in any situation. Unfortunately only 2% of Christian parents are comfortable doing this.
The other 98% of Christian families, including how I was raised, only pray with their children once a day or not at all (before meals or bedtime). Those Christian parents, who do so, often model after how their own parents prayed with them as children. When they do pray it is usually at meal time and/or bedtime. The spiritual growth of these children will develop slower. In 99.9% of these families the mother uses a prayer an adult created, with the child. Children need Dad to pray with them also!
Some questions you may ask yourself are: How do I know my child is learning to pray from his/her own heart and mind? What evidence of growth will I see over time? Remember, every child will grow at his/her own pace.
The following information will help you see the ‘baby’ steps of your child’s spiritual growth.
- When you begin, your child may look or point to the pictures that accompany a prayer.
- Gradually, your child’s attention span will increase during prayer time. Your child will start responding to questions you ask about the concerns she/he has.
- Over time your child will be able to ask for a particular prayer, such as “I want to pray about being sad.”
- When a parent makes prayer part of the regular daily routine, the child will begin to look forward to prayer time.
- Soon your child will remind you that it is time to pray or will get your prayer book and give it to you.
- Your child may add additional information (a second or third idea) to his/her prayer without any prompting from you.
- You notice your child occasionally prays independently to him/herself when a situation arises.
- With preparation, your child begins praying aloud in public settings.
- Your child prays aloud in public setting with no prompting. They have learned to express their own hearts and minds.
- Your child has formed a habit of praying / communicating with God in all situations.
Most Christian people want a good relationship with God, but do not know how to start.
You will find the web site: www.PrayersforChildren.org extremely helpful.
Aug 12, 2016 | Category: Teacher
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