I have been thinking a lot about how more challenging it is to raise a Christian child in this day and age.
It feels like it was a lot easier for our parents to achieve this in their era. Those of us born in the 70s and 80s, know for a fact
that the benchmark for moral standards has shifted adversely. This is now an age where things like nakedness, exposure, foul
language and even strong vices are seen as badges. If you think this is a lie, watch the television. No longer do those images
and ideologies sting our senses or cause us to squirm.
I agree that technology and so called enlightenment have been the making of the modern world. However the trade off has
been the shift in what we all consider good and bad. For example I remember getting told off at work place because I included
“In God I trust” in my email signature. I get the evils when I add “By God’s grace within a statement by people who
constantly fill the air waves with swearing,
F’s and Puffs and all what not!
Rather than shrink away, I managed to tell them that I would only stop talking about God if they also stopped swearing!
” Stop swearing please”, I said
But they laughed at me and said I was just being holy holy. How on earth can saying by God’s grace be a crime while saying
fucking, bullshit and bloody hell are applauded!
Yeah, that’s the world we live in today. Sadly, it is the one we have to raise our children in. I dare say that some sermons
appear over tailored for political correctness. Many preachers no longer want to be astute with their approach to the truth.
Instead, they appear to pet the issue and be at the mercy of these ideologies.
The good news is that, we can make a difference. We can help our children.
Prayer as always is the key.
The key to establishing a solid relationship with God lies in the strength of one’s prayer life. Prayers need not be long enough
to distract from the purpose of building and establishing this ecclesiastical rapport. Prayer needs to be just enough to to
connect with God and stay connected.
So what length of prayer is acceptable?
So long prayers, short prayers, singing, quiet prayers and not so loud ones will do.
The bible reassures us that God hears our thoughts (Psalm 139:23), Hannah’s prayer was silent in her heart and God heard her
(1 Samuel 1:10,13), Prayer does not need to be lengthy. Remember Jesus’ admonition for us to pray with few words and not
ramble on (Matthew 6:7). We should also pray without ceasing. Meaning that we should cultivate a habit of prayer so that we
are constantly in union with God in our hearts at all times.
Let’s say you an I understand all these concepts, how do we teach this to our little children. Children who would much rather
play games, fiddle about with gadgets and have what appear to be the shortest attention spans since the inception of time. They
are having more fun than all the children born in all the past eras joined together!
It is certainly a huge challenge for the modern parent. My advice would be
- Keep prayers short. So that they will be interested in praying with you next time. There was nothing more annoying than my mum’s long, slow prayers when I was young. I heard myself say “Our father who at in heaven….. and mean it but by the time we were on the fourth psalm, all I wanted to do was sleep.
- Make prayers enjoyable. You can ask your child to add their own words. Praise every effort they make. Tell them you like how they pray. You like the way they sound. This will encourage them to pray and build their confidence
- Pray with your child. This gives you the opportunity to model prayer to your child. Choose simple words and avoid repetition
- Encourage your child to pray before most activities. Short ejaculatory prayers are effective for teaching children to invite God into every activity. For example, on your way out you can say “may God bless our journey and bring us home safely in Jesus name”. or “Bless my food O Lord God” before meals. Short simple prayers help children learn to include prayers into their daily activities.
- Be consistent. In consistency lies the power. Consistency helps create the pathway for children to follow. Even though the child seems uninterested, just carry on praying regularly.
Thanks for reading
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