A Child’s Intelligence and Prayer

How Am I Smart Photo

How am I smart? — an important question all children ask and deserve an answer to.

If you haven’t read Dr. Kathy Koch’s book, How Am I Smart? A Parent’s Guide to Multiple Intelligences (Moody Publishers) get it. It’s great! http://shop.celebratekids.com/index.php?p=home

This book will not only help you understand how your children are wired — but can also be a springboard for guiding your children in meaningful prayer. Once you discover your children’s dominant intelligences, you can design prayer time methods around their God-given areas of interest.

The following is a list of prayer-time ideas or inspiration books I have assembled that correspond to the 8 intelligences outlined in Dr. Kathy’s book. Since discovery and intelligence are such an important part of prayer, don’t hesitate to use these practical, biblical, and even secular tools to bring meaning and wonder to prayer time. As your children approach God on the basis of interest and gifting, both their minds and hearts will be stirred at the same time — an unbeatable formula for loving prayer time — and a recipe for inspiring kids to carry prayer into the everyday activities of their lives.

Body Smart (Movement and Touch)
• Walk and pray with your child.
• Hug or hold hands while praying with your child.
• Allow and encourage your child to include choreographed or spontaneous movement with spoken prayer. (I often pace the floor while praying.)

Logic Smart (Questions)
Where on Earth? Geography as you’ve never seen it before. (DK)
How Nearly Everything Was Invented (DK)
• The “why” passages of Scripture such as Job 1-2:10, 38:1-42:17

Music Smart (Rhythms and Melodies)
• Sing your prayers
• Play instruments while praying with your child (rhythm instruments for young children)
• Listen to music as you pray with your child, both vocals (actual prayers) and instrumentals (background).

Nature Smart (Patterns and Outdoors)
A Child’s Garden (60 Ideas to make any garden come alive for children) by Molly Dannenmaier
• Lay on your backs in the grass and contemplate the vastness of the universe. Let cloud shapes inspire your prayers.
• Hike and pray while in the woods or at the zoo.

People Smart (Other People)
• Use a magazine like God’s World News to inspire your prayer time. http://www.gwnews.com/
My Librarian is a Camel by Margriet Ruurs (How children around the world receive mail.)
• Make a prayer box that holds people’s names on slips of paper

Picture Smart (Pictures and Art)
You Can Draw Bible Stories for Kids by Sandy Silverthorne
• Doodle your prayers — Praying in Color (Kid’s Edition) by Sybil MacBeth
• Allow and encourage your child to draw what others are praying.

Self Smart (Reflection About What I’ve Heard or Seen)
Today Was A Terrible Day by Patricia Reilly Giff
• Discuss and pray about the day’s headlines from school, community, or nation.
• Use the 5 senses (taste, touch, hear, see, smell) into your prayers

Word Smart (Words)
Psalms for Young Children by Marie Helene Delval
• Read a passage of Scripture and use words/phrases from the passage in your prayers.
• Keep a prayer journal with your child – Pray Often Pray Real by Susan Case Bonner for preteens and teens

When family prayer is planned around a different intelligence each time, not only can family members grow in their appreciation for the strengths and interests of others, but each one can begin to grow in intelligence areas that need development and nurturing — and all while glorifying and communicating with God.