Hop On An Amazing Prayer Adventure!
One of a child’s most sought after goals in life is to drive – and that hankering starts early. My granddaughter is not yet 2 years old, but if there is a steering wheel in close proximity to her, she makes a beeline to get behind it. There is just something thrilling and affirming about being the person who gets to steer.
Maybe that is one of our hang-ups with prayer.
After all, no one would say that prayer is like being in the driver’s seat.
On the contrary, it often feels more like being a back-seat driver – you know, the one who thinks he knows the best course and wishes he was at the wheel, but somehow ends up as a passenger giving instructions to the actual driver.
If you’re honest, at one time or another, you have experienced this type of frustration in prayer. So how do you teach your children to enjoy and pursue something where they will never be the one in control? I think we need to change up the analogy in our own minds and hearts, and then start seeing prayer for the vehicle it actually is.
Prayer is not a race car or taxi where the whole focus is about speed and how fast we can get to the finish line or destination. Rather, prayer is like a tour bus – where we desire an experienced, knowledgeable driver at the wheel, so that we can concentrate on the view and the twists and turns of our amazing trip. And the trip is not just an ordinary, predetermined package, but rather an excursion where we get to ask questions along the way, marvel at new discoveries, and help chart our ongoing course in consultation with the driver.
Who’s driving your prayer bus?
The next time you bow down with your children at bedtime to pray, help them catch the adventure of prayer. Introduce them to the Driver and get them ready for the next leg of their amazing prayer journey.
P.S. A practical way to start the adventure is to introduce your kids to one of God’s names they have never heard before. Here are a few suggestions.
El ro’i – The God Who Sees (Genesis 16:13)
El ‘Olam – The Everlasting God (Genesis 21:33)
El Nose’ – The Forgiving God (Psalm 99:8)
Jehovah Jireh – The Lord Will Provide (Genesis 22:14)
Introduce one new name each week giving your children time to internalize how that description of God relates personally to them and their prayer requests. Encourage them to ask questions even in the middle of praying and perhaps Google an answer right then. Also include your children in planning new prayer and praise items for the next night. This helps them take ownership of prayer time and look forward to what happens next – both are important parts of enjoying the adventure.
Enjoy God forever,
Susan Case Bonner
June 15, 2019