The other night I went in to pray with my youngest son, Noah (5 years old). I got down on my knees and knelt beside his bed…and I began to pray. I said ‘AMEN’ and he said, “Daddy, I wanna pray now.” I said “OK.”
He got out of bed and crawled up into my lap and laid his head on my neck, and he began to pray. He cried out to the Lord for all of his family, asking for their protection, to which I was verbally agreeing by saying “Yes, Father” or “AMEN.”
I need to tell you about a stuffed dinosaur. His name is ‘Steggie.’ He is a Stegosaurus, and he sits on Noah’s bed faithfully. Noah loves this goofy dinosaur. He places value on him, so therefore Steggie made it in Noah’s prayer time. Noah prayed out, “God please protect Steggie.” He went silent, almost like he was expecting something. All of the sudden I got a slap to the back of my head, and he said “Dad….say ‘YES FATHER.'” To which I quickly began to pray in agreement “Yes, Father protect Steggie.” Then he went on and finished his prayer.
You see, I’m teaching my son something. He believes that praying for others is important because I, as his father, have placed a high regard on praying for others. I know praying for a toy seems silly, but what it’s teaching him is that praying for everything is important. When we take time to show our kids we value the things of God, they will also place a high value on those things. I get that we can’t force our children to love Jesus, but when we show them that He’s our foundation, they are more likely to want to chase the things we chase. “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Prov. 22:6).
Take time to pray with your children and show them who Jesus is. It just might change the whole dynamic of your entire family.