I don’t lead my kids through specific prayers. I never have. I never will. Do they pray? Yes. Do I tell them what words to say? No. Let’s chat about why.
The term Christian means many different things today. There are many religions that now use the term “Christian” to describe their beliefs, but in the past they never considered themselves “Christians”. My definition of a Christian is a follower of Christ. And to become a follower of Christ, you have to trust in Jesus Christ alone; not in good works, baptism or a religion to wash away your sins.
That being said, my choice to trust in Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness of my sins was something that I had to do alone.
My parents could not put my trust in Christ for me. My pastor could not do that for me. It was between God and me.
When I was faced with the facts of my sin, how I had transgressed God’s law and what the payment for sin was, I had to make a decision. I had to choose to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, or to reject it and continue a pitiful attempt to gain my own salvation — which could never, ever be done.
Now, I mentioned I don’t lead my kids through prayer. That includes the time they asked God to save them as well as daily times when they pray and spend time with the Lord.
When my children are very young I begin teaching them about God, the Bible, prayer, Jesus etc. I want them to know the truth and see the beautiful gift of salvation that is only found in Jesus Christ.
However, I never ask them if they want to say a prayer with me to ask Jesus to wash away their sins.
Now, that may come as a shock to some of you, but please hear me out.
I teach them that God’s word says they have sinned. I also teach them about the story of Adam and Eve so they can understand the beginnings of sin. I also explain to them the only possible way to have your sins taken away and forgiven is through Jesus Christ’s death, buriel and resurrection. I tell them it’s very important that they put their trust in Christ.
And yes, I even tell them about Hell. I tell them about Hell because it’s real and because I don’t want them to go there. It’s the same reason why I tell perfect strangers about salvation from sin through Jesus Christ as well.
I want my child to come to God when she is ready and when she truly understands about her sin and salvation.
It’s very easy to get a four-year-old to say a prayer or convince a young child she needs to ask Jesus to save her.
But does she understand? Does she truly believe she’s a sinner?
I grew up in church. I was told to repeat prayers — several times. But do you know what? No one explained to me why Jesus died on the cross. No one explained to me that I deserved to go to to Hell. No one took the time to let me know this sin and salvation thing is personal. Not until I was 16 years old.
When my children are very young and begin asking questions, I take the time to answer all of them. I don’t push them away, but I am cautious.
We wait with each child until they truly showed remorse for their sin. When someone becomes aware of their sinfulness before a Holy God, they are not giggly and happy. Instead, they are visibly and audibly upset. But, the hope and joy comes from knowing that there is an answer…and it’s found in the Savior Jesus Christ.
But even praying over our meals, my kids say their own words. There are no repeated sayings. They just speak straight from their hearts.
We also have Bible time in the evenings with our family and a few of our kids will pray for the family’s prayer requests. Again, it’s them speaking to God without mom or dad directing their words.
The reason we do this is because we want our kids to have a personal, close walk with God. They can’t depend on us for their relationship with God. They need to learn to love Him more than they love us. They need to learn that He is the one, not mommy and daddy, who can truly comfort their hearts, guide them and give them wisdom in small and momentus decisions.
Yes, it may seem strange to meet a family that doesn’t have children repeating memorized prayers, but we have seen such special effects that are a result of this decision.
My daughter asked God to give her a violin. He did.
My kids prayed for four visitors to come to church one Sunday — exactly four visitors came.
They don’t brag about these things but when they see God answer their prayers, their eyes light up and they often lean over and whisper and tell me, “Mom…I was praying about that!”
Have you thought about encouraging your kids to speak to God without using rehearsed words? Do your kids view God as a personal, close friend? Someone that hears. Someone that cares. And yes, the only person that can offer them salvation from sins.
Want to know more about becoming a Christian? Check out my forever page! And you can email me or contact me about this topic anytime! <3