Thursday, May 16, 2013

Parenting Children through Prayer

Prayer is a huge focus in our home. We pray together regularly. We make decisions after praying. What if everyone prays and disagrees?

In our family, I recognize that my children have their own relationship with God. I trust that God speaks to them individually and respect their personal relationship with Christ.

Recently, we have been praying over big decisions that would affect all of us. We disagree over how to proceed or not, through this decision. My children believe they are hearing God say one thing to them and I believe God is telling me something different. They are bold in their faith and trust in God and His speaking to them.

I could play my 'parent card' and make the decision the way I think we should and ignore their input. I could but I chose not to handle it that way. My faith is in God and so I continue to trust Him. The way I have come to know God has changed too. I don't believe He is out to punish me, waiting for me to fail. If He is telling me something, in this case, and I choose to wait, I don't believe I will 'get in trouble'.

With this trust in God, I am able to wait and respect my children's faith in God. I play my 'parent card' by using this as an opportunity to further instruct them on how we should pray. I understand that we all have our own filters that we are hearing God through. We have our own desires and wants, needs and emotional attachments and investments weighing on this decision. With all things considered, I choose to teach my children to wait. Pray and wait.

I instruct them that we will go again to God, in prayer for this month, over this specific decision. We will petition God for clarity. Also, if we believe God is telling us what we think we hear, then we will behave like it. We will declare, in faith, that our prayers are already answered. We will show thanks in advance by being good stewards of what we have. This is how we fight for what we want. We will not be afraid to ask for what we want and we will not be afraid to believe we have already attained it. We will also not be afraid to wait, to not move, until we are sure, that God says move.

I am not trying to train my children to only listen and/or obey me, but to listen and obey God, first and foremost. I have a wide range of ages here too. My oldest is already twenty, my middles will be thirteen and eleven next month. The four year old, well, he just follows along. I teach them according to their age and level of maturity. I strive to respect them not only as individual human beings, but as fellow followers of Christ. 

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