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Teaching Your Children How to Pray the Scriptures
Hello, my name is Anne Marie Gosnell now and you can find me at futureflyingsaucers.com. Thank you so much for letting me share with you today. I’m a mom of three and a Bible teacher. I help parents and church leaders teach the scriptures to children, and because of this, and because I’m a Christian parent, I wanted to make sure that I taught prayer concepts to my children.
I know that in order to do that well, I need to grow in prayer myself and allow my children to see my prayer journey. I need to share with them what God tells me. I need to serve with sacrifice and praise. It is through our example that our children will learn to pray.
So I went on Google trying to find some resources to help me do this well. I found things like this: “Scriptures to pray for your kid”; “Scriptures to pray over your kids”; “Popular kids prayers to pray for your kids”. All of that is great, but I really wanted to be able to focus on scripture with my children and prayer. I knew it needed to be foundational in scripture.
So there are formula prayers, bedtime prayers, memorized prayers, mealtime prayers, there’s acronym prayers, and all of those are great. But looking at Jesus’ example, I mean he had a fantastic prayer life. Well, he was so used to talking with his father on a regular basis that he drew near to his father whenever he had a chance.
When Jesus taught the disciples the Lord’s Prayer, he showed how intimate our conversations could be. And when Jesus was tempted in the desert, he showed us how scripture is powerful against the enemy. When Jesus was mocked and accused of blasphemy, he used scripture to prove how he fulfilled the law.
The more I learn about Jesus, the more I learn how to talk with him, and it’s in watching Jesus’ example, I’ve learned that when I pray I need to speak his words back to him. I want that for my kids. Praying scripture is not for the Lord’s benefit. It’s for ours.
And if we’re trying to articulate the meaning of the scripture, if we’re wrestling with the truth of a scripture in prayer with God, God can teach us with that scripture, our kids, us, we can hide that truth in our heart that we might not sin against God. Sometimes it takes praying a scripture and talking it out with Jesus to truly understand what it means and how it applies to life. Plus, praying scripture helps us to memorize that script and then that helps the Holy Spirit have scripture in an arsenal so that when we need it, he can pull it to our minds.
I want that for my children. I want them to pray scripture to their Lord. But it takes time and it takes practice. And that’s why I wrote my book, “Helping Your Children Become Prayer Warriors“, because it takes all these different events that can happen to us during the day and throughout our life, it helps us to pray scripture.
For example, if we want to take a scripture and pray it back, one of the things that we can do is change the pronouns. So for example, Second Timothy, chapter one, verse seven, this is what it says: “Where God has not given us a spirit of timidity but of power and love and discipline.” Now if we were to change the pronouns, listen to what it says: “Lord, for you have not given me a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” Imagine how great a prayer like that would be for a little one who is dealing with a fear or an older child who is being anxious before any event or a test.
What about this? What if you change the scripture so that you included the names of people. So look at John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Replace that with the name of someone you know who is far from the Lord and needs to be saved. So it would go something like this. I’m going to use the name of my daughter, Leah. “For God so loved Leah that He gave His only begotten Son so that when Leah believes in Him, she shall not perish but have eternal life.” If you taught that to your children, they could be praying for people who need the Lord.
Proverbs three, five through six: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” That is one of my favorite verses. So let’s change it into a prayer. “Lord, help me to trust in you with all my heart and to not lean on my own understanding. May I in all of my ways acknowledge you so that you can make my path straight. Amen.”
Oh, praying scripture becomes easier and easier the more you do it. I encourage you to try. Practice it with your kids, model it for them, and have them turn scriptures into prayers. And you can write them down in a prayer journal, or in the back of my book I have scripture cards. You can cut out the cards and put them on the wall next to your child’s bed and just have that scripture there so they can pull from it whenever they need to.
Eventually it’ll become such a habit that they will go to the Lord, pray to the Lord, and they will pray His words back. And what amazing foundational prayer life you can give your kids!
Thank you so much for letting me join you today. Have a wonderful, wonderful day.
Books by Anne Marie:
About Anne Marie:
Anne Marie Gosnell is a Bible Teacher and Bible curriculum writer with more than 25 years of experience. She has created Bible lessons and taught children about Jesus at churches, camps, Christian Schools, and conferences. She is the owner of FutureFlyingSaucers Resources where she helps busy parents and church leaders teach fun, flexible, multi-age, budget-friendly bible object lessons that enhance the spiritual growth of children. She lives with her husband and three children in South Carolina.