Praying with your Kids
By Joey Link
My mind and heart were flooded with memories as I walked out of my son’s bedroom a few nights ago. On this night I didn’t say goodnight to my son, I said goodnight to his son.
On our way to the bedroom, I toss my grandson on the couch and tickle him until we are both exhausted from laughing so hard. Every time I think we are through I hear him say, “Again Papa! Again!” I chase him up the stairs to his room. My wife keeps reminding me you need to calm kids down before they go to bed, but for me and my little buddy, that is not the way it works for us.
After reaching the top of the stairs, I pick him up, throw him over my shoulder, twist him around a couple of times and then I throw him in bed. We are both grinning and laughing. I pull the covers up and I hear two wonderful phrases come out of his mouth. The first is “Papa snuggle?” It couldn’t be a sweeter sound coming out of his mouth. It says “I trust you Papa and I want you to share my bed with me and cuddle me tight as I get ready to go to sleep.” The fun we had that day including the correction I had to give him culminated in him sharing his trusting heart with me as he asking me to snuggle with him.
As soon as I snuggle in tight the second request and most precious words he could utter come out of his mouth. He softly says, “Papa pray?” I get all choked up again just writing this. He asked me to pray because that is what he was used to. His daddy lays down and snuggles with him at night and prays with him, and they allow me this privilege when we visit them in their home.
I prayed a long time for his little life this night in his daddy’s room when he was growing up. I started by thanking God for his life and his name and what it means to us. I thank God for all the fun we had that day, listing all the things I could remember. I thanked God for loving him so much that He gave him to us and I thanked God for the Mommy and Daddy He gave him. I prayed my grandson would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and for God to use his little life now as well as when he grows up. I asked God to help him be nice to his sister and obey his Mommy and Daddy. I prayed he would grow up and love the Lord our God with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his mind and with all his strength and to love others just as much as he loves himself. I thanked God for the bedtime story we read that had this verse in Matthew 22:37 in it and that he would remember we memorized it the next day.
As I ended the prayer I said “Good night” as he snuggled his Pooh Bear and then he said “I love you Papa” and I of course said “I love you too Hudson.”
As I walked away from tucking him in, two other memories ran through my mind. The first one was a Saturday night when I was preaching the next morning in the worship service at church and I was feeling a little unsure about the message. I asked my son to pray for me. He did and that next night when I was tucking him into bed, Michael asked me if God answer our prayer about the sermon. Praying with kids is such a blessing.
The second memory was of the first three chapters of the book of Samuel and how Hannah must have prayed with and over her son who she had committed to give back to the Lord to serve at Shilo in Israel under the tutelage of Eli. Eli was the priest though his own sons were known to seek their own pleasure instead of thinking of the needs of others. I thought about my little grandson and prayed earnestly for him that no matter where God takes him or where God puts him, his parents would raise him with such a biblical foundation that he would be able to draw on it to bring glory to God with his life.
How often do you pray with and for your children? Even when they are teens, it’s a good thing to pray with them and for them for God’s guidance in their lives, for God to protect them from wrong and bad influences and for them to grow up sensitive to God’s still small voice in their hearts and for them to be guided by the Holy Spirit to be used by God to bring glory to His name.