5 Ways To Train Your Family In Prayer

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5 Ways To Train Your Family In Prayer

By Shela Ervin
Years ago, I listened to a sermon about prayer convicted me to my core. One idea from that sermon that resonates with me to this day is this: “Our prayerlessness exposes our self-reliance.” That’s a true statement if there ever was one!
When we are truly aware of our great dependence on God for our needs—from great needs like power over besetting sin to the most forgettable ones, like the very next beat of our heart—we are driven to our knees in prayer.
One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to model a life that proves the real-life sovereignty and grace of God. If we as parents believe that God alone he alone wields control over all things, we will demonstrate it with a lifestyle of prayer.
Consider these five principles and practices for growing in prayer as a family.

Demonstrate what it looks like to approach God for who he is.

Often, prayer begins with a request for something we need. Let’s train ourselves and our children to begin with acknowledgment of God for his greatness. Make a habit of opening your prayer with specific praises to the living God.
You can praise God for his attributes—omnipotence, omniscience, justice, mercy, kindness, immutability, and more. You can praise him for the works he has done in the Bible—for making and keeping all of his promises, for loving and saving the unlovely, for his great plan to save people from every tribe and nation.
Make a list with your children and write these down. Make it fun with a whiteboard or post-it notes!

Pray according to God’s Word.

Sometimes, we can fall into the ditch of praying from our own stream of consciousness. And we do have great freedom to pray freely to God from our hearts!
But the greatest confidence we can have in prayer is praying God’s own words back to him. So as you pray, think about the promises he has made and the commands he’s given. Open the Bible and read a passage, then pray its truths back to the Lord!

Pray for his own name’s sake.

Another way to boost confidence (and joy!) in prayer is to pray with an end goal in mind. Whatever cares or concerns we bring to the Lord in prayer, bring them with a desire to bring God’s name glory.
When we filter everything through this main priority, our prayers are sweetened. We know that God does all things for his glory and our good. So come to him with a humble and devoted heart that asks God to make his name great in the life of your family.

Anchor patterns of prayer to ordinary daily routines.

Habits are effectively built when they’re anchored to other established habits. So consider some key moments in your day where you can add a moment to lift up a prayer.
You may consider greeting your children in the morning when they wake up and pausing with them to thank God for the new day, for waking everyone up from their sleep, for the breath in your lungs. You may pray before running out the door for the day’s activities. Find moments through the day that don’t seem as obvious to pray. What a reminder that we can call upon the living God at any moment!

Start and keep a family prayer journal.

The Lord is our God who hears the prayers of his people. He often answers our requests over a long period of time—sometimes with a yes, no, or unexpectedly wiser outcome. Take time to record the ways God has answered your requests for wisdom, courage, help, and providence. It will become a treasured keepsake of evidence that the grace of God has been over your family.
Shela is a happy helpmate to her husband in gospel ministry, mom to two young ones, and creates goods & resources with hopes to strengthen Kingdom families into Christ until he comes.
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