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Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6
Teaching Children to Pray for Our Country
If you live in the United States, then you probably celebrated Independence Day this past weekend. This post is written for you. If you are a friend from afar, you are welcome to stay with me anyway.
Celebrating the freedoms we enjoy in our country is something my family has always valued. We are living in changing times and there are many more changes to come. The patriotic spirit and the general conscience of Americans are already challenged. The upcoming election year is bound to pour salt on the wounds of patriots who stand on both sides of multitudes of debatable issues.
This post is not about all that.
This post is meant to reach the hearts of all Americans and most specifically, our youngest Americans. No matter what position we take on any given number of topics, we are all still Americans and if you share my heart, you are concerned about the future of our country and the next generation of patriots.
Patriotism begins in the home.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. – Deuteronomy 6:6-7
As we join together in prayer for our nation, it is most important that we teach our children the value of prayer. We need to instill within our children the importance of praying for our country. It is easy to teach our children to pray, “God bless America,” but what if we resolved to teach our children to pray specific, intentional prayers and at the same time, teach them more about our government and how it works?
Children love to use their hands. They love to touch things, point to things, and count things using their fingers. We can use this natural instinct to teach our children to pray for our country’s leadership.
For example, let the thumb represent our President. One finger can represent our Senators. One finger can represent our Congressmen. One finger can represent our Supreme Court justices. One finger can represent American citizens. In the palm of your child’s hand-print, instruct him or her to write “Me.” Teach your child to pray for God to show him or her how to be the best American citizen he or she can be.
You can change this up so that each finger represents whatever you believe are the most valuable parts of our government and our government leadership or you can add another hand and come up with ten prayer points.
Children love visuals so help your child remember who and what to pray for by using his or her own hand-print to create a visual for his or her prayers. Your child’s hand-print prayer visual might look something like this.
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. - Matthew 19:13-15
Here are some additional resources for teaching children to pray:
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