3 simple and easy ways to teach your kids to pray

3 simple and easy ways to teach your kids to prayChildren were a focus of Jesus’ ministry. He used the loaves and fish from a boy to feed the 5,000. He healed at least one sick child and raised another one from the dead. He told his followers to have the humility of a child. He even took children into his arms and blessed them when his disciples wanted to send them away.

I think about Jesus’ view of children often when my three children pray some of the most heartfelt, inspiring and even entertaining prayers I’ll ever hear.

Consider, for example, my oldest son’s prayers when he was 3.

When I told him we should thank God for everything in life, he took it seriously, even providing God plenty of detail.

“God, thank you for my train table and those two plates on the wall that are next to the smoke alarm,” he said one night while lying in bed, describing two colorful ceramic birthday plates that, yes, were right next to the smoke detector in his bedroom.

On other nights, he felt a bit more academic.

“God, thank you for the letter B, the letter D, and the number 3.”

And on some nights, he was feeling a bit theological.

“God, thank you for crushing Satan’s power,” he said, quoting, verbatim, what he had read in one of his storybook Bibles.

But there are plenty of times in which my children refuse to pray—when we go around the table at suppertime, finding no volunteers. Just like me, and perhaps you, too, they can be stubborn when facing spiritual matters. If we want our children to pray, we ourselves must first believe in the power of prayer (James 4:2-3)—and then set the example.

Here are three specific ways to do that:
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Mold your kid into a patriot: 7 flag-waving ways to teach children a love for American history

Shape your kid into a patriot: 6 flag-waving ways to teach children a love for American historyMark Twain may have said it best: Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

That’s a good approach just about any day, but especially during polarized times such as these. After all, very few of us are happy with the way things are going in Washington, D.C., no matter your party. And even if you are among the few who are pleased with Congress and the president, just give it a few years. Things will change. That’s the nature of politics; it’s cyclical.

There’s a lot I’d change about D.C. and the country, but I still love America and the ideals for which it stands. That’s the way my wife and I are raising our kids. We don’t worship America but we do believe the U.S. is immensely blessed — and we want our kids to appreciate that.

Here are seven ways we’ve taught our kids about the United States and its history that might benefit your family, too:

1. Tell them about America’s triumphs. Teach them about the freedoms the Founders established that were uniquely American at the time – freedom of the press and religion. Talk about the great inventors: Samuel Morse (telegraph), Alexander Graham Bell (telephone), Thomas Edison (phonograph, motion picture camera, electric light bulb), the Wright Brothers (airplane). Discuss the role America played in World War I and II, and the way it won the space race and put the first man on the moon, and even won that 1980 Miracle on Ice.

2. Tell them about America’s flaws. Otherwise, their perspective of the United States will be skewed, even unbiblical. No country is perfect. We’re still a nation, for instance, that enslaved an entire race and that waited nearly 150 years to give women the right to vote. Then tell them how the Founders, through the Constitution, laid the groundwork to right the nation’s wrongs, and how no country – no matter how dominant – can thrive continuously without God’s blessings (Daniel 2:21, Psalm 22:28).
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