Praying with Your Kids this Summer
The 5 Steps to Not-So-Quiet-Time with Kids
About the time I was four kids into motherhood, and as I hit my mid-thirties, I experienced what I now realize was a spiritual drought.
During a fall nature walk with the kids (more details on that idea in the weeks to follow), I came upon a massive tree without a single leaf on its limbs, which was in stark contrast to the luscious and colorful neighboring trees.
And as I allowed myself to ponder what I observed, a quiet impression entered my heart, “Sarah, abide in Me, and you will bear much fruit. Remember this vast tree.”
“Abide,” echoed in my spirit…
But, Lord, how? Don’t I? Aren’t I already doing enough for you? What does abiding look like?
I finished that crisp stroll through the neighborhood hungry. Not for a snack, but wanting more of the Lord.
Our culture is FULL of everything. Entertainment, pleasure, distraction…
But what about the fullness of the Lord? Would I be willing to be empty enough so I could really taste and see the Lord is good? How could I demonstrate a hunger for God’s Word to my kids?
So, I began to ask the Lord how to practically look at the seven days a week, and the 24 hours I have each day for vision and capacity to read the Word, sing, and pray for the pure delight of it.
- First, I found a natural time to slip away to read the Word and journal for 15-minutes midday.
- Then, I chose a passage to study, which John 15 felt ideal as I needed guidance on redefining what it looks like to abide in Christ.
- Next, I created a meditation outline to follow (print here and keep reading!).
- And now, most days, I can lead my kids in this same rhythm from a place of contentment, not idealistic legalism.
Would you like to do the same?
First, Take 5-10 minutes to sketch out your typical summer day: nap times, meal times, playdates, and even your work schedule.
When can you find 15 minutes to step away to read, pray, worship, and journal?
Write it down and share it with other members of the family for accountability, and so they know they need to give you this much-needed space.
Then choose a passage to study. If you don’t already have a reading plan, I’d love to encourage you to start in John 15, as outlined in the meditation guide.
Next, you can download the meditation guide we’ve created and followed these five steps:
- Read it: Allow yourself to read the same passage several times through.
- Write it: The mind to hand practice helps you memorize scripture.
- Say it: When you say the scriptures repeatedly, try emphasizing different verses or parts of verse as you say it.
- Sing it: Here’s a secret. When you sing, it sticks! Even made up tunes.
- Pray it: Take passages from the text and pray them back to the Lord as you sit before the Lord or go through your normal daily activities.
The process of praying with your kids this summer begins with you.
But, let’s apply this same method with your kids.
In our 5-Day Video Guide Series, both John and I share tips about bringing the whole family into living room worship, but I’ll recap the steps and highlights here.
- Be sure and make this a conversation with your kids, especially the older ones. Springing the worship session can cause them to be resentful and not to engage.
- Create a worship basket ready with supplies like crayons, markers, paper, and even drumsticks to use on pillows to keep the time lighthearted and engaging.
- Invite older kids to pick verses and even read them during your times of prayer.
- And then, consider taking your times of worship outside.
In the next couple of weeks, I will share how our nature walks are part of our weekly worship schedule and provide room for you to marvel over God’s beauty.
We’ve found breaking down the 5 steps to not-so-quiet-time into five separate 10-15 minute segments of living room worship with our kids is super helpful. Giving ourselves a full week instead of one morning or evening to go through the steps gives our hearts time to absorb the Word and tune into what God wants to speak to our hearts.
Download these beautiful templates for yourself and your kids to go through the passages of scripture you have selected for the coming summer months.
The next season could be the perfect time to cultivate a culture of prayer in your heart and home.
Together, let’s create space to encounter this summer.