Dramatic stories of conversion
What does it truly mean to love my neighbor? That…
Am I providing enough creative or athletic opportunities for them? Am I challenging them to be independent or hovering a bit much? Am I helping them achieve their educational goals? Am I helping them become functional members of society?
While all of these are good questions, the one that is the most important is, “What kind of spiritual legacy am I leaving them?”
David D. Ireland. Raising a Child Who Prays: Teaching Your Family the Power of Prayer. Lake Mary, Fla.: Charisma House, 2016. 224 pages. $15.99.In “Raising a Child Who Prays: Teaching Your Family the Power of Prayer,” New Jersey minister David Ireland not only reminds us of a parent’s most important role, but also offers advice and encouragement in training up a child in their prayer life.
As a parent and a former children’s minister, this book caught my eye. I feel prayer is such an important aspect of a relationship with God, but also one that’s very abstract for kids to understand.
I can’t lie; I picked this book for selfish reasons too, as I struggle at times to figure out how best to encourage my children in their prayer lives. Often my 7-year-old can’t even sit still during a short meal prayer — and doesn’t want to say or listen to bedtime prayers.
I don’t want to sour these special moments by reprimanding her, but I also want her to learn the importance of communicating with her creator.
Ireland reminds parents that a child’s prayer life doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process and a spiritual discipline.
All good habits take time to develop, he writes, and “if we are impatient with (our children), they may interpret this to mean God is impatient.”
Ireland also challenges parents to maximize the ordinary moments. Don’t just focus on God on Sunday morning or before meals, but look for little moments throughout the day with your kids when you can help them talk to God: on the drive to school, after an unexpected blessing — no matter how big or small, when they are fearful or nervous. Of course, the best way to instill this in our children is by modeling it in our own prayer lives. We parents must be diligent in our spiritual habits.
Katie Isenberg | In PrintWhile there isn’t really any information in this book that I hadn’t come across before, “Raising a Child Who Prays” is a reminder of the ways I can encourage my children in their prayer lives.
The last chapter is especially good to have on hand for reference if our prayers become routine or dull. Ireland lists many helpful ways to incorporate prayer into our lives: texting a prayer to a friend or family member, learning the five-finger prayer, journaling our prayers and making a family prayer board.
“If you can leave your children money as inheritance, leave it,” Ireland writes. “If you can leave them property, by all means do so. But more importantly, gift them with an unconquerable faith, an unstoppable drive and an insatiable passion to serve Jesus Christ. Give them a God legacy!”
That statement alone is an answer to my prayer.
KATIE ISENBERG and her family worship with the Mayfair Church of Christ in Oklahoma City. She writes for Oklahoma City Moms Blog and has a personal blog, “Strawberry Ruckus,” at ryanandkatie.blogspot.com.
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