Guest Post by Dawn Farris who is the Director of Children’s Ministries at New Testament Christian Church, Keokuk, IA. You can find out more about her at her blog www.whosthefarris.com or follow her on twitter @whosthefarris
“And pray for my cat and my dog and my goldfish and bless all the world. . . Amen”
While children’s prayers can be heartfelt and sincere, part of our call in their discipleship process is to help children grow deeper in the discipline of prayer.
Because prayer is more than just talking to God, it is both an offensive and defensive weapon in the spiritual battles we face every day, this week in our children’s ministry, we used what we called “fish prayers” to help HiSKidZ grow in their prayer and spiritual lives and walks with God.
Our younger children made fish refrigerator magnets and our olders made bookmarks to help remind them to pray the fish way. (Yes, along the way we practiced our fish faces, fish sounds and fish tales!)
Here is what we shared this week with our kids; and our leaders and parents loved it, too, since this isn’t just a great way for kids to pray, it’s a great way to pray for kids.
Pray for faith. The disciples prayed for Jesus to increase their faith and we can learn from their example. We talked with HiSKidZ about how the world can chisel away at their faith, so we need to pray that God increases our faith and the faith of our friends.
First we had to explain integrity. Our simple definition “doing the right things for the right reasons” helped kids to understand that they could pray to be honest, sincere, helpful, kind, forgiving, generous and more. Since we have used virtue based curriculum in the past they understood praying that the words adhered to our walls would be adhered to our hearts.
As we talked we found that most of our kids were not praying for people to get saved. It didn’t take long to realize that prayers for people to “be saved” were most definitely in God’s will and we became excited to see what God will be doing as we begin to pray for our family, friends and classmates to know Jesus as their Savior.
HiSKidZ define holiness as “being set apart for God.” Again when asked, most realized they had never considered praying for their life to be set apart for God. Our older kids even concluded that one of the reasons many kids grow up and don’t follow God could be that there weren’t enough prayers being prayed for them to be set apart for their whole life.
Just as a fish can swim deep down into the water, HiSKidZ and their leaders went home this week with a new tool and plan to help them go deeper in their relationship with their Savior and Friend, Jesus.