Being a father is one of the most rewarding jobs any man could ever take on. It's not just playing catch in the backyard or taking them out to get ice cream - it's so much more than that. Fathers are responsible for helping shape their children into the individuals that God has called them to be and part of doing just that is teaching them how to pray. Prayer helps us to cultivate our relationship with God, ourselves, and each other; now this doesn’t happen by itself – families must actively engage in it together! If you’re a dad looking for ways to lead your family spiritually, you may be wondering: why should I pray with my kids? In today’s post, we’ll uncover why prayer matters and how fathers can begin praying with their children.
The Importance of Prayer
Christians are reminded throughout the Bible of the importance and power of prayer. James 5:16 states, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." We build a relationship with God through prayer, allowing us to come alongside Christ in our everyday lives and discover grace even more. Jesus asks us to pray for God’s will to be done in our lives when he taught us The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13.
Additionally, Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:6-8 that, "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Chris Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
Taking a page from Psalms 23:3, "He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake."
When we take our petition and request to God, He hears us and answers at His appropriate time. We only need to listen to His response, sometimes waiting with patience, but with faith and steadfastness that He is good and restores our souls. A prayer prayed like this, in faith, will teach us and our children how to live with an understanding of life from God's perspective and trust Him as we seek His guidance throughout this journey on earth. Prayers like this are life-giving to our soul and demonstrate a form of worship that our children may learn on their own, but at least they can see it demonstrated by their father first. It's an authentic way for a Christian father to live out his faith.
The Father's Role in Prayer
As a father, it is our responsibility to lead spiritually in our children's early walk with Christ Jesus. As parents, we should use prayer as a way to model before our children what it looks like to talk with God and the benefits of continually seeking His blessing and guidance in our lives. By praying for each other, and with each other, we open up a powerful channel of communication not only between us but also us and God. This practice is essential for children to understand how to pray and make it their own conversation with God as they develop an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and learn how valuable faith in God can be in their life.
Why A Father Prays With His Children
For us, as a family, praying together has been a special way for us to open our hearts and lives to Jesus as well as to connect with God. When we pray together, it reminds us of the beloved bond between us through Christ Jesus: my wife and I as the parents and our children united through faith in Jesus. We bring before God our joys, struggles, worries, and questions about this life on earth as Christians. We pray when we're confused, certain, having difficulty with forgiveness, or when relationships are in blissful harmony. This time allows us to see that we have a loving Father who hears us and cares for us through all of life’s stages.
Bringing our supplications to God and praying with our children encourages us all to focus on how much we are loved by Jesus and enhances our family connection with each other – even if just for a brief moment in the day. It takes the focus off us and places the focus on Christ Jesus. It also reinforces to our children that life is so much bigger than ourselves, it's eternal, and God is ultimately in control. His will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Benefits of Prayer for Children and Families
The Bible tells us that prayer is one of the most powerful ways to connect with God, not just in terms of our own faith journeys but also in terms of what we can do to strengthen children, families, and communities. In Matthew 18:19-20, Jesus speaks about the power of two or more coming together in prayer -- when they agree together, great things are possible. Alongside this responsibility is the promise that those who come humbly before God will be heard and answered; children and families can seek solace in that promise as they pray for help through difficult times, and pray psalms and praises for joys and triumphs. When we commit our lives to God through prayer, in faith, believing that He hears us, He blesses us by granting peace and joy in our hearts, helping us build a firm foundation of faith from which to live our lives.
It is vitally important for fathers to lead their children in words of prayer in the home. It is a powerful example that creates confidence and security in our homes. Prayer can open the door for future spiritual growth, while also giving our children a clear view of the beauty of God's grace and mercy. We have the opportunity to help shape their understanding of the Lord through intentional prayerful practice. As fathers, will you take the initiative today to cultivate a loving and humble relationship with your family through prayer? Will you be willing to lead your children in pleadings of faith, hope, and courage? Will you allow God to shape your family with just simple moments of focused prayer? Fathers, will you lead your children in prayer?