"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'"
I think as a mom, one of my most favorite privileges is figuring how I can help my little ones come to Jesus and there are a MILLION ways you can do this in your everyday life!
Every parent has a certain number of hours each day with their child and within those hours, you can bring your children to Jesus in all sorts of creative ways! Even just small things you say and the way you position your heart speaks VOLUMES! I think about Deuteronomy 6, "Be sure to teach [God's commands] to your children. Talk about these commands when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road. Talk about them when you lie down and when you get up." When you're communing with Jesus all day... while packing lunches, washing dishes or giving baths... its only natural that you bring your children into the divine fellowship!
Weekly, our kids join us in the prayer room and church services. This is always fun! haha - or should I say, its always an adventure! In much of our American culture, even church culture, it is abnormal to have children + adults participate in a meeting together for any length of time. By bringing your kids to a corporate prayer and worship meetings, you get the opportunity to not only, help your kids come to Jesus, but also train them (and consequently, all the other people around you) how to participate in this kind of multi-generational meeting.
CREATIVE PRAYER ACTIVITIES
Here are some of the creative activities we do with our children when we need to spice things up in the prayer room!
A. "Jericho" Prayer Walk
Have your little one help compile a list of topics 1-7. It is SO PRECIOUS hearing what is on your kids hearts to pray for! You may be surprised how easily this list comes to your child! Remember, the SAME Holy Spirit who lives in you, lives in your CHILD! Pick a section of chairs to lap around and head out on your prayer walk! You can probably guess, lap 1 focus on topic 1, lap 2 - topic 2, etc. Letting your child hold the paper and "direct" the prayer walk may help them develop a sense of ownership with the exercise.
B. World Map Prayer
If your local prayer room as a map of nations or flags, you can use this as a physical prompt. If not, you can print off a map at home to help as a visual aide, even laminating it would be cool. With this activity, have your child point to a nation. After reading them the name, pray 2 Thessalonians 3:1, that "the word of the Lord would run swiftly and be glorified" throughout that nation. Continue praying for that nation as the Lord leads, allowing your child pray or repeat after you if they need the words!
C. Side Room Prayer
At our local prayer room there are side rooms available for mini prayer meetings. If a room is open and available, sometimes our little family calls our own mini prayer meeting! Feel free to circle up and pray together! “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven," Matthew 18:19. If there is a whiteboard in the room, you can use it as a visual aide for your own prayer activity.
Draw a letter on the board and take turns praying for people whose names begin with that letter.
Take turns drawing pictures on the board, and praying for whatever person, place or topic was drawn.
Sing new songs to the Lord! You may be able to hear the faint melody of the music being played in the main room, use it as a base for singing a new song to the Lord using your own words.
D. Drawing Pictures for Jesus
Whip out the blank paper and crayons. Pray for the Holy Spirit to fill & flow through your child. See what they create!
E. Rapid Fire Prayer
During intercession sets, oftentimes there will be a session of "rapid fire" where the mic is opened to anyone who wants to come up and pray a short prayer for the specified topic. Hey! Head up there and pray! Let your littles come with you. As a parent, use discernment, but there may be a day where you know your child wants to pray on the mic, let them! Whatever happens, whatever it felt like... just know you really are in a safe place: before the throne of God!
This is probably my kids FAVORITE part of church! It is just reeeeeeeal practical.
Jesus = crackers + juice = yes please!
I really believe there is no minimum age requirement for participation in the kingdom of God and this includes communion.
G. Front Row Seat
If you're like me, when you go to any public place with your kids, you may tend to gravitate toward the back of the room, definitely on an aisle so you can make a quick getaway, disrupting as few people as possible. I TOTALLY get it! Potty breaks are nearly continual, melt downs are always a possibility and sitting in front is just TOO MUCH OF A COMMITMENT! Well, a regular schedule of self-humbling experiences can really help a girl and thats why I put this one on here! Give your child (and you) a new perspective and a LITERAL front row seat on the action by taking the plunge and walking down the aisle! You can probably leave half your gear in the back so its not so cumbersome to transport past all those adoring faces... and yes, thats why they are all staring at you... its because your kids are CUTE! And my goodness, everyone is soooo happy you are there with those adorable little folk! Now that you can see what all the people on stage REALLY look like (!!!) enjoy worshiping Jesus and letting your little kids jump around to the loud music (oh and on that note -maybe bring those noise-cancellation headphones if your little person is sensitive to loud music).
With all that said, something is bound to happen that wasn't "best case scenario" - haha! Let it roll off you like WATER OFF A DUCKS BACK!!! Someone may say something insensitive... your kids might actually act their age and YOU may be tempted to feel bad, thinking it reflects on your worth as a human being and success as a mom. It doesn't. You did great.
BRAVO MOMMA!!! YOU DID IT!!! YOU BROUGHT YOUR KIDS TO JESUS AND YOU ALL DID GREAT!!! Once everyone is back in the car and buckled in - bust open those gummies you promised them and treat yourself too! Go home, give everyone naps... and I mean EVERYONE - haha! and do it again a different day. Like any change in routine, give you & your kids lots of grace to learn through the bumps. I promise it will get easier and I promise it is ALWAYS a good idea!
My prayer today for my kids and yours is that they would find that the Presence of Jesus is the sweetest place to be!!!