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Your child runs up, her face so serious as she asks, “Mom, I want to ask Jesus into my heart. Can you show me how?”  You know you should be feeling overjoyed, but right now all you are experiencing is panic. Your daughter is only four years old, how can she be old enough to really understand what she is doing? All the words fly from your mouth as you stare at her rather blankly.

 

It can’t hurt to pray with her, you think, even if she is too young. But how does one go about leading a child to Christ? How in-depth do you go on the whole sin thing?  You try to visualize what your pastor would say in this situation and you fumble through explaining sin, and Jesus’ death and resurrection to a four-year-old.

 

You pray with her and try to celebrate as you desperately wonder if you did it right.   Maybe you should take her to church and have a pastor “properly” lead her to Christ? Just for your peace of mind. Who knows? Maybe you left out some crucial part that determines the whole make it into heaven thing.

 

Where are the professionals when you need them?!

 

As parents, we can sometimes struggle with feelings of inadequacy when it comes to the spiritual life of our child. Especially, if our journey with Jesus has been different or we didn’t grow up in homes where they valued investing in the spiritual life of children. We worry that we are failing our children in some way.

 

Rest assured, we are going to walk you through a simple process of how to lead your child to Christ.

1. Salvation Prayer For Kids: God’s Rescue Plan

2. Salvation Prayer For Kids: FAQs

3. Salvation Prayer For Kids: Prayer

1. Salvation Prayer For Kids: God’s Rescue Plan

 

I love how Sally Lloyd-Jones, in the Jesus Storybook Bible describes salvation as “God’s Great Rescue Plan”.  Salvation is a beautiful story of a merciful God. Who so lavishly, over the top loves us, that he gave up his precious son to rescue us from an eternity spent separated from him.

 

The prophet Jeremiah aptly describes a rescuing God in Lamentations 3:19-26. The Babylonians have ransacked the country of Israel, and he cries out to God, saying, “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

 Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”

 

It all starts with love. Love was at creation when God spoke the world into existence. Love was at the fall. God could have destroyed Adam and Eve for their sin. But out of his great love for them, he gave them a second chance. Love was at Jesus’ death on the cross and at His resurrection. Love is interwoven into every aspect of our being; drawing us into a relationship with him.

 

The salvation story looks like this: in the Bible, it says that God created the world and it was good. But as a result of Satan’s lies and temptation, Adam and Eve brought sin, sickness, and death into the world, through their disobedience. We are now born into sin, we make bad decisions, that move us away from God, and the payment for that sin is death.

 

But God so loved the world, which includes you and me: that he gave his only son, whom he loved so, so, so much, to die on a cross, as a payment for our sins. If we tell Jesus our sins, ask for his forgiveness, and ask him to be in charge of our lives, he is faithful to forgive us. We then get to be best friends with Jesus forever and ever in on earth and in heaven.

 

1 John 1:9 says, “If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing.”

 

The Lord’s great love, his compassion, his faithfulness, and mercy to his children is the foundation of the salvation story. The God who spoke the universe into life invites us into a lifelong best friend relationship with him.

 

2. Salvation Prayer For Kids: FAQs 

 

Here is a list of frequently asked questions for quick referral.

 

a. What About Escaping the Fires Of Hell?

For a number of us, as we were growing up, the salvation story was explained as a decision we made to escape fiery pit of hell.  The term, “Turn or Burn” was a common evangelism phrase and made nifty bumper stickers. Thousands of people were scared into heaven.

 

I’m sorry, but who wants to be friends with someone under the threat of bodily harm? That doesn’t seem like a strong foundation for any relationship. I am not saying that God can’t transform a decision made out of fear into something strong and enduring. But everything we know about God goes against this methodology (that is still taught today).

 

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins 1 John 4:7-10

 

Salvation is an invitation into a love relationship with God. When you look at salvation through the lens of relationship, you come to understand that escaping the fiery pit of hell is more about being separated forever from the love and security of your father in heaven; not about saving your own skin.

 

For children, we must present the gospel as an invitation to be best friends with a loving God. Catherine Stonehouse says it like this, “A deep awareness of that love (of Jesus) is essential for a treasured, growing relationship with Christ- a relationship that releases a child to receive God’s grace and live in ways that bless others.”

 

Love, not hell, is the foundation of salvation.

 

  1. How Do We Prepare Our Child For Salvation?

It all comes back to your relationship with Jesus. Your children are establishing their own picture and depth of desire for God by watching you. What you value, what you do, where your money goes, what your schedule looks like, all influence the spiritual depth of your child’s relationship with Jesus.
salvation prayer for kids
In an environment where conversation about God happened naturally, these children opened the way for their parents to walk with them and assist them in “coming to Jesus”. The parents did not have to figure out the right time and the right approach, but they were listening and ready to respond to the child’s questions and desires.” Catherine Stonehouse and Scottie May

 

When you raise your child in a household where God is interwoven into your days, leading a child to Christ is the natural outcome of spiritual conversations. You don’t have to do anything special, you just have to be available. The best preparation is your relationship with God lived out in front of your children.

 

b. Is My Child Too Young? 

 

If your child expresses an interest in accepting Christ then go for it. I have heard of so many children, through doctoral studies, in books, and even personally who have expressed a desire to invite Jesus into their life starting at age three.

 

In Joining Children on the Spiritual Journey, authors Stonehouse and May, explain it like this:

Being Christian is rooted in a relationship with Jesus, and relationships are unique; they begin in different ways and at different times for different persons. But however they begin, healthy relationships grow and change across the years. We want to honor the uniqueness of each child’s experience with God, and we want to participate with God in encouraging the development of that relationship, their spiritual formation.”

 

If your child expresses an interest in inviting Jesus into their hearts go for it! Trust and celebrate that the Holy Spirit is at work in the life of your child.

 

c. Do I Initiate the Salvation Prayer With My Child?

 

Every child is different. Every child is on their own unique spiritual journey. We need to remember to put aside our own (and others) expectations and trust that the Holy Spirit is at work in the life of our children. He will lead them to make decisions of faith when the time is right.

 

These parents (in a research study) freely shared their faith story, while giving children time to process, to come to understand, and time for God to draw them into a relationship. They seemed to understand that there would be a right time for each child and they didn’t want to get ahead of God and the child; they wanted to keep in step.” Stonehouse and May

 

Our goal as parents is to stay in step with what the Holy Spirit is already doing in the lives of our children. We do that by developing our own relationship with Jesus, and intentionally focusing on God; through our values, actions, schedules, and financial choices.

 

 

 3. Salvation Prayer For Kids: Prayer

 

When your child is ready to ask Jesus into their lives, I briefly explain the salvation story. You want your child to understand (at their level) what they praying.

Here is a sample you can use/adapt to talk and pray with your child.

 

The Salvation Story:

The Bible says that God created the world and it was good. But as a result of Satan’s lies and temptation, Adam and Eve brought sin, sickness, and death into the world, through their disobedience. We are now born into sin, we make bad decisions, that move us away from God, and the payment for that sin is death.

 

But God so loved the world; which includes you and me, that he gave his only son, whom he loved so, so, so much, to die on a cross, as a payment for our sins. If we tell Jesus our sins, ask for his forgiveness, and ask him to be in charge of our lives, he is faithful to forgive us. We then get to be best friends with Jesus forever and ever in on earth and in heaven.  We will never be separated from Jesus, no matter what.

 

Salvation Prayer Example:

I typically ask the child to repeat the prayer after me. After you have prayed, CELEBRATE! Call everyone you know! Let your child tell them the great news! Celebrate by serving their favorite food for dinner. This is a huge deal! Let your child remember this important decision with fond memories.

 

“Dear God, Thank you for loving me so much that you sent your son, Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me for the wrong things I have done and wash my heart clean inside. I want to best friends with you forever, and ever. Please show me how to listen and follow you every day. Thank you for never leaving me. I love you! Amen!”

 

If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 


 

What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to leading your child into a relationship with Jesus?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   

 

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Alexis is the creator of Most Important Work. She has served on staff for 13 years at a local church as a children’s, youth, and now Family Life Pastor. Alexis is very passionate about helping moms and churches nurture a love of Jesus in their children through creativity, curiosity, and consistency.
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