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We all want to raise Godly Kids, young men, and women who have thriving relationships with Jesus. As parents we want close relationships with our children. We want to know what is going on in their hearts and minds, because we want to help guide them into becoming Godly adults. But sometimes the end goal is easier said than done.
Have you ever struggled to get beyond a mumbled, “I’m fine” response from your teenager to the question “how are you doing?“ Do your preschool and elementary age children struggle to put words to their emotions? Do you want to get past surface issues and uncover the heart of your child?
Our lives are busier than ever before. Between school, work, soccer practice, dance recitals, and family commitments, we are stretched thin. We struggle to make family devotions a priority when there are so many things demanding our attention.
Our kids are inundated with a secular worldview
they desperately need our spiritual input in their lives.
There have been multiple studies stating that parents are the number one influence in a child’s life. YOU are number one as an influence your child’s life: not your children’s pastor, Sunday school teacher, or youth pastor but YOU. You model your family’s priorities and values. So how do you unlock the heart of your child and foster a love relationship with Jesus?
We are going to be exploring a reflection & prayer activity that has TRANSFORMED my relationship with my kids, and their relationship with God. The experience teaches children (and adults) how to be aware of God, their actions, emotions, events and, relationships that make up their days. It is amazing because not only is it simple, experiential but you get to engage in a prayer activity as a family. Creating deep relationships while drawing your family into a deeper relationship with Jesus, that’s a HUGE WIN in my book!
- The Benefits for You and Your Child
2. Tips for Getting Started
3. The Reflection Activity
The Benefits to You & Your Child
We live in a time of overstimulation where we rarely stop at all, let alone reflect back over our actions and the events of our day. We, let alone our children, can find ourselves in places we never intended to be because we never stop to reflect and realign ourselves towards God.
Richard Foster says it this way,“In our busy, hectic world, it is easy to run from one thing to the next without much thought of God’s presence and purpose in our daily life. By learning to give attention to God’s grace in our lives, we come to know and love Him more and more.”
Teaching our children to reflect over their day, paying close attention to their responses, motives and, feelings is an amazing discipline.
Here are some of the amazing benefits to weaving this activity into the life of your child:
Benefits for You:
- You get to hear the good, the bad and the ugly parts of your child’s day.
- You develop a deeper relationship with your child.
- You become aware of ways that you can partner with God in the life of your child.
- You get to see God at work in your child’s life.
- Your relationship with God deepens as a result of this daily activity.
Benefits for Your Child:
- It teaches your child to slow down, and to be present in the moment.
- It shows them how to live with intention. Reflecting on their actions of the day.
- It encourages them to acknowledge and name their emotions instead of burying those thoughts and feelings.
- It encourages an intimacy with God. They come experience for themselves that no thought, feeling or event is too small for God’s loving presence.
- They learn that they do not have to earn God’s love. That we all need God’s grace for every day.
- They are encouraged to acknowledge situations as they arise instead of sweeping them under the rug.
- They learn to live in awareness of God at work in the small and big moments of their lives.
- They experience God’s overwhelming, lavish love for them.
- They start seeing patterns of Gods faithfulness in their lives at a young age.
Tips for Getting Started
If reflecting over your day is new to you, it can seem overwhelming to lead your child through the activity. This activity does not have to complicated or super involved. It can take between 5-10 minutes depending on the age and talkativeness of your child.
- I would suggest doing this activity with your child after dinner or right before bedtime. It is amazing how a conversation with Jesus where they unburden their hearts, acknowledging the good and bad things of the day, thanking Him for how He is at work, and by talking about their concerns for tomorrow, calms them down and prepares their bodies for rest.
- Be intentional about setting aside time so that you won’t feel rushed, and are able to fully participate in this activity.
- Let your child know what to expect. Briefly explain the reason behind the activity, the activity itself, and your child’s role.
4. Prepare their hearts: Invite God’s presence and then allow a couple of moments of silence before starting the activity.
5. Utilize silence. This activity is about your child reflecting over their day and meeting with God. As the facilitator ask a question and then be silent. Allowing your child the chance to think and talk to God. Your child should be doing a majority of the talking.
6. Understand that you might practice this activity for a season or for the rest of their lives. You are giving them the gift of another tool for their toolbox.
7. Optional: Try putting on simple instrumental worship music on in the background.
8. Optional: Light a candle to remind you that God is with you and in you.
We want our children to know and love God deeply, and a way we can foster that relationship is engaging in the practical activity of pausing to reflect back over their day. So, what does it look like to pause and reflect?
1. Invite God into this Moment – Asking him to lead us back over our day, bringing to mind specific situations, helping us to pay close attention to our responses, motives and feelings.
2. Thank Him – I would ask “What brought you joy today? (Allow silence and space for your child to share). “Thank God for those special times.”
3. Acknowledge – Ask, “What made you feel sad today?” “Is there anything you want to ask God for forgiveness?” “Thank God for the times that you did listen to Him.”
4. Look Ahead to Tomorrow – Ask, “Is there anything about tomorrow you want to talk to God about? “Ask God to help you with the good and difficult things for tomorrow.”
Close by praying a blessing over tomorrow.
Allowing your child space to reflect over their day without jumping in with suggestions is necessary for this practice. Some of the best most special times I have had with my child have been during this bedtime prayer
What about you? What are your Favorite ways to reflect and pray over your day? Please feel free to leave me a comment and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!
Interested in Going Deeper?
- Surrender to Love By David Benner
- Death By Suburb -How to Keep the Suburbs from Killing Your soul By Dave L. Goetz
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