Teaching Kids to Pray Series: Be Real
As we recently learned, prayer can be simple. There is no special formula or method. There are no tried and true 12-step programs; there is simply, prayer. The more we realize how simple it is, the more freedom we will have it exploring it, and thereby, exploring God.
God is our friend. God knows us. God knows our life. When we talk with our best friend about our life, we share everything. We talk about the good times, and the bad. We express our emotions, our thoughts, our anger, and all the other host of emotions, responses, and questions that come along with it. We talk about our disappointments as well as our successes. We are real. Rarely are people best friends with someone who they have to pretend around.
God is absolute Truth; He will not pretend. He will not lie. He will not expect us to either. If God is our friend then honesty is critical in our relationship with Him. We must not give Him a facade of a person or a life in efforts to look, or be, anything but what we truly are. God wants US, not a false image of US.
In addition, we can trust God with our “realness” as long as we do so with respect. We can share our innermost thoughts without fear. We can talk to Him about desires that no one else may understand. We can be real and not worry that we will be rejected. And we can always go to Him, even when there is no one else to go to.
This aspect of honesty is absolutely critical in our own prayers, and in training kids to pray. Honesty brings light and revelation to our life, and removes darkness that satanic forces work in. When we hide things we are giving Satan a stronghold in our life. When we become open, we reveal everything, thereby taking away any power he can try to hold in our life in that situation.
So, be real.
Allow young people to say what’s on their heart about something. The more that they feel safe to share their feelings or thoughts, the more apt they will be to do it. Safety brings honesty, openness, and removes fear. As long as we are respectful we (and our kids) can share anything with God. Expressions of anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness cannot be healed or resolved unless we cause them to be revealed to the One who can heal us. Sometimes the simple act of being able to speak openly what we feel can heal us, even if the situation never changes.
When you pray in front of them, be real with your prayer as well. Talk with God openly about your stressful day, your happy times, and your concerns. The more open you are with God, the more open they will learn to become with Him as well.
World Network of Prayer * Kids & Youth Prayer Coordinator
Check back soon with us on our next topic in this series: Withhold Reprimanding in Prayer