A historical sign of revival is children hungering after prayer. While Jesus was walking among us, children were drawn to Him. He blessed and prayed for them. In the Azusa Street revival, there was tremendous spiritual activity among the children. They were intercessors, they saw visions, and many of them were healed. Again today there is a real stir and hunger among children. They want to touch Jesus. We must not be guilty of over looking one of our most powerful resources, our children.
We have all heard the saying, “When you change the world of a child, you change the world.” We must teach that child to embrace the world of prayer, enabling them to change their toys into prayer tools, their games into prayer walks, and their conversations into intercessions. Remember that early impressions can become lifetime commitments.
The story of King David killing bears and lions as a child is a constant reminder that children are powerful in God. What he learned as a child brought him to the forefront to kill Goliath and eventually become king. Joseph is another example of a child dreaming dreams and being ridiculed. But the ridiculing soon became ruling. Let?s not ever count a child out. We may be raising a prophet for the new millennium, an evangelist for the end-time revival, an intercessor for the nations of the world, or a prayer warrior for your local church. Don?t allow your weary years to tarnish their early expectations. Our children?s minds are like canvases, and we must be careful who holds the brushes.
We, as adults, pray for many things of importance to us. Our families, our health, salvation of others, finances, the list could go on and on. But what do adults teach children to pray about, and how do we teach them to pray?
Most children growing up in Christian homes are familiar with the rudiments of prayer. At least they know the proper ways to begin and end a prayer. Heavenly Father and Amen. But if children are to view prayer as more than a monologue during a church service or a cute recitation before bed, they must be taught.
We teach them to ride a bicycle, to say thank you, to be on time, to clean their rooms, to respect authority; all of this is good and necessary. But where on that list does the most important aspect of their lives come in?
Prayer becomes more meaningful to children when they practice it. Encourage children to pray wherever and whenever the need arises. Whatever concerns them, we must encourage them to pray about it. The most promising age to reach them is seven years old. This is why we must teach our children to pray We are engaged in a civil war of morals and values. Many of us have slept through the first round of this civil war. Wake up! The only thing we can take to heaven is other people and our own children.
Teaching children to pray is an exciting challenge, but an awesome privilege! In one of my Sunday night prayer meetings with my children, I was taking requests. They love to give prayer requests! Sometimes you want to laugh and sometimes you can hardly keep the tears from falling. This particular night we had requests ranging from: my dog has fleas, I skinned my knee, to my brother hit me, my goldfish is sick, but then the bomb dropped. ?Would you please pray that my Daddy will be a Daddy? He has moved all his stuff out of his closet and he is gone.? You must be so careful to handle all requests with importance. Don?t teach false hope, but teach faith. God won?t manipulate a father to come home. The father has his own free will. But a child?s petition to God will never be ignored.
We are just the facilitators. God is the sovereignty. God has made prayer available to everyone, even the youngest child. He is no respecter of persons. And that doesn?t just mean race or social standing. He loves children. If in His limited time in an earthly ministry, He took special time with children, how can we not follow His example? This is one of the most important ministries of this time. It is our responsibility to make prayer an exciting adventure?to entice children to join us in communion with the Almighty. Put aside your feelings of inadequacy. The Holy Spirit will be very close when you touch God?s special ?little? people. Make sure prayer time with the children God has put in your care is a joyful time. There is no greater privilege than teaching children to talk to God. You will find they are naturals at it.
This is an excerpt from Teri Spears, booklet, Teach Me To Pray .