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1. Demonstrate prayer and invite the child to join, but never force it. Pray for a bit, then ask “is there anything you want to pray for?” If the child doesn’t want to, be patient and continue each day/night. Sometimes even if Jewel doesn’t want to pray, Grace and I will say something like “God likes to hear from you, even if it’s just saying hi. Do you want to say hi?” Jewel will often say “hi God”. Show the child how to close the prayer and encourage (not force) that too. At earlier stages, it’s more about introducing and demonstrating a basic structure, a reason and an example. Teachinng the child how to flesh-out the prayer is something that can come later. See my Effective Prayer Collection for more info.


2. Read the Bible like a kid’s book. Pick uplifting stories, not hellfire and brimstone. When you read it, give character to the people who speak in the Bible by accentuating their words, the way people do when reading kids’ books. Read small bits of passages, then explain them in ways the child might understand. For more information see The Bible - What is it and how do I Read?


3. When you’re in the middle of a situation and you’re praying to change it; pray in front of the child, out loud. Then, when a situation changes and everything is calm, talk to the child about how things changed. “See what happened? We were all upset and everything got a bit crazy, then I prayed for God to help and everything calmed down.” Doing this repeatedly will build data points for the child to remember.


4. Help the child keep a prayer journal. Draw a line down the pages in the middle. On one side write the prayer that was said. On the other side make notes about any results of the prayer. That way if it’s ever needed or wanted, the child can go back and see how things changed as prayers were made. It's also a good way for the child to compare what kind pf prayer works and what kind does not.


5. Watch for “teachable moments” and use them as much as you can. These are moments when you, the child or the situation might bring up questions or casual conversations about God, Christ or the Holy Ghost. Don’t force a conversation, just try. Sometimes, try to steer the conversation to where you can talk about how some people don’t know or believe in God. Then tell the child that everyone has a choice to connect to God and it’s the child’s choice too. Let the child know that people often ignore God because they don’t try things like praying and seeing what happens, talking to God or listening to Him. 


We tell Jewel that it’s her choice to put God, Christ and the Ghost in her heart because she wants to. Your job is to be a guide and open doors to let the child build his/her own relationship, not to force a relationship.


6. Be honest about not having an answer (if that’s the case). If you don’t know the answer to something the child wants to know; say that, then brainstorm and/or look for it with the child. If you ignore it, and/ or put it off until later, the moment and possibly the interest will be gone.


7. Expose your child to music that speaks about the spirit, in a God and Christ centered way. Songs can be remembered, revisited, reinterpreted and offer a wealth of opportunity for discussion. Angels Watching Over Me and 14 angels are two of Jewel’s favorites. Check out my 7’s list, 7 Songs we Love About Christianity.


Link the old music page to this and to the link above about songs we love about...

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About Me
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I'm the largest human you see to the left. In spite of my faults, my biggest life goal is to follow Christ, and to pass on how it can be done. The constant work it takes to run this presence, "Getting to God", it's my thank you for the Grace and resources given to me by my hero, my spiritual father.    Read More

 

© 2020, Shawn P Keenan, gettingtogod.com