Spending regular times alone with God is a crucial discipline for any believer. Just like we can’t survive for very long without food and water, we lack when we’re spiritually malnourished. Having a personal time alone with God is not something that is only for adults, or the spiritually mature. It is an important practice for all believers, including children of all ages.
We as parents need to be proactive in training and empowering our kids to regularly spend time with God for themselves. This does not negate the need for family devotions, regular times of prayer with our children, or daily discipling them in the ways of the Lord. However, all these very good things do not make up for a personal relationship with Jesus that our children so desperately need. We need to water, grow, and provide instruction in any way that we can so that our children can take ownership of their faith in God early in childhood.
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)
Jesus wants the little children to come to Him. He wants to hold them close, be their guide, and lead them by the Holy Spirit. How can we as parents empower our children to come to Jesus? I believe training our kids to spend time with God daily is a very vital part! They need daily practice in worshiping God, reading their Bible, and talking to God.
In this article, we will look at four practical steps to implement daily to empower your child to spend time with God. These four steps will give your child a track to follow, while not stifling their creativity, or limiting their freedom. With too much freedom, kids quickly get discouraged and don’t know what to do. With too much structure, it can become a religious practice, formula, or set of rules to follow. We want to avoid these two extremes by simply training our kids to meet with God daily, remembering that spending time with Him is never a formula or a list of rules. It is a personal relationship that needs daily growing.
W. Worship God: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” (Psalm 100:4 NIV)
A great way to begin spending time with God is to give Him thanks and praise. Daily our children can renew their minds by declaring the goodness of God. Training our kids to get their eyes off of themselves and give glory to God in worship is an excellent character builder. Consider providing your child with worship tools such as maracas, worship ribbons, or ballet shoes, to help facilitate this time. (See extra resources at the end of this article for more detailed instruction and specific ideas.)
R. Read Bible: “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105 NLT)
Spending time in God’s word daily is not just a good idea, it is a crucial discipline for all believers, especially children. Daily our children face a big world around them with lots of questions, temptations, and struggles. Our kids need to be equipped and proficient in the Word of God to have wisdom for life’s tough questions. They need the power the Word of God offers to be able to take an active stand against the devil. If your child cannot read, consider providing them with an audio Bible for this time. (See extra resources at the end of this article for more detailed instruction and specific ideas.)
A. Attentive: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27)
We need to teach our kids to be attentive to the voice of the Lord. Whether that’s setting aside specific time to wait on the Lord quietly, or intentionally putting on their “listening ears” as they worship, read the Bible, and pray, they need to listen for the direction of the Holy Spirit. He is their guide. We want our kids to hear God’s voice and obey it. (See extra resources at the end of this article for more detailed instruction and specific ideas.)
P. Pray to God: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
Prayer is a powerful tool and weapon. We must teach our kids to have an active prayer life from infant to adulthood. Kids can and should pray. If your child can talk, he or she can pray. Prayer gives our children access to direct communication with God. It is where they can pour their hearts out to Him and come to Him with their needs, wants, and desires. It is the avenue for our children to confess their sin and get right with God. It is a place where they can intercede for loved ones and the lost. Prayer is a vital tool to place in our children’s hands. We need to teach our kids that they can communicate with their heavenly Father now and that he wants to hear from them! (See extra resources at the end of this article for more detailed instruction and specific ideas.)
Giving our kids time, love, and instruction in spending time with God sets them up for success in their personal relationship with their Heavenly Father. This easy structure for spending time with God could offer your child an easy way to spend time with God. What are you waiting for? Let’s empower our children to come to Jesus!
See our extra resources for parents: Kids Devotional Life
See this practical guide for extra resources, specific ideas and more detailed instruction.