I recently bought a book on Kindle called A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life. I assumed it was a traditional systematic theology book from a Puritan perspective. It addresses all the traditional topics you would find in any systematic theology book, but it also has a section called “theology in practice.” In that section, they have a chapter on “Walking Godly in the Home.” Such a great chapter—so much great stuff in there. I wanted to pass on to you the chapter on teaching your kids how to pray. It was such practical instruction but so helpful. I found myself nodding my head and convicted. I hope you find it as helpful as I did.
- Be short. With few exceptions, don’t pray for more than five minutes. Tedious prayers do more harm than good.
- Don’t teach in your prayer; God doesn’t need the instruction. Be simple without being shallow.
- Pray for things that your children know something about, but don’t allow your prayers to become trivial.
- Don’t reduce your prayers to self-centered, shallow petitions. Be direct. Spread your needs before God, plead your case, and ask for mercy.
- Name your teenagers and children and their needs one by one on a daily basis. Be natural yet solemn. Speak clearly and reverently.
- Be varied. Don’t pray the same thing every day; that becomes tedious. Develop more variety in prayer by remembering and stressing the various ingredients of true prayer, such as calling upon God to hear your prayers, adoring God for His titles and attributes, declaring your humble dependence and need, confessing family sins, asking for family mercies (both material and spiritual), interceding for friends and churches and nations, giving thanks for God’s blessings, and blessing God for His kingdom and glory. Mix these ingredients with different proportions to get variety in your prayers.