Teach your children to pray for what is best

Posted on March 18, 2016 · Posted in Prayer, Shaping Influences, Wisdom

child-prayer

In the Lord’s prayer Jesus tells you to pray for God’s will to be done. By asking God for his kingdom to rule and his will to be done, you are making a life-changing request! You are acknowledging that his purpose and plan is better than your own. God’s way is better than your way!

It does not work to say or think, “Please do your will and mine.” This is a foolish statement. Are your desires as important as God’s? It is God’s kingdom and will that must desired above all else. This thought ties directly to Christ’s words just a few verses later in the Sermon on the Mount; “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”

Jesus was faithful to what he prayed. In Christ’s most challenging moment here on earth, he submits to his father and says, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Christ was totally consistent with what he taught his disciples.

So, when your child prays for a particular request, great or small, teach him what Jesus taught his disciples. His request may be for someone to win a particular race or event. Or the prayer might be for the hamster not to be sick, it may be for the sun to shine, it may be for Mommy to feel better, it may be for God to safely bring home a loved one from war. But in all of these requests, the most important thing, the best thing is to pray for God’s will to be done.

Whatever the prayer, the best conclusion is always that God’s will be done. Teach your children that their prayers, their wants and desires are best met when God’s kingdom rules and his will is done. One can never be too young or too old to rest in this great truth.

Teach your children to ask God to what is best! This is a beautiful and comforting place to be.

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.