Making daily prayer a habit for our son was something that was important to Gary and me. We started praying over Brayden before bed beginning the very first day that he was born. We prayed for his health, for his character, that he would love God, that he would sleep through the night (God didn’t answer that prayer until he was 3 years old). As he got older we started asking him to pray for himself, and he picked up this little jingle “thank you Jesus for my family, friends, and home, Amen”. When he started making friends we asked him to add an extra portion to that jingle where he would identify a friend, and pray something specific for them. It sounded like “thank you Jesus for my family, friends, and home. I pray that Liam has a great day at school, Amen”.
Recently I had been noticing that he was becoming emotionally detached from this jingle. That he was rushing through it to “check the box” each night. I was becoming concerned, since Brayden developing an authentic relationship with Jesus is the truest desire of my heart, and I know that prayer is our direct line of communication with God.
God met me in my gap as a parent and brought me to the Moms in Prayer conference in Carlsbad a few weeks ago, where we focused on the simple method of structuring our prayers with the ACTS model.
During that conference I was inspired to bring this method home to Brayden with language that he would understand. We restructured the words to:
We started right away and he was engaged! We began by identifying who God is through
STEP 1 Praise – “God, you are good/kind/gracious/the creator”. Then moving into
STEP 2 Own it – “God, I’m sorry for talking back to mommy when she asked me to brush my teeth”.
STEP 3 Thanks – “God, thank you for keeping me safe at school today”. And
STEP 4 Ask – “God, help me to work hard so that I can earn money to buy my Nintendo Switch”.
My heart was exploding! These steps were prompting us into a more meaningful conversation about our day, about who God is, and was correcting the posture of his heart through humility, thankfulness, and earning rewards rather than demanding them. I was thankful to see his passion for prayer reignited. And guess what, as a result, mine was too.
We’ve brought this resource to VPKids by creating postcards that were sent home today with your child after class. Our hope is that this tool will equip you to lead your children in meaningful prayer that will follow them into adulthood. Please share your successes with us!
Director of Operations, VantagePoint Church