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Families Praying Together

Feb 20, 2012 12:00 am

[1]Family Matters Picture

 Links:

   1. http://dontwastefun.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/original/familymatters/2_20.png

By Dudley Callison, LPC, Camp Pastor

“I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my

forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and

day.”  2 Timothy 1:3

Children benefit from the rich faith handed to them by their parents.

Did you know that 75% of the kids who go to church while in high school

drop out of organized church activities during their first year away

from home?

In order to “own” their faith, our children need personal encounters

with the living God.  If they only hear stories from scripture or other

believer’s, then they may wonder if God cares to listen to their

prayers, or to get involved in their lives.

Prayer journaling as a family can open the door for kids to realize

God’s powerful presence at work in our world today.  It can provide

personal experiences between a child and the living Lord.  Try one of

these ideas for a family prayer journal, or share with us what you have

found useful!

 * Simple notebook – Share prayer requests as a family, and write them

   down in a notebook.  Then, periodically, go back and record a

   change or answer to those prayers.  Then offer a prayer of

   thanksgiving together for what God has done.

 * Daily prayer list – In a similar notebook, designate sections for

   each day of the week.  Spread out family members, friends and

   neighbors, missionaries, church or national leaders, and others

   onto the various pages.  Then look over that page before

   dinner-time prayer and ask the Lord to bless them.

 * Fridge list – Just like having a grocery list on the refrigerator,

   put a prayer list on it as well.  Record prayer requests with dry

   erase markers where everyone can see and remember what you are bringing before the Lord.  Once a prayer request has come to pass,  thank the Lord as you erase it.

By keeping prayer requests – and prayers answered – in front of your kids, they will grow to understand that their journey of faith is personal.  God will answer your son or daughter’s prayer just like he does the prayer of an adult.  When he or she leaves home, the habit of personal prayer will go with them.

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Oliver has begun praying this week. We've done it together many times... I ask him to do "prayer hands" and we say "Dear God" together before I name family members he knows and then we say "Amen" together.

He was playing with his toys in the corner the other day and I heard him say "Dear God...mumblemumblemumble... Boo Boo kitty. Amen." Steven found the most raggedy, sad, wounded 6-week-old kitten last weekend and brought him home. After a trip to the vet, the kitten took up residence in an out-of-the-way shower stall in our house. Ollie stands outside the shower door and talks to what he's started calling "boo boo kitty" every day and we say "Get better soon, kitty!" He took that to prayer the other day and appealed to God for a quick fix for our buddy Boo Boo Kitty. So sweet. :)

His B has also been battling the flu this past week or so, and we've been putting our prayer hands together for her every morning and every night. He's started giving what looks like a fist pump when he says "Amen!" :lol:

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Oliver has begun praying this week. We've done it together many times... I ask him to do "prayer hands" and we say "Dear God" together before I name family members he knows and then we say "Amen" together.

He was playing with his toys in the corner the other day and I heard him say "Dear God...mumblemumblemumble... Boo Boo kitty. Amen." Steven found the most raggedy, sad, wounded 6-week-old kitten last weekend and brought him home. After a trip to the vet, the kitten took up residence in an out-of-the-way shower stall in our house. Ollie stands outside the shower door and talks to what he's started calling "boo boo kitty" every day and we say "Get better soon, kitty!" He took that to prayer the other day and appealed to God for a quick fix for our buddy Boo Boo Kitty. So sweet. :)

His B has also been battling the flu this past week or so, and we've been putting our prayer hands together for her every morning and every night. He's started giving what looks like a fist pump when he says "Amen!" :lol:

That is way too cute! Ollie has such a sweet personality.

Luke usually tries yelling "Amen" through the whole prayer at dinner - I think he wants to finish it sooner so he can go ahead and eat... although he usually manages to sneak a bite during the prayer anyway!!

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Soooo cute!!!

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So sweet!!

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I am very excited that the church we attend is starting a sermon series on this very topic this Sunday.

Ollie sounds like such a sweet boy. I hope Boo-Boo Kitty gets better soon.

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One of my secret regrets from when I opened Abrazo and first established our criteria for the sort of adopting families we would accept is that I implemented no expectation for religious affiliation or church attendance. As a preacher's daughter opening a private, nonprofit organization, I fully intended for Abrazo's adoptees to grow up in homes in which they would be raised by faith-filled families who actively practiced within their chosen religious affiliation, because I know how essential faith formation has been in my own life. I think children learn values at home and as per the discussion which is required in the course of every homestudy, one of those values is supposed to be religion.

I didn't want to specify denominational membership, in hopes of encouraging religious diversity. But unlike other agencies with a particular affiliation requirement, Abrazo did not opt to exclude those who did not document regular church attendance, and I often wonder if we did Abrazo's kids a disservice, as a result?

I made this choice intentionally at the time, because I know church attendance in itself is no guarantee of spiritual authenticity. And I subscribed to the idea that some families might be led to faith by the arrival of a child in their lives. I still hope this is so. Yet given the secularization of our society, I wonder how many of Abrazo's families have made a dedicated effort to nurture their children's religious faith? How many of Abrazo's families worship regularly, as a family? How many of Abrazo's kids have parents who have made no effort whatsoever to grow in faith since they took their new child home, and as a result, are raising children who have no spiritual foundation whatsoever in their lives?

I ran across this article today, and it reminded me of how crucial it is for us to be placing with families who are genuinely devoted to "raising up a child in the way he/she should go" from the time they're tiny, so they have a faith foundation to return to, throughout their lives and amidst their questions:

http://marc5solas.wo...s-leave-church/

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I made this choice intentionally at the time, because I subscribed to the idea that some families might be led to faith by the arrival of a child in their lives. I still hope this is so. Yet given the secularization of our society, I wonder how many of Abrazo's families have made a dedicated effort to nurture their children's religious faith? How many of Abrazo's families worship regularly, as a family? How many of Abrazo's kids have parents who have made no effort whatsoever to grow in faith since they took their new child home, and as a result, are raising children who have no spiritual foundation whatsoever in their lives?

Our faith and relationship with God was increased dramatically through our adoption journey and especially since we met M and Jordan was placed in our lives. He has shown me what a wonderful gift it is to parent and I am honored that he uses my relationship with my daughter to grow my faith and teach me about what is important to Him. Just yesterday, I was having a hard day and hadn't had spent much time with Him. After Jordan and I had gone through our nightly routine and I snuggled her in the chair with me for storytime, we started with bible story book. I found as I was reading to her (something we read all the time and in a childrens book nonetheless, about Noah and his faith, the flood and His promises) that He got my attention and used that time to speak to me about my day and my worries.

We do go to church regularly and love our church family. It is important for us to have Jordan go to church with us and see Him through us. We pray for her to have a thriving relationship with her heavenly Father and accept Him as her God one day when she is ready. As her parents, we want to have her in an environment that we trust she can learn about Him, and the bible and question anything and everything and have fun and create friends while doing so.

He has used our story, our journey, to grow me as a person and in my faith. I have always had a tender spot for children, but now, something is growing inside of me that is more. I'm not sure what it looks like yet or what exactly the avenue is but I will keep you posted. I am open and want to be used by Him to care for the children that we both love so much!

Another thing I want to add is that I always feel "safe" and comfortable talking about my faith here on the forum in this community. Just, another reason I am very thankful for this forum and the Abrazo community.

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I read that article too Elizabeth, and can definitely see the truth in a lot of it. I think the key factor is that parents who want to raise children of faith have a solid foundation of faith themselves. I think kids learn to value what their parents value (not what they SAY they value, but what they SHOW they value). The last two Sunday messages at my church were on parenting and training up a child in the way they should go. Like the apostle John, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." (3 John 1:4)

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http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/christian_resources.html

I found this link last week, and I LOVE the resources it has for children. My daughter is almost 7 (hard to believe!), but she enjoys learning Bible verses in songs. I just printed the Easter links. It's a great resource for kids from toddlers up through early elementary.

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