One Sunday morning I asked my Faith Kids small group of 1st and 2nd graders if they prayed at home before dinner or at bedtime. Less than half said they did. I shared this with our Faith Kids team and we asked ourselves how could we partner with parents and families to encourage them to pray consistently to praise Jesus and ask Him for help? What tool could we give them instead of just telling them to “pray more”? This is where the Prayer Pillowcase idea started. Families are extremely busy, but eventually everyone goes to sleep. Going to bed is part of everyone’s day so we thought a reminder to pray every time your “head hit the pillow” could work. So the graphics team created an awesome bubble letter design that said, “Dear Jesus- Thank You… Please…” and we had 1,000 pillowcases printed for all the campuses. We picked up some fabric markers so the kids could color the letters and make it their own. It was such fun! The preschool-5th grade kids enjoyed coloring their pillowcases and the parents were so excited to have this tool! We even had adults who wanted the pillowcases to put on their own pillows! We also passed out a great article from the Parent Cue about ways cultivate a prayer habit with your children. Here is a highlight from that article by Nina Schmidgall:
Here are few ways to help your children develop a prayer habit in your family.
- MODEL IT.
It takes intentionality to model a prayer life for your kids. Consider setting your alarm thirty minutes earlier so you have time in prayer before starting your day. Tell your family about your plan and keep them informed about how it is going. Share the way God is answering your prayers and leading you through your prayer time.
- PRAY CONSISTENTLY.
Turn prayer into a habit by making it a part of your routine. Kneel together with your child each night before bed and ask them to share what is on their heart. Consider writing prayers in a journal with your child so you can see how God answers.
- PRAY SPECIFICALLY AND BOLDLY.
My pastor Mark Batterson is known for encouraging people to pray bold and specific prayers. In his book, Praying Circles around Your Children, he shares, “God honors bold prayers because bold prayers honor God.” God likes answering bold and specific prayers because it is clear that He is the one that moved. Commit to a specific and bold prayer as a family and pray for it together daily.
- PRAY SCRIPTURE AND BLESSING.
Consider a Scripture that you can pray over your children. Recite it to them each night or as they leave your home in the morning. Here are a few suggestions:
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26).
“May you grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and with man.” (Luke 2:52)
These small steps of intentional prayer as a family will pay blessings for generations to come. Don’t miss the opportunity to leave a legacy of prayer in your family.
Prayer pillowcases and the book Praying Circles Around Your Children are still available in the Vine Bookstore in Dyer. God gets all the glory!