Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Teaching My Boys To Pray By Praying

The disciples of our Lord learned to pray by hearing Him pray (Luke 11:1).  The disciple’s prayer as found in Luke 11:1-4 is not to be prayer mantra.  The prayer Jesus taught was to be a model prayer.  Matthew 6:9 says that we are to pray this way and not pray this prayer.  Some churches pray the so-called “Lord’s prayer” from Matthew 6:9-13 week after week but do they really seek God?  Are they truly earnestly seeking His face?  I think not.

The best way to learn to pray then is through modeled praying.  I want to teach my boys to pray so I don’t read to them a book on prayer.  I don’t even really teach them from the Bible how to pray as much as I do one thing: I pray with them.  I kneel down next to their beds and I pray with them.  We pray for about 10 to 15 minutes.  I pray the most of course but I am proud of my older boys (Josiah and Haddon) who do pray with me.  I am seeking to teach them that prayer is not about simply asking God for this or that though there is nothing wrong with asking God for something (James 4:2).  We are to ask for that which glorifies God (1 John 5:14-15).  Many things we ask for do glorify God such as Him saving people or Him healing people but I also want to teach my boys that prayer is also praise.  Prayer is where we can bless the name of the Lord.

I have written this before but I believe it is a point we need to hear and that is that prayer is not learned by reading a blog post on prayer or listening to a sermon on prayer.  This may help (and it should) but this is not praying.  The secret to prayer is praying in secret (Matthew 6:6).  Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray (Luke 5:16).  To learn to pray, we must pray.  My boys are not going to learn to pray by hearing me teach on prayer.  I could exegete every major passage on prayer and teach them (and we do have a Bible study from the Gospel of John) but this would not teach them to pray.  For my boys to learn to pray, they must hear me praying and learn from my relationship with the Father (1 Corinthians 11:1).  I want to lead my boys by example.  I want them to learn to pray like me just as the disciples of Jesus learned to pray by listening to Him pray.

How dare we teach others to pray if we are not ourselves praying.  How dare we talk about the Lord who hears our cries and will answer us when we call to Him (Jeremiah 33:3) if we are not even beginning to truly believe His Word and seek His face.  The promises are clear (Matthew 7:7-11) so let us deny ourselves and press into God’s presence through deep intercessory prayer (1 Timothy 2:1).  I want my boys to learn to pray and they must learn by seeing this man of God pray.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/11/2013 at 11:09 PM

3 Responses

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  1. Being an early riser, I go to bed before my teenage son and daughter. However my wife, who stays up later than the rest of us, still reads to and prays with at least our son when he goes to bed.

    I agree wholeheartedly with the themes of “Teaching My Boys To Pray By Praying” expressed in its title and by this statement in it, “To learn to pray, we must pray.”

    Thanks for yet another encouraging and practical message at Arminian Today.

    Bob Hunter

    06/12/2013 at 12:39 AM

  2. One of the first aspects I wanted to get across to my kids about prayer was giving thanks. My son got this point so much that pretty much all he says in his prayers are things he is thankful for in his day. I don’t know, I know there are more aspects of prayer, but to hear a 10-year old boy talk about everything he is thankful for in his day is kind of cool! I guess I’ll add the other stuff later, but for now, I’m good with this!


    06/12/2013 at 9:34 AM

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