“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ɴɪᴠ)
As a devoted parent, you already take full advantage of “teachable moments.” You know the idea:
- Walking in the woods and seeing poison ivy is when you teach about poison ivy. (“Leaflets three, let it be.”)
- When you’re watching an innocent TV show and two unmarried folks suddenly...you turn to your middle-schooler and say, “You know that’s not how God designed it, right?”
- Taking your kids grocery shopping leads to all kinds of teachable moments: how to pick ripe cantaloupe, respecting other shoppers, practicing math skills, and why you shouldn’t believe shocking tabloid headlines.
May I submit a brand new parenting concept? Let’s teach our kids to look for “prayable moments.” Here are five examples:
1. You and your little guy or gal are doing chalk pictures on the sidewalk and you hear a siren several blocks away. Stop and pray. You don’t know details of that emergency, but God does.
2. You’re stuck in a slight traffic jam on the way to school, church, a concert, or a sporting event. Turn off the car radio and pray that—no matter when you get there—God be honored in the upcoming event.
3. A storm front is moving in. Pray for the safety of your family and your neighbors.
4. You pass a church where wedding guests are throwing rice at a bride and groom, or you pass a car with a “Just Married” sign. That’s a fun prayable moment. Offer a prayer for those newlyweds and add a prayer of thanks for your own spouse.
5. Through social media, radio, TV, or whatever, you find out about a breaking national or international news event. Whether it’s good news or bad news, stop for a moment with your kids and express thanks to God that he is in control.
Mom and Dad, inviting God’s involvement in the events of your day—large and small—is something you probably already do. But you may have forgotten to involve your kids.
One of the great benefits of prayable moments is how they give your children a view of the world beyond themselves. You’re helping them become thoughtful, caring, and praying adults.
So start looking for and expecting “prayable moments.” If that’s something you already do, let us know some of your own recent examples. Your experience may help other parents in their quest to adopt good parenting skills and raise kids who pray. We’re all in this together.
Excerpted in part from 52 Things to Pray for Your Kids by Jay Payleitner