A little boy got hurt at my daughter's hockey game on Saturday. It wasn't serious, but it did cause a stoppage of play during the game. My daughter's coaches have taught her team that when someone is hurt on the ice, they need to "take a knee." They all drop to one knee and wait for the coaches and referees to tend to the injured child. Taking a knee has two purposes. It gets the kids out of the way of the adults who are trying to help the injured child, and it keeps the kids from messing around while there's an injured child on the ice. When the injured kid gets up, all the kids bang their sticks on the ice in applause and get to their feet.
On the way home from the game, my daughter and I talked about the little boy that got hurt and how well her team did at taking a knee. We also talked about how it's the perfect time to pray for the injured child. She's already on her knee, so shooting up a quick prayer shouldn't be too difficult. Of course, my daughter doesn't have to be on her knee to pray for someone, but the visual of being on her knee can help remind her of the importance of praying for the situation.
You see, we're called to intercede for others in prayer -- whether it's a hurt child at a hockey game, a friend who is making poor choices or someone we know that is going through a tough time. God wants us to pray for others. He wants us to follow the example of the Holy Spirit, who intercedes for us.
Romans 8:26 says "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." The Holy Spirit prays for us when we are unable to do it ourselves. He sets the example for intercessory prayer, which just means praying for someone else.
We want our kids to know the importance of praying for others. Pointing out cues that will remind them to pray for others will help them to form a habit of prayer. Use this list to help your kids remember to pray for others. Add your own cues to the list.
- If your child plays a sport, encourage them to pray for others any time your child is on his knees. If the coach has them take a knee during practice, encourage your child to say a quick prayer for the coach. If they take a knee during the game, ask your child to pray for whatever situation has put him on his knee.
- Any time you hear ambulance sirens or pass an accident, encourage your child to pray for those in need of assistance.
- When your child picks up her pencil to take a test, encourage her to pray for the person sitting next to her.
- Post a list of your child's friends in his room. Before bed, encourage your child to pray for one child on the list. In the morning, have your child choose another friend for whom to pray.
- If your child is having trouble with another child at school, encourage her to pray for that child when she puts her hand on the doorknob to head out to school in the morning.
- As your child is packing his backpack each morning, encourage him to pray for his teacher.
Use the everyday events in your family's life to encourage your kids to create the habit of praying for others. God wants to hear from us all the time, and He wants us to bring our requests to Him. Forming the habit of continually talking to God throughout the day when our kids are young, gives them a firm foundation in their relationship with Him that will carry through for the rest of their lives.
What prayer cues can you encourage your kids to use to remind them to pray for others?
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