To look up is to trust God to stay with us and stand with us when we see what we see. And in raising children to raise their eyes with courage and compassion, expect questions and confusion. For seeing the world is sometimes ugly. Children will see hard things that don’t make sense or end in simple conclusions that feel good filed away. But we want children who will look up from their own lives, because that’s essential to growing up with a tender heart like Jesus.
Two resources to teach children to see Jesus
Teach children to grow to be peaceful people in tense times
Today I’m sharing on The MOB Society’s October theme about teaching boys the fruit of the Spirit. How can we raise children bearing the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, and self-control when we look up and see a world full of rotten fruit? Here’s a taste of what you can read today over at themobsociety.com.
I invited him to join me on the couch for the National News broadcast just as our election year was ramping up. The commentator summarized campaigns of the day, but the candidates’ convictions faded into conflicts and chaos. “These are the leaders of our country,” I thought to myself. Their rhetoric deteriorated into a competition of who could launch verbal darts and draw media attention. These are times of war, yet as a nation we war within ourselves. Do the fighters get the followers? How can I convince my son that men of great peace make the great difference? Read more …
Teach children how to pray about what they see
Open eyes lead to bowed knees. To see the world in need is to turn to Jesus with open hands and hearts and say, “Here God. Take these things You’ve shown me.” To see people in need is to lift names to the One who listens. To see our world in confusion is to look up asking for peace. If we’re going to teach our children to lift their eyes and look to white fields, we have to equip them with the power of prayer. 99 Prayers for Children provides a child’s guide to varied patterns of prayer.
Kregel Publishers shared a copy of 99 Prayers for Children with me; my copy is destined for a birthday box for our twin nieces! I found 10 qualities I like in this colorful hardback compiled by Juliet David.
99 Prayers for Children
- 11 sections help children learn to pray in varied times
- colorful illustrations engage children
- limited text on each page encourages new readers
- prayers range from conversational to traditional to historical
- some prayers are for certain occasions, events, & circumstances
- the variety of styles helps parents who may’ve fallen in a rut
- family relationships and values are clearly communicated
- fruits of the Spirit are integrated throughout
- scripture is interwoven, helping children learn to pray God’s word
- 99 prayers provide 3 months worth of simple suggestions = great habits!
Jesus didn’t hesitate to look upon us and our world, just because He knew He would see a landscape of the lost filled with scenes of suffering. He let Himself look and weep (Luke 19:40-42). As “little Christs,” He calls His followers to do the brave thing, the selfless thing, the trusting thing. He calls us to take our eyes off our own comfort and our own concerns. He calls us to look at the fields of the world white for harvest (John 4:35).
If we’re to assure our children that it’s good to look at the world and see it for the good and bad and ugly that it is, then we have to give them a pattern of prayer to embolden them. 99 Prayers for Children is not a theology primer on prayer for children. This is a positive, prayerful, engaging prompter for parents and kids to call on the One who holds the world in His hands.
99 Prayers for Children is available from Kregel Books, and I’m grateful for the gift of a preview copy to share with the little disciples in my life!
Check out the Kregel Catalog of Kids Books.