Even as adults, we struggle with attentiveness. A pressing deadline, a demanding schedule or other anxieties can preoccupy our mind so that we miss what others are trying to communicate. As you prepare to guide your children through this lesson on attentiveness, don’t let anything distract you from first drawing near to the One who hears every word you share with Him. Use this sample prayer, or build your own prayer using the verses from “Scripture-guided prayer for parents.”
Wonderful Counsellor, thank you for being a God of interactive communication. I am amazed that You, the Lord of the universe, communicate with me personally. Thank you for speaking to me and listening to me! The Bible tells the story of Your desire to commune intimately with mankind (Exodus 25:8, John 1:14, Revelation 21:3). What a privilege it is to know that You want to know us and be known by us. As the God of all wisdom, You promise to share Your wisdom generously (James 1:5). Please find me willing and worthy as Your student and Your friend (Psalm 25:12,14).
My desire is to be attentive to Your voice. I pray that You would show me any sin in my heart that is interfering with my communication with You (Psalm 66:18). Humbly I ask that You would forgive me for the times that I have been inattentive to Your leading in my life or slow to respond to Your gentle prompting. My desire is to have a heart that is sensitive to the guidance of Your Sprit of Truth (John 16:13). When You speak to me in the night or the day, through Your Word, through nature or through other avenues, may my ears be tuned to You so that I cannot miss Your voice.
Listening carefully to those around me is also so important. When my children come to me wide-eyed and excited, telling a story, help me to listen with genuine care and attention. When my spouse or another friend speaks, help me to listen with a focused mind. When others offer genuine advice or criticism, please help me to be open to accepting their input so that I may be wise in the end (Proverbs 19:20).
I bring ________ and ________ before You and I pray that You will build into them attentive and teachable spirits. Please give them ears that are ready to listen to You and to others and protect them from the temptation to ignore anything You bring to their attention. I ask that _______ and _______ will develop a deep respect for You. As they learn to revere You, I trust that You will grow in them spirits that are humble and contrite – that they will be ones whom You esteem (Isaiah 66:2).
I ask that early in life ________ and ________ will learn to practice effective listening skills. As they grow and mature, may they become children who are
“…quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19). Listening is such a crucial aspect of learning and obedience. I pray that ________ and ________ will reach their full potential spiritually because they have learned to be attentive to Your voice. In school, sports, music or whatever avenues in which they pursue competence or excellence, I pray that they will be teachable and humble so that they make wise use of the talents You have given them.
Thank you for giving us directions for living life. Whether we turn to the right or to the left, give us ears to hear Your voice saying,
“This is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). For this is the desire of our family: to walk in Your ways so that we can influence the world for You. We pray together,
“Teach [us] to do Your will, for You are [our] God; may your good Spirit lead [us] on level ground” (Psalm 143:10). Amen.
Scripture-guided prayer for parents
Read and pray through one or more of the selected Scriptures under each heading. Focus on listening to God and allowing His Spirit to direct you as you pray.
Begin by letting God know how much you appreciate Him and desire to hear His voice.
Proverbs 2:1-9 | Isaiah 55:2-3 | Jeremiah 29:11-13 | Daniel 10:10-12 | John 10:25-27
Acknowledge your inattentiveness to God and others.
Psalm 66:16-20 | Proverbs 1:22-23 | Proverbs 12:15 | Isaiah 29:13-14, 23-24 | Luke 6:46
Thank God for ways you have seen attentiveness exhibited in your family.
Ask God to help you and your family to listen effectively to His voice and to others.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 | Proverbs 19:20 | Proverbs 22:17-19 | Isaiah 48:17-18 | John 16:13-15