We can hear Him!
We can hear Him!
We’re working on helping our kids hear God’s voice in hopes that as they grow their relationship with Him, they will also want to follow where He leads. The Parents’ Prayer in the Attentiveness lesson contains a beautiful petition asking God to give our kids attentive and teachable spirits, ears that are ready to listen, protection from temptation to ignore anything He brings to their attention, and development of a deep respect for Him. It goes on to request that the Lord would grow in them humble and contrite spirits. Wow! Do we ever want that for our kids (and ourselves!).
But how do children actually begin to recognize God’s voice? What should they ask Him? How do they know for sure it’s God answering them and not just their own thoughts popping up? Is there a way to teach them practical basics of listening prayer? Rob and I wrestled with these questions but we knew it was high time to “put legs on their ears!”
We began this quest by assuring Ben and Jess that God does, indeed, speak to them and that it shouldn’t surprise them. All through history He has conversed with His people and He’s not about to clam up now! Though He may speak in an audible voice to a few, most Christians “hear” God in their heart – it seems almost like a thought. We also explained that when we first start listening to God, we tend to dismiss those “thoughts” that come to our hearts as our own chattering. In reality, if we truly quiet ourselves to hear His voice, His answer will often come swift and sure. As we grow in experience, we grow in trust.
At bedtime a few nights ago, we told the kids we wanted to try something a bit different. We asked them to quiet themselves and ask God if there was anybody He wanted them to pray for. We asked them to hang on to the very first person who came to mind. In a few moments, Ben said he was told to pray for the 94-year-old lady who lives across the back alley! Jessica “heard” the need to pray for our children’s pastor.
Then we asked the kids to go back to God and ask, “Why?” What exactly did He want them to pray for? Ben said God told him that because Mrs. Smith was so old, she was having trouble staying independent and that she needed help to stay living in her home alone. Cool! What a clear ministry opportunity! I plan to invite her for tea this week to check in.
Jessica knew that our children’s pastor was struggling with health issues and so she felt led to pray for healing and recovery. We continue to join her in that request.
At the end of the exercise, we affirmed their spiritual ears and explained how God will bless those individuals as a result of their prayers. They were so excited to be of use in this way that Ben immediately asked if we could do it again soon. I suspect all heaven must have been smiling!