Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Teaching Prayer to My Kids

In our baptismal service, parents and sponsors promise to do the following for their child(ren):

...faithfully bring them to the services of Gods house, teach them the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments.  As they grow in years, you should place in their hands the Holy Scriptures and provide for their instruction in the Christian faith... (Lutheran Book of Worship p. 121)
Roughly three months ago, my wife and I started emphasizing the Lord's Prayer with my kids, teaching it to them and praying with them before bed.  They picked up on it pretty quick now to the point they will sometimes each ask to pray the prayer individually after we have prayed it collectively.  It's pretty cool to hear each kid recite the prayer in his or her own unique fashion.

My eldest starts off, "Our Father, the Lord in Heaven, hallowed be my name..."  Hasn't quite got that "thy" word down just yet.

My middle child sometimes forgets and asks, "How does that part go?" and then she proceeds to move through the prayer lisping cutely.

My youngest still can't quite pronounce all the sounds and diphthongs of the English language even though he's got the Lord's Prayer down pat.  "Our Fadder, who art in heaben..."

I always enjoy listening to my children pray in this fashion, and I'm excited that they actually want to lead the family prayer themselves--unafraid to pray out loud in front of a small group--even though it is our family unit.  Not too many Lutherans I know of are willing to stick their necks out in such a fashion.

Ah, but interestingly enough, my eldest stopped me in my tracks last night.  "Daddy, you need to teach us some more prayers that we do at church!" 

"Which ones, sweetie?"

"You know, the ones we do at church all the time!"

Well, I"m not exactly a mind reader at this point, so I'm going to bring my worship hymnal home tonight and find out which prayer she's talking about.  Don't know if it might be the Apostles' Creed or the prayer of the day or the prayers of the church (of which I use the same one based upon the Lord's Prayer each Sunday).  Hey, it could even be the Words of Institution.  I don't know.

And in one way, it doesn't matter either.


Something is stirring within her to learn more, and as a good Lutheran, I know it's the Holy Spirit.  Who am I to deny this?  I'm excited as a pastor and as a father that I have the opportunity to help my kids grow in the faith. 

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