Jesus says in Mark 12:30-31 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.
Call a family meeting and give each person, including mom and dad, a piece of paper. Have them draw a large heart. Then, ask them to write or draw the important things to their heart, such as their family, dog, grandma, ice cream. When everyone has finished, take some time to share. Take a different color and write GOD in the center of their heart. Begin to ask them if they love God more than ice cream? What about video games? How about loving God more than mom and dad? That’s a big one, but that is how big God wants us to love Him. Even though mom and dad are the most incredible people on earth, God loves them even more! In the days ahead, when you see God’s faithfulness, love, and protection over them, call it out. “Sweetie, that was God. He loves you so much”. “Buddy, that was God watching out for you.” “WOW, I love how God takes care of you by _____.”
STRATEGY FOR CHANGING THE WORLD
James 5:16 (MSG) gives us an important strategy – Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, humans just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came, and everything started growing again.
TEACHING CHILDREN HOW TO PRAY
When the children were little, I had a sign on the wall that said, “Dear Jesus, thank you for _ _ ___ _. Would you please help me with ______”. Each day they would pray to fill in the blanks. I was modeling how to be thankful and come to Jesus with what was important to their heart. At the end of the day, we would play the High/Low game where they would share the high and low of their day. Their answers were so revealing as to how their heart was doing, and their highs would almost always reflect the very thing they asked Jesus for.
One day my daughter asked Jesus to help her get a sweet treat. It felt rather insignificant to me, but hours later, we were at a store, and a clerk said she made one too many ice cream cones and offered it to my daughter. I immediately reminded her of her prayer that morning.
I saw my role as a Dot Connector. Teaching them to pray, then helping them see the way God was responding and speaking to them. Their faith grew each time, leaving them hungry for more. To this day, they could tell you testimonies of things they prayed for as experienced His answer.