Earlier this year, Missouri voters approved an amendment that requires all public schools to display the Bill of Rights, in addition to reaffirming kids’ right to pray and acknowledge God while in school. It’s called the “Right to Pray” amendment, and it seems to be causing quite a stir.
According to USA Today, “The language on [the] ballot stressed the rights of citizens to express their religious beliefs and the rights of children to pray and acknowledge God in schools. It also stated that students could be exempted from classroom activities that violate their religious beliefs.”
I’m interested in hearing what you all think about this. Is this a positive thing? Does this overstep any boundaries? How would you vote on this issue, and why? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Personally, I’m thankful Jesus gives us the right to pray. It’s important for us to help our kids stretch their spiritual muscles and help them become prayer warriors. Here are three tips and tricks to help get kids praying for a lifetime.
1. Start. If you’re looking for a place to start teaching kids about prayer, there’s no better place to start than seeing how the master does it. In Kids’ Travel Guide to the Lord’s Prayer, kids not only dig into each line of the Lord’s Prayer, they also find out the answers to two big questions: What is prayer, and how should I pray? One of my favorite activities involves temptation. Ask kids to stand up, and then give them some fun noisemakers-but instruct them not to make any noises. As you go around the room and have kids name some things or situations that tempt them, have kids who make any noise with their noisemakers sit down.
After the activity, ask kids what made it hard or easy for them to resist the temptation to use their noisemaker. Ask them if they are usually good at resisting temptation, and why or why not. Finally, ask why is it sometimes hard to say no to things that we know are wrong.
Remind kids that God can give us the strength to do what is right.
2. Styles.Just as different kids enjoy learning different ways, kids will enjoy trying out different styles of prayer time. Change up your prayer time by having kids listen to the words of a worship song while praying. Or have kids start a prayer journal where they can write down their thoughts. You can even incorporate prayer into a active game using the Throw and Tell® Prayer Ball. Shake up your prayer time and let kids pray in a way that they connect most with.
3. Seasonal.Here is a great craft/prayer experience you can do that is perfect for the holidays. Get out your craft supplies as well as some newsprint, or tear off long sheets of paper if you happen to have access to a roll of paper. Have kids think of things they are thankful for, and allow them to draw and decorate their paper with those things. As they decorate, have them say “Thanks, God, for the gift of…” Explain to kids that Jesus is a special gift that God gave us. When kids are done with the prayer craft, roll each child’s paper up in a tube and put a rubber band around it. Now it can be used during Christmas as thankfulness gift wrap. This idea came from the Pray & Play Bible for Young Children. Make sure to check it out! If you have older kids, check out the Pray & Play Bible 2.
Of course, it’s important for you to pray, too! Make sure that you set aside some time in your busy schedule to have some personal time with God. Click here for some ideas to get you started.