Start a prayer journal. Buy a spiral notebook. On the first page, draw a vertical line down the middle. On the left side write “Requests” and on the right side write “Answers.”
Every evening after dinner, take five minutes to pray. Write the requests in the notebook. Then say sentence prayers, asking God to answer the requests. Put the date requested and the date answered. (You could do this at bedtime if your family gathers together then.)
Howard Hendricks, a Christian author, said he did this when his children were growing up and this is one of the most valuable things they own. He plans to pass it down to his children as evidence that God is real and hears and answers prayer.
What did Hannah ask God? (For a son)
What did Hannah do when God answered her prayer? (She thanked Him; she said words of praise to Him)
God wants to give you good things; don’t be afraid to ask Him. He is not a magic genie, but a loving Father who will give you what is best (Matthew 7:11). He knows that it is sometimes not best to give you what you ask for, but sometimes He gives what you ask for. If He gave His only Son for you, what could be as great as that? He loves to give you good things. He is able to do more than what you can think or ask. Don’t just ask for things, but ask Him to help you make right choices, to obey your parents, to love your enemies. He wants you to pray to Him. Don’t be timid about asking, because God is listening and will answer.
Read or tell the following story to your kids:
When soccer season started, Alex begged his mom to let him play.
“Are you ready to practice after school a couple of times a week? Are you willing to spend every Saturday playing the games? Will you listen to the coach and work hard to learn different moves?” Mrs. Scanlon questioned.
“Oh, yes, Mom,” he answered. “I really want to do this. I promise I’ll work hard.”
“If you’re sure, I guess it’s okay,” she agreed.
Mrs. Scanlon signed up Alex and got his uniform. He put on the uniform and wore it around the house. He couldn’t wait until the games started.
Going to the first game was exciting, but Alex soon got tired of sitting on the bench. When he finally got to play, he got tired of running up and down the field. Alex didn’t like it when the coach yelled at him. He didn’t like spending every single Saturday on the soccer field.
About halfway through the season Alex complained to his mom, “This is harder than I thought. I don’t want to do this anymore.”
“What about the promise you made to work hard?” Mrs. Scanlon asked.
“I didn’t know it was going to be this hard and take up this much time!” he whined.
Do you think Alex was dedicated to the team? Why or why not?
Do you think Alex should be allowed to quit the team? Why or why not?
What does it mean to be dedicated to a team or task? (To give your best; to commit your time; to work hard even when you don’t feel like it; etc.)
What does it mean to be dedicated to God?
All of Me for All of Him
Read Romans 12:1 ask kids to tell you what it means. (Paul urges believers to give themselves completely to God—let their whole lives be devoted to serving God.)
What has God done for you? (He made us; He loves us; He helps us; He takes away our sins; etc.)
Why should we give ourselves to serve God? (He has given so much to us; His way is best; He will reward us; etc.)
Take a piece of rope (or twine) and make a circle on the floor (large enough for a person to stand in).
Say something like this:
If you are willing to dedicate—to give yourself completely to God, come and stand inside the circle one at a time and say, “I give all of me to You, God.”