Prayer: Just Be Yourself

3 02 2015

Most of us have witnessed this scene before: a prayer request is mentioned, heads bow, and prayer begins. What comes next sounds nothing like the person you know. In reality, sometimes our prayers just don’t sound like us when it comes to praying aloud, in front of others, and especially in front of our children. Who each of us is as a person doesn’t always come across as genuine to whom God made us to be.

praying hands So, what are some practical tips to bridge the uncomfortableness and just be yourself in prayer?

  1. Slow down and be okay with silence (Ps. 46:10). Slowing your pace and allowing for quiet moments helps to move our thoughts away from the daily demands and focus on being in the presence of the Lord.
  2. Use normal language. Your kids will be the first to call you out on this one. Model for them that prayer is conversation with God.
  3. Use your normal voice. See #2.
  4. Keep it short and simple. Even though the comprehension level will differ, the attention span of a toddler and teenager are roughly the same J. Pay attention to the attention limitations of your children at various ages and slowly build their praying stamina.
  5. Let your children see YOU praying (1 Thess. 5:17-18). You are your children’s primary discipler. As they watch you pray about all things and in every circumstance, they will learn that prayer is a natural part of life.
  6. Expose your children to other adults praying. Whether this is in Sunday morning worship or at a weekly prayer fellowship, children need to see and hear other adults praying. Depending on the setting, include your child as a participant and not just a listener.
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Prayer is naturally one of the most spiritual things we can do as believers, so we don’t need to add anything extra to over-spiritualize it, make it a burden, or complicate it for our children. We can simply come as joyful sons and daughters with reverent awe that we have been rescued by a God who loves us and hears us.

Every Wednesday night at 6:30, we have a one-hour prayer fellowship time for our entire church family and those in our community. During this time, we have a team of caring adults who will pray with your children and teach them how to pray for others. Start the New Year off with a renewed commitment of bringing the entire family to prayer fellowship at least once a month, if not more. It’s a great time of fellowship, a midweek recharging of the soul, and a place to just be yourself. This could be the thing which helps your prayer life the most.

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Children and Stress

20 09 2014

76751016Illness, death of a loved one, school bullies, parental job loss, or divorce, these are just a few life stressors that can bring uncertainty,anxiety and stress into a child’s life.

As much as we want to shield our children from hurt and harm, life happens. As we seek to handle these tough times, here are a few suggestions:

 

  • Take time to reassure your children of your constant love for them and of God’s promise to never leave us. Be attentive, accepting, affirming, and reliable.
  • As much as possible, maintain the same schedules and rules during crises because structure and boundaries help children feel safe. When changes occur, let children know what to expect.
  • Encourage your kids to talk openly about their feelings and fears. Most importantly, pray that God will help you all grow closer to him, no matter what obstacles you face.

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“ For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,j nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”    

Romans 8:38-39 





A Great Start to Sundays!

9 09 2013

how to guideAt this time of year, parents are overwhelmed with “how to’s” regarding the new school year…. how to find the best deal on school clothes, how to pack a healthy lunch, how to set up a well-organized homework area.

However, what are the “how to’s” for helping your child have a great year at church?

Here are a few ideas:

SleepPrepare the night before.  Lay out clothes and accessories, bathe the children, set Bibles and offering money near the door…anything you can do to eliminate as many time-consuming items in the morning will help you get out the door on time.

Go to bed at a reasonable hour.  Being well-rested will ensure that everyone will (1) get up and out the door and (2) help eliminate grumpy behavior – for parents AND kids.

BreakfastDon’t forget breakfast.  A full tummy will help kids focus better and again cut down on grumpy behavior.

 

 

Play up positives for church other than “fun”.  If you tell your child something like, “I’ll bet you’ll have lots of fun today!” and they don’t, they will likely resist wanting to go back.  Emphasize that worshiping and attending church is an important start to your week and that when we go to church, we can learn more about Jesus.

Commit to attending church regularly.  There are so many things that vie for your attention on Sunday mornings.  Make regular church attendance a priority for your family.  church_on_time

Arrive at church on time.  By doing so, your child is able to get settled in with minimal disruptions to the class.

Get to know your child’s teacher.  Your child’s teacher has committed to building a relationship with your child and sharing Jesus with him/her.  This relationship is a very important one to nurture.

calendarPut dates for children’s ministry activities on your calendar.  Information about what will be taught, memory verses, and special holiday activities will help you to encourage your child.

Ask the right questions.  Instead of asking, “Did you have fun today?” when you pick up your child, ask more specific questions such as,

“Tell me about your day.”; “What did you do today?”; “What did you like best?”  

Find ways that you can serve together as a family.  Participate in the church food and water drive, serve as ushers, greeters, or bake cookies for church events.  This will help your child feel like they are part of a larger community.  Family serve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ephesians 6:10-12 reminds us of the daily battle we face and provides us with THE way to win the war.  I hope these tips are helpful and get your Sundays off to a great start!

 





New Year, New Look!!

21 01 2013

CASM Parents and Friends…Happy New Year! We are so excited to launch our new look and new way to communicate with our parents and friends of the ministry. You will be able to get the latest news, helpful tips and updates about our children’s ministry from regular posts on this blog by:

1. Becoming a follower of this blog (whenever there is a new post, you will automatically be notified).

2. Becoming a follower of the CASM Facebook page. If you’re already on Facebook, just like the CASM page.

3. Go to the Children’s Ministry page on the CASM website.

It’s our hope that this blog will also serve as an outreach to our family and friends in Phoenix, throughout the U.S. and around the world.

In 2012, we enjoyed our annual December Family Fun Day; writing letters to our pen pals in the Philippines; celebrating our “Heroes of Faith essay contest winner; and singing in the Christmas Eve service.

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Looking forward to another great year of service to our children and parents!

Kimberly Allen
Children’s Ministry Director