Arming children … with prayer

We stepped through high grass, with our recent studies of Robin Hood in mind; grasping bows and arrows and a feeling of anticipation for adventure. The target: a cardboard box set up on two yellow chairs. The goal: hit the target.

Teaching little hands to pull back the arrow (not the string) and keep the arrow balanced isn’t easy. Archery takes work. Luckily, my husband has some experience with this. Each child had a chance to shoot 10 arrows in a row with Alex crouched next to them, whispering tricks and tips for success. Many an arrow fell to the ground; some shot directly into soil just a foot away; and two were forever lost in thigh-high weeds … but the look on their faces when an arrow soared straight ahead … aw, the accomplishment and the joy. They felt brave, prepared and capable when successfully armed with the skill.

Avery archer

I want my children to feel brave, prepared and capable when facing the wily ways of the world. Thankfully, we’ve been told by God through prophets what to teach our children – what tools to arm them with.

“Parents, help safeguard your children by arming them morning and night with the power of family prayer. Children are bombarded every day with the evils of lust, greed, pride, and a host of other sinful behaviors. Protect your children from daily worldly influences by fortifying them with the powerful blessings that result from family prayer. Family prayer should be a nonnegotiable priority in your daily life.” (“Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority,” Richard G. Scott, Oct. 2014.)

Eli archer 2
Prayer isn’t easy – it takes focus, balance and lots of practice. The Bible Dictionary says, “Prayer is a form of work …” But as parents, we’re a bit more experienced with the tool than our children; and we can crouch next to them, whispering tips for success. We can give reminders in order to instill the habit. We can say, “Have you said your morning prayer? No? Well, I’m about to pray, so let’s kneel together.” I love having my little ones kneeling beside me – I can feel heaven’s strength surround us. When we pray, our family goals and hearts align; we see and feel more clearly; and we’re armed with the ability and power to face our days’ trials.

“One of the most meaningful things we can do as parents is teach our children the power of prayer, not just the routine of prayer … Which parents in Book of Mormon times would have let their sons march out to the front of battle without a breastplate and shield and sword to protect them against the potentially mortal blows of the enemy? But how many of us let our children march out the front door each morning to the most dangerous of all battlefields, to face Satan and his myriad of temptations, without their spiritual breastplate and shield and sword that come from the protective power of prayer?” (“Parents: The Prime Gospel Teachers of Their Children,” Ted R. Callister, Oct. 2014.)

Anna archer
Put it that way, and prayer isn’t optional – it’s a must!
So, here’s to arming our children with protective power through prayer. It is worth the work. Our children will become brave, prepared and capable when armed with the heaven-sent tool. Plus, our mothering hearts can trust in the Lord and feel assured that our little soldiers are ready for battle.

Avery archer 2

Share the goodness: How have you helped establish habits of prayer in your hearts & home?

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  • Julie
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    I loved the scripture study you did with the kiddos at our sleep over the other night.. You asked each of them how they were doing with their individual prayers and they really gave answers besides just saying fine.. Anna told you when she does her morning prayer, after she makes her bed but before she leaves her room. Avery felt like her prayer rock literally helped her get the habit of prayer, when she bumped her head hard on her rock it helped her not forget again.. Little Eli likes it when he says it with you… All three of them knew that individual prayers are different from family prayers, that it’s their own time to share feelings in their tender hearts. You’re doing such a good job teaching your little ones, they are growing testimoniies of the power of prayer that will help them throughout their lives.

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