Q. Is there any spiritual activity which we engage as Christ followers that is greater than prayer?
You may debate that it could be studying the word or worshipping God (although technically a form of prayer) but where we would all agree is that if not number 1 then number 2. If this is true would not teaching our children to pray and even engaging prayer together as a family be at the top of our parenting priorities? I confess that in my family we did not elevate its value near enough. In hindsight it was not so much of a lack of spirituality but a lack of leadership. If I engage it well enough on my own as an individual but fail to rally it in my home then it is a failure to influence the behaviour of my family and that is by definition a lack of leadership. The call in contrast is for parents to have a vision of the spirituality they desire for their children and rather than hope that they grow up to pray to Jesus we take action to train them in prayer. What they do with it as they become adults is their responsibility but until that time it falls to us as parents (and grandparents) to equip them. Often the moms are more predisposed to take initiative in this area and I discovered it is due to their greater comfort with intimacy. Prayer, at its heart, is intimacy with God.; Us coming naked before him (though literal in the creation story, I mean this metaphorically). I found that I had to push past my insecurities and just call for a time of prayer.
Once we open the door to prayer we begin to explore effectiveness in it. This summer we are highlighting scripture texts that reflect actual prayers. It is my hope that we can be shaped in our prayer life by the example the Spirit saw fit to be recorded for us. Our kids will look at the same texts in their lessons creating a great opportunity for you to lead your family into some great discussions and practices in prayer. Be on the lookout for new daily and weekly practices you could bring to your family life for this fall.