What happens when we bow our heads to pray with our kids? As we’re expressing our hearts to God, what are they doing? We may stress to them the importance of praying along with Daddy or Mommy in their hearts, being still, keeping their eyes closed, and staying quiet, but how much of that are they really doing?
The reality for them is that prayer time is a time when their parents aren’t talking to them. You’re not giving them instruction or asking them questions, so more often than not (at least for my kids) this means giving some semblance of quiet and control for thirty seconds whilst traveling to another world in their own imaginations.
I want my kids to understand that they need God and I want them to understand what it is they need from him, so where does that leave me when I’m pretty sure they’re not listening to a word of what I’m bringing to the ears of God? It’s simple, and I don’t know why I haven’t been doing it before now: I just tell my kids what I’m going to pray before I actually pray. This way I’ve got their attention and they begin to see the wide expanse of ways in which we need God (both spiritual and physical).