Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. (CEV) Philippians 4:6-7
Please help us to get a swimming pool.
Please help my birthday party to be fun.
Please help the coronavirus to end.
Please help my mom to give us cookies for dinner.
These were all prayer requests from second graders in our children’s ministry. The kids had good intentions with these requests, and they were really taking our memory verse, Mark 11:24, to the next level. (“Everything you ask for in prayer will be yours, if you only have faith.”) But it was necessary to point out to the kids that we need to ask God according to his will. We need to have faith that he knows what is best for us and pray for his will to be done. When we pray, we should spend time adoring God, confessing our sins, and thanking him. As we do, it becomes clearer what it really means to supply our needs and give us our daily bread, rather than a lifetime supply of loaves.
I think Jesus’ disciples set a great example by telling stories of God’s provision. One instance described in all four of the Gospels is Jesus feeding the 5000. What better way to tell the world that Jesus can and will provide? God will use the little things around us—like people in our community—to provide for his people. Try these ideas to help your children understand what it means to trust God to supply our needs.
Read about how God quite literally supplied daily bread for the Israelites in Exodus 16. Then read the Lord’s Prayer together in Matthew 6:5-15. Notice how Jesus taught us to think about God’s holiness and ask for his will to be done before supplying our daily needs.
Read Matthew 7:7-11. Why do you think Jesus compared his followers to children asking their parents for bread?
Read John 5:14-15. Pray together and ask God to teach you to rely on him. Thank him for listening to your prayers.
It seems the disciples couldn’t wait to tell us the ways God provided for them, and I think we should follow their example. Sharing stories of God’s provision according to his plan with our children is the best way to illustrate why we can trust God and come to him as little children, asking him to supply our needs.
Explore the why, when, and how to pray with your family. Check out Kids Corner's Faith Practices for Families: Prayer eBook.
Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article https://familyfire.com/articles/teaching-our-children-to-ask-god