Most of you know what soaking prayer is, although it's still a relatively new concept to mainline Christianity. Taking the time in prayer to listen for God's voice is essential in a believers life. That connection between you and God is the lifeline to your faith, encouraging and fulfilling you every time you sense His presence and hear Him speak words of love and direction.
Children also need this tool to help them grow and become strong in their faith. We introduce the kids in our ministry to times of organized soaking prayer as young as 4 and 5 years of age. I've been in churches where the even the nursery workers will take 15 minutes and play soaking music, turning down the lights and quietly pray with the babies and toddlers. Their little spirits WILL respond to the atmosphere of praise and worship if we'll consistently present the opportunity.
By the time the kids are 6 or 7, we begin to teach them how to wait on the Lord, how to open the eyes and ears of their heart and listen and watch for His voice. We play instrumental music, and have them lie on the floor, eyes closed, paying attention to His spirit. In the beginning we make take 15 or 20 minutes, and gradually increase that to 45 minutes to an hour over time, as they learn to love to be with Jesus.
Afterwards, we always process as a group, talking about what they've experienced, discussing what they've felt, heard, saw, and even smelled. It's amazing what these children encounter during these times with the Lord! They talk about the "movies" Jesus shows them, and how He holds them or runs with them. When asked if they'd like to have soaking time again, every hand shoots up!
Eventually, these children RUN to these times, asking Jesus for the "more" from Him, and they usually get it. What a joy it is to see children who WANT to pray, who desire to hear from their Creator. They show such joy, peace and contentment afterwards that it's obvious they were in the presence of the living God!
We also encourage our children to start writing in journals, whether they can write or just draw pictures of what they've encountered during their time with Jesus. They date them with day and month for future reference, if possible, and if they can write, keep the words that Jesus gave them in capital letters, in a different color, or maybe in a different offset paragraph.
There have been children we've worked with from years back that still have these journals and have referred back to them from time to time. What a great way to watch yourself grow and remember times of encounter with the Lord! What a great way to help your OWN children learn about their destiny and how to walk with Jesus - why not buy them one and help them get started today? An amazing journey awaits!
Karen’s calling is to bring children into the manifest presence and glory of Jesus, lead them in experiencing His deep abiding love, clear unmistakable voice, wise Godly direction for their lives, and to ignite a spirit-led passion for serving Him in many ways at any age.
She is available for children’s and adult conferences, retreats, church dates, camps, leadership training and regional equipping sessions. Fire For the Nations hosts a summer camp for kids and periodic kids mission trips during the year. Her first book, Kids Can! will be released soon. For more information, contact her at [email protected] or go to www.fire4thenations.com