Gathering your family together for devotions can have life-changing effects. Since faith comes by hearing God’s Word, children should be taught a deep love for the Scriptures and our Creator (Romans 10:17). As you venerate the Bible, it will be the road map that will guide your entire family to heaven. David promised to give God’s Word top priority in his life (Psalm 119:16). Every day, seek ways to increase your children’s knowledge of Biblical truth. You can leave a marvelous legacy to your children by holding up before them the Five Fingers of Faith: Hearing, Reading, Studying, Memorizing and Meditating. These can be modeled by parents even before children learn to read. Our Native elders have shown us that truth is more often caught than taught. Let your children know we are all on Creator’s path and have new and exciting mountains to climb together.
There are four aspects of the learning process that work in every tribe and nation:
1. Repetition engraves God’s Word on the mind.
2. Visualization helps children understand Bible facts experientially.
3. Internalization makes spiritual truth personally meaningful.
4. Application modifies behavioral patterns through the practical use of Scripture.
Prayer cannot be divorced from the Bible, for they are inseparably linked. Jude 20 tells us to build up ourselves in faith by praying in the Holy Spirit. Because children have short attention spans, they are less likely to remember a long list of prayer needs. Children need a point of reference for their prayers. Make a short list and allow each child to decide what they want to pray about. Keep a photo album of friends and relatives and pass around their pictures as you pray for them. Vary your postures when you pray. You can stand, sit, kneel or even lay and pray. Have devotions outside or in a different room in the house. Innovation and variety teaches children God hears them wherever they are.
It is important to never criticize a child’s prayers. If you scold them during devotional time, they may come to believe God will not answer them if they pray “wrong.” They might later abandon any attempt to talk with the Lord, fearing He will not accept their prayers. Encourage your children to pray on their own, not just in family devotions. Be sure to praise God together for all answered prayers. Teach your children the four ACTS of prayer: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.
Adoration of God includes worshipping Him daily with your children. When something good happens to them, encourage them to praise the Lord for it. Lead them to reverence and worship Him.
Confession is needed to keep communication paths open to God by telling Him we are sorry when we sin. Children should be taught to confess as soon as they realize they offended God and disobeyed His Word.
Thankfulness is an essential factor in daily life. Promote in your children an attitude of gratitude by expressing appreciation to God for the little things He does.
Supplication includes asking the Lord for provision and grace from His abundant supply. Following the example of godly parents, Native children will develop a sincere desire for personal communication with God and a deep love for His Word.