It is wonderful that prayer is so simple; it’s just talking to God. It is wonderful that God is so accessible; we don’t need to earn the right to come to Him, He eagerly welcomes us. James 4:8 states simply, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
In light of this, I think it’s a valuable lesson to reflect on the cost of our privilege to come before God. Sometimes, kids race through their thanks before a meal, anxious to grab their fork and dig in. I’ve had seasons where my children just recite the same prayer every night, the one they prayed yesterday and the day before and the week before. I think that’s okay. After all, we want to focus on our kids’ hearts, not their behaviour.
We know it’s God alone who changes hearts and His word has the power to make those changes. “Christ suffered once for sins. The one who did what is right suffered for those who don’t do right. He suffered to bring you to God. His body was put to death. But the Holy Spirit brought Him back to life.” 1 Peter 3:18
Before you pray, it might be helpful to spend time with your children, reflecting on the suffering that Jesus went through to make it possible for us to come near to God. He was betrayed by Judas (Luke 22:48), He was deserted by his disciples (Matthew 26:56), He was falsely accused (Matthew 26:60), He was spat on and beat up (Matthew 26:67-68), He was rejected (Matthew 27: 21-22), He was mocked (Matthew 27: 29-30), He suffered excruciating pain and died (Matthew 27:50). Even though Jesus is infinitely more powerful than anyone who hurt Him, He willingly allowed all this awful treatment against Him because He loved us and wanted us to be able to come near to God.
Prayer is so easy for us because it cost Christ so much”
Prayer is so easy for us because it cost Christ so much. May that sink into our hearts and our children’s. I believe it will grow a heartfelt appreciation for the privilege of prayer and can change what we do when we bow our heads each day.