Milk and Honey Magazine's 5 prayers to pray as a mother when raising your Children in the Christian faith!

Teaching Your Children About God

Gina Smith

I remember the weight of responsibility that I felt when the doctor handed me my newborn babies so many years ago. I had suddenly become responsible for the physical and emotional well-being of a tiny human! I had collected so many thoughts over the years about what I wanted to do and didn’t want to do when I became a mom, those quiet, mental, vows that I’d made to myself of things I would never do and ways that I didn’t want my children to ever feel. To a certain extent, I could control some of those things.

When it came to the physical well-being of my children, there was a lot I could do. If they got sick, I took them to the doctor. I gave them medicine. I fed them healthy food and made sure they got plenty of fresh air and exercise. I was careful not to put them in harm’s way.

Emotionally, I also had some control. I worked hard to be a mom that didn’t yell and get angry at my children, and I told them that I love them and that they are precious every chance I got. I was careful to point out their strengths and built them up in any way I could. We went on special dates on a regular basis, and I was fully invested in pouring in to their lives in any way I could. I pursued them throughout their entire growing up and made sure that they knew that I was there for them, wanted to hear their heart, and that I wanted to be their friend.

But there was one area of life, possibly the most important part of life, that I had little control over. That was the spiritual growth of my children.

Oh, sure, we took them to church regularly, we had family Bible times in the evening, and my husband and I set an example of what it means to personally be in the Word on a regularly basis. We read them Bible stories and bought them Bible based books to read as they got older, and talking about God was a normal and natural thing in our home. But, we could not make them really hear and understand the truths of God’s Word.. We could not make them hunger to know him. That was a work that only God could do in their hearts, and that caused my goal oriented, fiercely intentional, self to become frustrated and fearful.

When my children were about 5 and 8 years old, I was going through a season of being very fearful and concerned about their spiritual growth, so I decided to talk with my pastor about it. After sharing my concerns, he looked at me and said, "Well, what exactly are expecting from children their age?" Then he encouraged me to pray the following prayer for my children:

"Father, please cause to ring in my children's ears what YOU think they need to hear today, and cause them to have understanding on THEIR level"


That is when God began the process of opening my eyes to the fact that my children are in a process of growth and learning (just like I am!) I had somehow begun to believe that if I was faithful to do my part in teaching my children about God, there would be instant results. I was doing all that I could do, but wasn’t seeing much in the way of results.

Milk and Honey Magazine's 5 prayers to pray as a mother when raising your Children in the Christian faith!

Here’s the thing, it takes a while for our children to stop ordering from the kids menu at restaurants and to begin ordering from the adult menu, doesn’t it? It takes a few years for them to get to the point that they are interested in "grown up food". In fact, when they are babies, their bodies aren’t even been able to tolerate many foods. But as they grow, not only are they able to eat more of a variety of foods, but their interest grows and they actually want to try different things. It is a slow process. I actually remember wondering if they would ever get past the stage of wanting to eat the same things every day. When it comes to teaching our children about God, it is very similar to this process. It takes a while for them to learn and truly absorb the truth of God's Word, and it takes years for them to grow in their understanding.

We, as parents, have been given the incredible privilege of teaching our children about God. At times the responsibility can seem overwhelming. When my children were young, I would become fearful and wonder if they were "getting it". I had so many desires for my kids and thought I could accomplish certain things. God had to show me that the learning process takes time, and it was really up to Him to do the work in my children. Philippians 2:13 tells us that “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” That means that He is the one doing that work in your children. Yes, we have our part to do and must be faithful, but He is the one that will open their eyes to His truth and give them a hunger for more of Him.

If you are faithfully sharing God's truths with your children, I want you to know you are doing well! Don't stop. Don't get discouraged. Persevere and Pray. Here are 5 Prayers You Can Pray for your children as you are raising them and teaching them about God:

  1. Pray with and for your children. (Colossians 4:2) Pray that God will cause to ring in your children's ears what He thinks they need to hear. That God will give your children understanding on their level.
  2. Live and share the gospel with your children.(John 3:3) Pray that God will draw your children to Himself.
  3. Pray that the truths your children hear will become a reality in their lives. That you will trust God's timing as he does His work in your children's heart. Ezekiel 36:26 ; Ephesians 1:18
  4. Pray that you will have wisdom to know what you should teach your children. Ask God to help you see the teachable moments throughout the day. (Proverbs 22:6, Deut. 6:7-9)
  5. Pray that your life would be an authentic example that is used in your children's lives to point them to God. Teach and show your children that Christianity is more than a list of rules, and that joy comes from walking with and obeying God. (1 Timothy 4:1 )

How are my children doing now that they are grown? My son, age 26, began to personally embrace the gospel for himself in his later high school years. He has grown so much and we are in this process of growth with him now. He challenges and teaches me so much. My daughter, age 29, made her walk with God her own walk at a very young age. We have been walking this life long process of growth together for a long time now. She also challenges and encourages me in so many ways. And all I can say is that God did that work in their hearts! They are my children, and now my brother and sister in Christ, and I am so very grateful!

Remember that you are in this for the long haul. You are laying a foundation for the years of learning, growing, maturing, and comprehending that is ahead for your children. Ultimately, God is the one to do the work in their heart. That takes a lot of pressure off parents! I find that to be very freeing!

Gina has been married for 31 years. For 20 + years, Gina and her husband served on a Christian college campus as the on-campus parents, and her husband was a college professor and dean of students. He is now a professor at a local University and an athletic trainer (sports medicine), and he trains the Washington DC professional Ultimate Frisbee team, the DC Breeze. Gina and Brian have two grown (and married) children. Gina is a writer, author, encourager, mentor, nurturer of friendships of all ages, and she loves talking about God, His Word, and about what He is teaching her. She runs a private, online encouragement group for moms of boys called “The MOB Society“ and recently authored her first book Grace Gifts: Practical Ways To Understand God’s Grace. You can also find her at the “Million Praying Moms" Podcast and on MOB Live and at her personal blog.