How Christmas Lists Can Teach Your Child About Prayer

Ever notice how easy it is for our kids to ask us for stuff? Especially this time of year!  Matter of fact, it’s not even a question, it’s more of a statement. “Hi mom! I know what I want you to get me…..” Their wish/want is expected. I know that as moms, we get these statements all year long!

“Hey mom, I need a ride to my friends house tomorrow.”

“Hey mom, buy me that….please”

There’s no escape….even the toddler is in on it!  “Mom, mom, mom, mom….THAT!”

Does it bother you?

At times it gets to me because it’s not just the stuff they want for birthdays or holidays, but it’s the expectations of my time.  In my children’s eyes, I’m here to cater to their needs.  Well, basically that IS my JOB, but no one likes to feel used or unappreciated…even moms!

This morning I was thinking about this idea of Christmas Lists.  Is this a good thing? Some would say it’s not. They would say that we should teach our kids to just be thankful for what they have and what they get. It seems to be a trend to limit the number of gifts in an effort to create kids who are grateful and less materialistic. But this verse keeps coming to me:

Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our times of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

I was reminded that we too have a Father who wants to give us the BEST gifts ever….and He wants us to come to Him boldly! Sometimes we think of God as so holy and so amazing that we couldn’t dare ask of him anything. Yet, He tells us over and over that He wants us to ASK. It doesn’t stop there, He says ASK and EXPECT. Doesn’t that sound just like our kids? Don’t they come boldly and with expectation? I mean that’s why parents go crazy over the “Hot Item” of the year! We will wait in long lines and overpay on ebay all in an effort to meet their expectation!

For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:8)

Isn’t that just what our kids do? They ask, not because they are ungrateful spoiled kids (well maybe), but mostly likely it’s because they have CONFIDENCE in your love for them.

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, would give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will you give him a snake? So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:9-11)

What if we really knew how much God loves us? What if we knew that God never wants to harm us?

Our children can know that! It’s easier for them, which is why Jesus said to have faith like a child! This December, point your children to God….even when you’re making Christmas Lists!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come to pray to me, and I will listen to you. (Jeremiah 29:11-12)

So as your children are creating their wish lists, you can tell them that God wants even more for them than we do! And that just like they come to us for what they want and need, God wants them to seek HIM in all things. And just like they have no doubt that we would never hurt them, they can expect that from God EVEN MORE

Yes, the toys are fun and the new electronics are amazing, and it’s okay to have nice things….but the gifts from their heavenly Father will be even more amazing!

What does your child want from God?

I think sometimes we are afraid to let our kids ask God for things because we are afraid.  What if they ask for a horse? If they don’t get a horse will they doubt God? Maybe that’s why you might hold back from asking God for what you really want in life.  What if I don’t get it? What will that do to my faith? So you don’t ask…and then God can’t give. He doesn’t say, “Don’t worry about asking…I’ll just give it to you”  He says, ASK…and receive.

Does our Christmas List match God’s?

Sometimes we feel like all that’s worthy of asking is World Peace! But God cares even about the sparrow, he knows the hairs on your head, and thoughts of your heart.

Christmas is the best time to help you children understand how to ask and pray. Sometimes we do want something big like a horse, or something that seems impossible like getting out of debt. Maybe it’s something “selfish” like a certain brand named item, or just some peace and quiet time. No matter what you are desiring, take it to God. Ask him. Then give him permission to change your desires to match His! Show your children how even Jesus submitted his desire to God’s will when he was praying, “Not my will, but yours be done!”

FREE  – Christmas List Devotion & Worksheet

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Does this sound like a great way for you and your family to focus on God this season? If you’d like more, please take a look at our Countdown to Christmas Family Devotional. Decide to spend a few minutes each day focusing on the Goodness of God and how we can spread that Goodness to others.

 

Countdown to Christmas

 

 

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