The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.Proverbs 21:7
People homeschool for many different reasons. Some may homeschool because of conviction, and others for necessity. As a christian wife and mother my goal is to glorify God in raising my children, and I feel called to homeschool.
I want our school days to reflect the fact that God is our focus and our reason for homeschooling, so every morning we pray before starting school. I have not always done this, nor have I always done it consistently, but the importance of this prayer is impressed upon me more and more every day and I just have to share it with you!
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.Proverbs 22:6
We pray because the Bible tells us to ‘train up’ our children in the way they ‘should go’ and prayer is one of the most essential things in a christian walk. I am setting the example of how we should begin a task, and also helping them as they learn to pray.
We pray because we are inviting God to be present in our school and also recognizing that we rely on his help. As we pray we are asking for His help to avoid temptation (Luke 22:40) and to learn and grow.
We also pray because it separates and consecrates the time in the children’s minds, this helps them transition into a focused school time and out of free play.
And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.Luke 22:40
When should you pray?
Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.Psalm 55:17
There is no wrong time to pray, let’s just start there. As 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “Pray without ceasing.” We choose to start with prayer in school the same reason we choose to start with prayer in church for we “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise:” Psalm 100:4. We pray when we want to be (and because we are) in the presence of the Lord!
We also pray if we are having a problem, about to undertake a hard task, or feeling discouraged or overwhelmed. The scripture says we should! (James 5:13). We also pray to give thanks for our victories and praise God for his help.
How should you pray?
The most important parts of prayer in the schoolroom, for teaching purposes and example, are that the prayer be
- Out loud. This helps you all to agree in prayer together (Acts 4:24)
- Together. The children should be included in the prayer and involved in the prayer as they are willing and able. My one-year-old’s favorite part is the ‘Amen’!
- Focused. You all should be in one accord (Acts 1:14) and not having some wandering or setting up during prayer.
- Intentional. Meaning done with design and intent, this word carries the idea that you are designating the time and it is separated now for this purpose. Don’t be anxious to get past it, be anticipating involvement in it.
What a beautiful scene it is to see and hear your own child give thanks to the Lord from their heart in their own words. From experience I can say this just doesn’t happen if they are not already in an environment that promotes prayer.
And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.Luke 11:1
Jesus taught his disciples to pray. John taught his disciples to pray. As you train up, or disciple, your children: do not neglect prayer. In thinking of how you should pray remember that you are the one in the lead, creating the environment, setting the example, and administering training. Consider how, and in what manner, you would have your child learn to pray. Seek examples in scripture for yourself and get a personal heart of prayer. Then, you can say to your children as Paul said to the church:
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.1 Corinthians 11:1