How can we encourage gratitude for kids? Let’s jump right in . . .
Pray to Encourage Gratitude for Kids
Praying seems so simple, but doesn’t always happen. We say our relationship with God is most important, but the urgent activities take over and we push prayer aside. If that is a picture of your life, I encourage you to rethink your schedule so you are modeling prayer as important for your kids.
When I am in the midst of trials and personal issues, prayer is all I have. And prayer is intertwined with thanksgiving. How can you use prayer to encourage gratitude for kids. Let’s look at 1 Thessalonians.
pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18
My daughter Ashley, asks her four-year-old each night what she is thankful for. Then, they pray, thanking God for whatever was said. It’s really that simple. If you are keeping a things to be grateful for list, you can use it as you pray and thank God.
When your kids are having a hard time, take a moment and pray. Find one thing you can say “thank you God”. Two weeks ago, I was having a very difficult day. In my mind, I wanted to hurt others like I had been hurt. All of a sudden, I stopped. I grabbed my gratitude journal and wrote down things I till I calmed down. Finding things to be thankful for gave me peace and freedom. I was able to let go of the hurt I was feeling.
Pray Without Ceasing!
The word “ceasing” has some interesting meanings. It goes along with a continual cough. I can truly relate to this because I’ve had a nagging cough the past few days. It just won’t go away. That’s the way our prayers should be to God…they just don’t go away. We are always relying on God to be thankful & joyful.
Another connotation of the word ceasing is the regular production of fruit every year. A fruit tree produces fruit on a regular basis – every year. Again, that’s an example of how we should approach God…on a regular basis.
Craig Groeschel says, “I don’t pray long. But I don’t go long without praying.” Think about that. Your prayers & your children’s prayers do not need to be long. Just be sure to not wait too long before you pray again. Pay attention to praying throughout the day. If you need help remembering, like I do, set some reminders on your phone. When they go off, stop whatever you’re doing and pray for a couple minutes.
Gratitude for Kids Ideas
During this Advent season, choose a time right now that you will pray with your kids each day. Always start with thanksgiving in your prayers. Be sure to thank God for whatever situation you are in.
Model & teach your children to thank God for their circumstances. If they see you model thankfulness and you encourage them to be thankful, your children will be thankful as adults.
Next time I will share my final thoughts on cultivating thanksgiving in your family.