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Developing Stilled Hearts and Hands

Developing Stilled Hearts and Hands

If your kids are like the 3rd graders I teach at church every week, then they never stop! They love to run around and play together, laugh together, and talk about all sorts of topics, from tv shows to Christmas treats. Their hearts and minds seem to race with excitement, eager to explore the world around them. The result of this non-stop energy is often non-stop chatter.

Asking children in this animated state to be still, quiet, and focused can be quite the challenge, because the playground is simply more exciting than prayer time. But times of quiet reflection are very important to your child’s physical, mental, and spiritual growth, and we can foster these times with the truth of Scripture.

As you talk to your children about the life of Jesus, consider emphasizing the many times that Jesus got away, alone, and quiet before God, starting with the night before His death as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. During His earthly teaching ministry, Jesus often escaped the crowds to rest or pray, so that His mission could continue uninterrupted. In other words, Jesus knew that rest and stillness were integral to building a stronger testimony, as evidenced by Luke 5:16 – “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” It was in the lonely places that Jesus heard the greatest whispers of his daddy God.

In this very technologically driven world, it can seem almost impossible to find any spot that is quiet enough to become a place of prayer and reflection, but you can help your child find such a spot by showing him/her your quiet spot. It doesn’t have to be fancy or formal. Maybe your quiet spot is the bathtub from 8-8:30 every night. Perhaps you find a quiet spot in the garage, in the family bonus room, or maybe a corner in your bedroom. A quiet spot could even be the local park bench or beside the creek that runs behind your apartment or condo. The important thing is that your spot is some place you feel comfortable enough to chat with Jesus and to listen to His whispers of encouragement.

As families commit greater time and energy to finding longer seasons of stillness, a greater peace and intimacy with the Lord will emerge. Consider setting the example for your child, making a daily effort to stop, sit, and serve Him through the obedience of quiet prayer and reflection.

By: Dr. Lori Brown is a southern educator, researcher, and writer who enjoys devotional writing and teaching and encouraging women to grow in their faith.

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