This morning started out much the same as every other school day. It may have been our first day of the new school year, but among the ever changing flow of our lives, I try to keep one thing constant. Each morning we start the day off with a time of devotion to God. I've written many times about how much of an impact that daily prayer and scripture reading had on me as a child, and it's the one thing that I've tried to pass down to my own children.
I'm not trying to boast about my holiness, or convince you that morning devotions contain some type of magical powers. On the contrary, I'm here to tell you that I'm just a sinner saved by the grace of God and I desperately need a daily dose of scripture to keep my heart and attitude focused on Christ. Without it, I'm a disaster waiting to happen...and that's the truth!
Some days, completing devotions is like pulling teeth! And sometimes my kids get into an argument five minutes after our prayer time and I feel like the whole lesson went in one ear and out the other. But then I remember that even on those days, my kids are developing the habit of starting their morning off with God. They're learning about what it takes to develop their own relationships with Him. And I'm still learning too!
I can't count the number of times that I've been reading the morning devotion to my children, and have been deeply convicted, blessed, or moved by its message. Even so-called "Kid's Stuff" can speak volumes to parents when the Holy Spirit is at work. There have been times when devotions were boring, dry, and routine, but we still do them. There are also times when devotions are fun and captivating to the point that my kids beg me to keep reading. Either way, it remains a constant presence in our lives.
Our time of prayer before the school day is so important as well. Petitioning Heaven's gates with the prayers of three small children might not sound like much, but it's powerful. One of the quickest ways to understand the heart of a child is to hear their little prayers to Jesus. It will bless your socks off!
We've used a number of tools to help us with our morning devotional times, and there are many great books that we've used in conjunction with our Bible reading. Right now, we've been enjoying "The Building on the Rock Series" by Joel R. Beeke and Diana Kleyn. Each book has a biblical theme that is thread throughout it's daily stories. Each chapter starts with a Bible passage to read, and then tells a captivating true story that relates to that particular Bible truth. There are comprehension questions and prayer points for each story as well. I love the eternal truths that the stories provide, and believe me, my kids remember virtually every one of the stories! I would recommend starting with "How God Used a Thunderstorm". My kids enjoyed it so much, we've read it twice!
Whether your children attend public school, private school, or are homeschooled, you will be blessed by taking a few minutes each morning to learn more about God through his Word, and by seeking His face through prayer. It's a daily lesson that your children will keep with them for life.