As Christian parents it is our great desire that our children come to know the Lord. For them to know the Lord, they need to learn how to encounter him in his word and to speak to him in prayer. From a young age we are trying to instill in them this habit of reading the Bible and praying. Over time we want them to pick up this habit on their own. Today I want to tell you about a few resources to help our children begin that all-important pattern.
As Christian parents, it’s our great desire that our children come to know the Lord. For them to know the Lord, they need to learn to encounter Him in His Word and to speak to Him in prayer. And so from a young age, we’re trying to instill in them this habit of reading the Bible and praying. Of course, we read them Bible stories when they’re young, we do family devotions together. But over time we want them to begin to pick up this habit on their own. We want them to develop the habit of reading scripture and praying. Today I want to tell you about a few resources that are available to Christian parents, to help our children begin that all-important habit.
As Christian parents, we’ve got lots of resources at our disposal. We have literally hundreds of story Bibles we can read to our children, we have lots of family devotionals we can use to do together as a family. What we don’t have so many of, are resources meant to help our children grow in the habit of daily devotions. And so today I’m going to introduce you to three of them. Three that we’ve used in my family, that we like very much, and believe in an awful lot.
The first of them is this. Exploring the Bible, by my good friend David Murray. He first released this as a series of Word documents that parents could print at home on their own. And I printed those, I put them in binders, gave them to my girls, my two youngest children. And both of them used them and benefited a lot. It helped them build a habit. Here’s how it works. He has a weekly program and over the course of time, it’s going to take your children through the main points of the Bible, through the main stories. There’s a weekly key theme and memory verse. Then there’s six-day-a-week little devotionals to do, blanks to fill in. And then on Sunday, a little sermon outline, so they can hear the sermon and fill in some of what they learned. I simply can’t commend this book too highly, I believe in it a lot. Both of my girls benefited tremendously from reading it.
The second one is 101 Devotions for Girls: From the Lives of Great Christians. There’s also a boys version, called 101 Devotions for Guys: From the Lives of Great Christians. This was written by Rebecca Davis and published by Christian Focus. This is the one my eleven-year-old is currently using. Here’s how it works. Every day there’s a little story, a little narrative from the life of a great Christian, that’s followed by a scripture verse that’s associated with the narrative, and then there’s a little prayer as well. So, I’ll show you what she’s reading today. She’s on day nine, and she’s reading about Fanny Crosby and some of her struggles with discouragement. After the little story, there’s a text, 2 Corinthians 12, “But then He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness”, and then a little prayer, “Thank you Lord that You can use even my weakness as strength. Help me to trust in the power of Christ every day.” I’m really glad that my eleven-year-old, six-grader is reading this material and having something that she can pray to the Lord every day just like that.
The third one I don’t actually have a copy of. It’s called XTB, that’s short for Exploring the Bible. It’s from the Good Book Company. They also have a series called Tabletalk, that’s meant for families. And then the children’s version that goes right along with it, same text every day, is called XTB. These are both subscription based, they’re almost like a magazine that over the course of a few years, will take you through the whole Bible. They’re also more based on games and puzzles. So there’s word searches and things to fill out. It’s meant to be a little more of a gamified experience for the children. There is a scripture text, there’s a few questions for application, and then there’s a prayer as well. It’s a very good series. It can be very, very helpful. Especially if your family is doing the whole thing, or you’re doing it at homeschool, or whatever it is. Then to have the children reinforcing those messages on their own whenever they do their daily devotions.
As parents we very much want our children to build this habit of daily devotions. To be reading the Word of God and to be praying to God, speaking to Him in prayer. Hopefully, these resources which have been helpful to my family can be helpful to yours as well. Most of them geared for children somewhere between seven and twelve, in that age range. Why don’t you look them up? Look them up on Amazon, look them up elsewhere. See if they’d be a good fit for your family.