Gospel Parenting Round II

December 29, 2010

And so we come to ask again, “How would it look for my parenting to be shaped by the Gospel?”  The question is simple enough, but rarely do we seem to have really pertinent answers.  A while back I posted on how the Gospel is coming to impact how my wife and I discipline our children.  This week I’ve been thinking about how it is shaping how we pray with our kids.  Here are the two major areas where the Gospel is (presently) shaping prayer with my kids:

"Prayer hands"--does anyone actually pray this way?



What are the usual times we pray with kids?  Meals and bedtime right?  The standard Wulf house prayer at meal time used to be “Thank you Jesus for providing everything!  Amen!”  So standard was this prayer that it got to the point where Jude developed his own version (“Tank ooo d-Jesus for vidin evertin”).  The bedtime prayer was more fluid.  Sometimes we’d ask Jude who he wanted to pray for and we’d end up with “Tank ooo d-Jesus for viding [insert name here].”   Perhaps not the vibrant prayer life we’d like to pass on…(granted he is two)

In the last two weeks or so we’ve started praying differently.  Rather than thanking God just for providing food we allow food to remind us of how God meets all our needs: physical and spiritual.  He has met our hungry tummies and he has met our thirsty souls.

Last night at bedtime we didn’t just pray that Jude would have good sleep.  We prayed and thanked God that sleep reminds us of our need for him and that we can rest because he is in control, he is good and we can trust him.  Now we’re not just praying and passing on good habits, now we’re being reminded of the Gospel myself and how to live in it!


How the Gospel shape prayer?  By requiring more of it.  Typically this means a lot fewer “prayer hands” sort of prayers and far more “in between” prayers that come off more as exclamation points or a running conversation that’s being picked up again out of the blue.


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