My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 2 seconds. If not, visit
http://www.beboldjen.com
and update your bookmarks.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A New Way To Pray

I'm reading Celebration of Discipline again. I've been chewing on the first chapter, oh, for a few months now.**

First, I read about meditation and now I'm digging into prayer. Something of which I've been doing A LOT lately. It's also been on my heart to teach my children to pray. Not that their prayers need improvement necessarily (I am not the prayer police) but I want to give them a tool box filled with skills. Also, I've noticed they tend to pray the same things over and over again. I wanted to help them think outside their "box", so to speak.

So Dustin and I tried something with them. On pgs. 30 &31 of Celebration the author shares an exercise called "palms up, palms down." Basically it's an exercise of turning over those things which may be agitating or distracting you in order to better receive the things of God in preparation for meditation of scriptures, or in our case prayer.

For our version we sat in a circle with eyes closed, palms down and went clockwise letting go of our burdens and distractions. When one person was finished they would tap the person on the right (I can't believe we've never used the "circle tap" method for all our kids. Every nights it's a "can I go next?" fest. This cures that!). Next we flipped our palms up and took turns again receiving help from Jesus. Then we folded hands and entered into prayer. I could not believe how enthusiastic the girls were about this. It really brought up some surprising "throw aways" as they came to call it. They opened their hearts before the Lord and in our hearing "threw things away" we didn't know they were feeling. Things like their burdens over their disobedience, their sickness, their fears. It was amazing! They truly enjoyed throwing them away and then, in turn, "filling up their empty places with Jesus." Their smiles beamed (with eyes closed) while they raked in peace and forgiveness from the Lord for the palms up portion. Then, most rewarding of all, I noticed their prayers were turned to others. Their focus was able to extend beyond themselves and toward others with their burdens lifted having received the gifts Christ offered them.

They woke up requesting to do it again. So we did. I think they plan to make it a daily practice.

** I actually went back to a post where I was last reading the book and I realize it's been a WHOLE YEAR since I've picked up the book. WOW! That shocks me. Can time really be moving that fast? **

11 comments:

E said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E said...

Oops...sorry...let me try that again...

My husband and I love this book and I really think the way you're putting the disciplines into practice with your children is beautiful...I think we might start using this one - just awesome! Two books you might love: 1) Habits of a Child's Heart: Raising Your Kids with the Spiritual Disciplines & 2) Real Kids, Real Faith: Practices for Nurturing Childrens' Spiritual Lives.

Thanks for sharing this!

Erica

Renee' said...

I am reading this too. And I am in the "prayer" chapter. I love the way you applied this with your kids!

beBOLDjen said...

E- Thanks for the book sugestions. I will hunt those down and give them a read.

Renee- Since we're both in the same section I'd love to hear your thoughts on the book and what you've been trying out. Feel free to email me if you want to have a book discussion :-)

N Dyess said...

What a wonderful idea! I think I will try this with my kids. I will also check into that book! God Bless!

Stacey said...

Jeff and I have been looking for a way to grow our children in the area of prayer. They are in a rut and we're trying to teach them new ways to talk with God. This sounds like a wonderful solution. Thanks for sharing Jen!

Stacey said...

Hope you don't mind, I linked to you today. I just love this post!

beBOLDjen said...

Stacey- Thanks for the link. I'm glad you felt inspired too.

kristin said...

total side note.. I tagged you on my blog. Its easy and fun. Be Bold Jen, and do it too :)

Amber said...

Sounds like a really great book! I love that you are making an effort to teach your kids to pray. How great is that!

Rob & Candy said...

Jen, I love Richard Foster's book! Your post reminded me of the first time I read his book and did the palms open! I need to opent he book again. I am currently reading/doing- The Spiritual Formation Workbook. Good stuff
candy