Posts belonging to Category Children

31 Ways to Pray for Your Children

Would you like to pray more effectively for your children? Try Bob Hostetler’s “Prayer Calendar” approach.

Each day of the month, in addition to my prayers for their safety and for the concerns of that day, I also pray for a specific character trait, virtue, or fruit of the Spirit to be planted and nurtured in my children … At the end of each month, I begin praying through the list again, combining traits when the month is shorter than thirty-one days.

Here are the first seven items on Bob’s list.

  1. Salvation: “Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory” (Isaiah 45:8, 2 Timothy 2:10).
  2. Growth in grace: “I pray that they may ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ'” (2 Peter 3:18).
  3. Love: “Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to ‘live a life of love,’ through the Spirit who dwells in them” (Ephesians 5:2, Galatians 5:22).
  4. Honesty and integrity: “May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection” (Psalm 25:21, NLT).
  5. Self-control: “Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be ‘alert and self-controlled’ in all they do” (1 Thessalonians 5:6)
  6. A love for God’s Word: “May my children grow to find your Word ‘more precious than gold, than much pure gold; [and] sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb'” (Psalm 19:10).
  7. Justice: “God, help my children to love justice as you do and to ‘act justly’ in all they do” (Psalm 11:7, Micah 6:8).

Be sure to visit Bob’s website for all 31 prayer items complete with Scripture references. (Link: 31 Ways to Pray for Your Children)

Related Posts:
    • Recommended Children’s Story Bibles
    • To Spank or Not to Spank
    • 8 Great Family Rules to Help Any Home

10 Easy Bible Memory Verses

Looking to do Bible memory work with young children? Tony Kummer offers the following 10 Easy Bible Memory Verses For Kids.

Here are the kids bible memory verses that I recommend as a good starting point. They will help children think about the character of God. By starting with easy Bible verses, the children will have confidence to learn more. These are also great to use as preschool Bible verses.

10 Easy Bible Memory Verses For Kids

  • Proverbs 30:5 – Every word of God proves true.
  • Matthew 6:24 – No one can serve two masters.
  • Deuteronomy 6:5 – You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
  • Matthew 22:39 – You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 – Whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
  • Psalm 19:1 – The heavens declare the glory of God.
  • Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
  • Psalm 139:14 – I praise you God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
  • Isaiah 43:5 – Do not be afraid for I am with you.
  • Psalm 1:6 – The LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Related post: The Bible Memory Version

Teens and Time Spent Online

If your kids are awake, they’re probably online. So reads the headline to a story in yesterday’s New York Times about today’s teens and how much time they spend online. The article highlights a new study on the online lives of children and teenagers by the Kaiser Family Foundation. As the report states:

Eight-to-eighteen-year-olds spend more time with media than in any other activity besides (maybe) sleeping — an average of more than 7 1/2 hours a day, seven days a week. The TV shows they watch, video games they play, songs they listen to, books they read and websites they visit are an enormous part of their lives, offering a constant stream of messages about families, peers, relationships, gender roles, sex, violence, food, values, clothes, an abundance of other topics too long to list.

These numbers are up from an average of nearly 6 1/2 hours a day measured five years ago. The study attributes the higher numbers to increased use of mobile devices such as cell phones and iPods.

It also cites a lack of parental supervision. According to the report, most youth say they have no rules about how much time they can spend with tv, video games, or computers. But when parents do set limits, children spend less time with media: those with any media rules consume nearly 3 hours less media per day than those with no rules.

“The amount of time young people spend with media has grown to where it’s even more than a full-time work week,” said Drew Altman, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation. “When children are spending this much time doing anything, we need to understand how it’s affecting them – for good and bad.”

If you would like some tips on managing media consumption in the home, let me recommend an earlier series from this blog on the subject: Taming Technology in the Home. What are your thoughts about teens and time spent online?

Creative Discipline Moment from Dan Phillips

I enjoyed the following story from Dan Phillips of how he used a teachable moment to impress upon his children the importance of respecting their mother.

Once upon an undatable-by-you time, an unidentifiable-by-you pair of my four kids showed my dear wife a degree of disrespect that appalled me. I learned of this while at work.

On the way home, I bought some food for a meal such as my wife loves. I got home, set Valerie’s place with care, called us all to dinner. Made my children stand with me as I seated Valerie with particular honor, and served her. We prayed.

Then I talked with them and explained what was about to happen. I reminded them of what I’d taught them since the cradle about respecting their mother. I told them how appalled and shamed I was by what they’d done (don’t let your imagination go nuts; you’d probably think it a small thing — I think it related to homeschooling), and that I would never tolerate such treatment of their mother — ever.

And so, I told them that we would all keep Mom good company as she enjoyed her dinner. I told them they could have water — and that was it.*

And I told them I’d do the same.

Why? I told them that I must somehow have failed to communicate how deadly serious I was in what I’d taught them. So we’d all just let it growl a bit, together.

*Note: No Phillips children were starved (or ever have been) in the teaching of this (or any) lesson. Trust me on this.

What kinds of creative discipline have you used in training your kids? If you have some good examples, share them in the comments.

Related posts:

Free Children’s Church Bible Curriculum

Are you looking for Bible-based materials to teach children? has some great free materials for children’s church or Sunday School. The following materials include lesson plans that correspond with the excellent Big Picture Story Bible. Here are links to the first seven lessons:

  1. The Very Good Beginning (Creation Bible Lesson)
  2. A Very Sad Day (Fall Bible Lesson)
  3. Life Outside The Garden (Noah’s Flood Bible Lesson)
  4. God’s Big Promise (God’s Promise To Abraham Lesson)
  5. God’s People Grow (Story of Joseph Lesson)
  6. God’s People Become Great (Exodus Bible Lesson)
  7. God’s Great Sign (Exodus / Passover Story)

Related post: Recommended Children’s Story Bibles

Bigsby Show Bible Books Video and Song

The Bigsby Show has a great video and song to help children (and adults) learn the books of the Bible. Music is a great way to memorize. I still use the song that I learned as a child for the New Testament books to get the order right (and that’s after going to seminary!).

(Video length: 2:57)

Need some more Bigsby before you go? Here’s “Frogs, Frogs, Frogs” from the Lake Charles show. (Video length: 1:11)


Christian TV for Kids in the Arab World

One hundred million children under the age of 15 live in the Arab world and at least half of them have access to satellite television. SAT-7 KIDS provides Christian programming for children in the Arab world 24 hours a day.

SAT-7 KIDS is the first and only Arabic Christian channel exclusively for children. This channel aims to make the Gospel of Christ available to an entire generation of young Arabs in a way meaningful to them. The channel airs original dramas, talk shows, educational material, cartoons, music programs and other shows that capture the attention of young viewers.

You can watch a live streaming broadcast of SAT-7 KIDS here. I enjoyed it even not knowing the language. (HT: 30 Days of Prayer)

Veggie Tales Saint Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

(Video length: 8:32)

Children Leading Worship?

One of our stated core values as a church is that the church is for children as well as for adults.

“We believe that children can become believers, grow spiritually and serve the church body, and therefore, we will have ministries designed to equip and facilitate this process.” (from Agawam Church of the Bible Core Values Statement)

As a result, we encourage our young people to serve in the church. Probably the most visible way our young people serve is on the church worship team, but others help with Sunday morning set-up, running the sound system, children’s church, nursery, and other areas. So I found it interesting to read that John Calvin also encouraged children to serve in the musical ministry of the church.

“The ministers expect the singing of psalms to have a positive influence on the prayers and on the glorification of the name of God. A number of qualified children are to be selected to lead the congregation in the singing of the psalms.” (Wulfert de Greef, The Writings of John Calvin, p. 111)

Does your church encourage young people to serve? If so, in what ways?

HT: Expository Thoughts

Veggie Tales 15th Anniversay

Veggie Tales is celebrating its 15 year anniversary. Our children range in age from 12-17 so, as you can probably guess, Veggie Tales have been a big part of our house over the past 15 years. Here are my two favorite Silly Songs with Larry (the part of the show where Larry comes out and sings a silly song).

I Love my Lips! (Video length: 3:22)

“My friends all laughed and I just stood there until the fire department came and broke the lock with a crowbar and I had to spend the next six weeks in lip rehab with this kid named Oscar who got stung by a bee right on the lip, and we couldn’t even talk to each other until the fifth week because both of our lips were so swollen and when he did start speaking he just spoke Polish and I only knew like three words in Polish except now I know four because Oscar taught me the word for lip — OOSTA!” (Larry the Cucumber)

The Dance of the Cucumber (Video length: 3:17)

HT: Big Idea

GE Timeline of Fetal Growth

The GE Healthcare Timeline of Fetal Growth illustrates the development of a fetus from week 6 until birth as viewed through ultrasound. The timeline highlights important developments in the fetus over time accompanied by stunning 4D ultrasound images of the baby in the womb. (You can click on the images to see a larger version.)

Ultrasound at 14 Weeks     Ultrasound at 28 Weeks

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:13-14)

HT: Stand to Reason

4 Commitments for Christian Parents

Rick Phillips offers Christian parents four commitments to remember in building a strong discipling relationship with their childrenRead – Pray – Work – Play.

  1. Parents (especially fathers) must read God’s Word to and with their children. Countless Christians raised in strong believing homes will remember the influence of their father’s fervent and faithful ministry of reading (plus explaining and discussing) the Scriptures. Paul states that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17).
  2. Parents must pray for and with their children. How it warms a child’s heart to know that his or her parents are fervently praying on his behalf. Parents should have regular times of prayer with the children and should frequently pray individually with their children.
  3. Parents should work with their children. This means that parents should be involved in the children’s work – mainly schoolwork – both to help and guide them. But it also means that we should invite our children into our work. Shared work builds relationships … Families should also engage in works of Christian service together.
  4. Parents should play with their children. This involves our participation in their play and our invitation for them to join in our play … Parents should share their passions with their boys and girls and invite them into the fun of hobbies and pastimes. All of this play has a very serious purpose: the bonding of hearts in loving relationship through joyful, shared experiences.

“My child, give me your heart,” says the Bible. This assumes, of course, that the parent has already given his or her heart to the child. This will always take the form of time: serious time and play time, time in worship and time in service together. If we will give our hearts to our children, we will find their hearts eagerly offered back to us, so that we may then lead them into the reality of our faith in Christ.