Disciples can be defined as those who live by the power of the Holy Spirit to be the presence of Christ to the people around them (Acts 1:8). POWER and PRESENCE. Sadly, how often do we end our days feeling weak and alone? Don’t be stressed. Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33), and that same power and presence is available to all who call on Him as Lord and Savior. Through power and presence, there’s a path to a better way of living. There’s a path to passing on these truths to our kids, our friends, our co-workers, and our neighbors. And that path is called discipleship. We’re called to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19-20), but how can we do it? What does discipleship look like?
Over the next five posts, I want share with you 5 Transferable Principles for Discipleship. These principles are transferable because they are not tied to a curriculum, to an age group, or to a specific culture. You can use these principles with your kids, with your neighbors, or even in another country speaking another language. Simply put, I want to equip people for ministry (Ephesians 4:12-13), and I believe these components make up the P.A.R.T.S. of Discipleship. Whether you’re a leader, parent, or student, I encourage you to read and apply the info below!
Part I of Discipleship – Prayer
Prayer can be defined as intentionally talking with God. There is a speaking component. There is a listening component. We’re told to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:16). Prayer is about having a conversation with your Heavenly Father. If you want to disciple your kids, pray regularly for them and with them. Mark Batterson says, “Each prayer is like a seed that gets planted in the ground. It disappears for season, but it eventually bears fruit that blesses future generations. In fact, our prayers bear fruit forever.” Plant the seeds of discipleship through your specific prayers to God.
I once read that prayer to God is like the rope used to tie a boat to shore. When you pull on the rope, you’re not pulling the shore to the boat, but rather, you’re anchoring your boat to the shore. When we pray, we connect our hearts and anchor our souls to God. Prayer is a fundamental element of discipleship in that we grow close to God, but we also grow close to each other. Picture a hundred instruments in a grand orchestra. When those instruments tune to the same sound and scale, they naturally become in tune with each other. Prayer shouldn’t be our last defense, but our first offensive weapon against the schemes of Satan. If you don’t recognize that you’re in a spiritual battle, you’re already losing the fight. Start praying today! If you’re not sure what to pray for, ask God to help you along the way.
3 Recommends To Improve Your Prayer Life
If you’re looking to improve and deepen your prayer life, let me offer a few suggestions. First, pray through Scripture and use Scripture to pray over your child. By that I mean read a passage from the Bible, and then pray that same verse with the inclusion of your child’s name. For example, Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” For my sons, Jackson and Carter, I read that verse again and say, “Dear God, I pray that my sons Jackson and Carter will trust in You with all their heart, and I pray that they will not lean on their own understanding, but gain wisdom from you.”
Feeling stuck or bored in your prayer life? Pray Scripture directly.
Another way to regularly pray for your kids is to set an alarm on your phone and in the label of such alarm, list a Bible verse or prayer request. For a while, I had an alarm set on my phone with the title, “God is for me,” to remind myself of Romans 8:31, which states, “If God is for us, who could be against us?”
Finally, if you’re having trouble praying for and with your kids, try using a format to work through. A simple prayer format I use to teach our students is P.R.A.Y.
- Praise God for who He is and what He’s done.
- Repent of your sin and confess specifically to God.
- Ask God for what He’s placed on your heart.
- Yield to God’s will, trusting His ways are higher than your ways.
Where ever you are, what ever you’re doing, take a moment and pray for the people you’d like to disciple. You won’t regret it.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
What are some other tips and suggestions you have for praying with your kids? I would love to hear from you. Please comment below, or feel free to send me an email.
Make it a great week, and God bless!
High School Pastor
North Ridge Community Church