Praying together as a family is a way to submit to God’s rule over your home. It should be natural for us to take time during our day and, together with our children, approach Christ’s throne of grace. One practice we have in our home is recognizing and thanking God for answered prayer. During the Exodus, God supernaturally provided manna from heaven to sustain the Israelites (Ex. 16). As a memorial for God’s provision during the forty years of wandering in the wilderness, a golden jar containing manna was stored in the Ark of the Covenant (Heb. 9:4). With this is mind, I gave a task to my three oldest children, and they loved it. I had them take an old Nike shoebox and decorate it, put some holes in the sides of it, and write “Manna Box” on the top. Every time God answers one of our prayers, we write it on a piece of paper, date it, and put it in the manna box. This manna box is our “golden jar.”
This has revolutionized prayer in our home! The kids are so excited to see God answer their prayers! At the end of the year we have a big party. We open the manna box up and read each of the answered prayers from that year out loud and praise God for what he has done. We eat, we sing, we watch a movie or play games, but that night is a recognition of God’s kindness that year. We retire that year’s manna box and before the night is over design a new one for the new year!
By recounting answered prayers, you demonstrate to your kids the power of Almighty God in the answering of prayer. I highly recommend the manna box if you want to get your kids excited about praying to God. Parents, pray with your family! Rick Warren once said, “a dad stands tallest when he kneels to pray with his children.”1 Praying together with our children has been a very sweet time of fellowship with them and with God. Someone who had visited Charles Spurgeon’s home once said, “His public prayers were an inspiration and benediction, but his prayers with the family were to me more wonderful still… Mr. Spurgeon, when bowed before God in family prayer, appeared a grander man even than when holding thousands spellbound by his oratory.”2
- Rick Warren. AZ Quotes. www.azquotes.com/quote/1458207
- C.H. Spurgeon, “A Pastoral Visit,” Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 54 (London: Passmore and Alabaster, 1908; repr., Pasadena, Tx: Pilgrim, 1978), 362-363.