We often teach our children catchy praise songs about Jesus and show them how to rejoice in Him through song.
While it’s great to teach children prayers and songs of thanksgiving, we need to also equip them on how to go to God when they are scared, upset, angry, or disappointed.
Teaching our children the powerful prayer language of a lament at a young age will serve them well all the days of their life – and it’s easier than you think.
What Is a Lament?
A lament is expressing deep pain and sorrow to God and includes four major areas.
First, we cry out to God and begin to talk about our pain. Then, we bring our “complaint” or struggle humbly before Him.
But a lament doesn’t end with just venting – it continues with asking God for help and then proclaiming our trust in Him as we remember His faithfulness.
The book of Psalms is full of laments. David is often seen crying out to God to express both his sorrow and his need for repentance.
After he committed adultery with Bathsheba, he cried out to God:
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” Psalm 51:1-2
Teach Your Children to Grieve Well
While it’s true kids are often more resilient than adults, they still get hurt and feel emotional pain.
Teach your children that it’s okay to not always be happy or feel joyful.
By showing them in moments when they are hurting and upset that they can honestly cry out to God, it will teach them to bring their emotions to Him – and not bury, hide, or ignore them.
You can have your children practice writing laments and teaching them the 4 parts.
In addition, work with them to start a prayer journal and have them write down all the ways God has moved in their life and answered their prayers.
Teaching children at a young age that God is faithful even during the storm will help build their trust in Him.
Another powerful tool you can teach your children is corporate lament as a family.
Think about those suffering in the world, or even right in your community, and cry out to God and express your pain and ask Him for help.
With so much darkness and suffering in the world, it can be tempting to lose sight of God’s goodness – and a lament is a powerful way to remember that God is sovereign and always on His throne.
And, it keeps us all humble.
While we often may “think” we are in control, when the hard times come (and they will) we are reminded just how powerless we actually are.
The good news is – God is always in control.
He hears our prayers and laments – and His faithfulness has stood true from before the beginning of time.
And the earlier your children learn this foundational truth, the better off they will be as they face life’s struggles.
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