Pondering Scripture as a Family
It's easy to underestimate a young child’s capacity for God, to think we need to wait to read to them from the Bible until the age of reason when they can better understand. But these little ones have a tremendous capacity to wonder at God’s love and power and the gifts he’s given us. As they hear the words of Scripture, they will naturally internalize the words and thereby lay a foundation for a lifetime of prayer and love for God.
The following are instructions for how to prayerfully read Scripture with a child, even as young as 3 years old. These are intended to be done using the normal adult version of the Bible, not a child’s translation. The verses have proven, through experience, to be effective with children. This should be done around your prayer space, if you have one. If not, any place where you have their attention, possibly the dinner table. This may last for just two minutes or up to 15 minutes, depending on the child and the day.
Ask the questions that follow, but do not give answers. Allow there to be a time of pondering and discovering God’s word together. Encourage your children to provide their own answers. And if they don’t give an answer, that is OK. Asking the questions gets the mind and heart pondering God and his works, which is satisfying to the soul.
You don’t have to have all the answers. God is present to us and will speak to us through the Scriptures. It is enough to spend time with him. He has something for each of us.
Moments of prayer and pondering together
- Gather together – in a prayer space, if you have one, or a table. Light a candle as you begin.
- Read reverently the following Scripture reading: Psalm 100:1-5
- I wonder how we feel when we read this psalm together? It is one of great rejoicing, isn’t it?
- I wonder if there is anything that we would like to thank God for today? Maybe in our hearts or maybe out loud?
Allow for prayerful response.
Read the Scripture passage one more time.
Remind the children that they are welcome to come to the prayer table, touch the Holy Bible and look at the other items and talk to Jesus quietly in their hearts or with their voice.