Friday, September 9, 2011

Devotional Time for Littles: The how's to the what

writer's note: This is part three of the Devotional with Littles series. If you've missed it, here's part one and part two.

So one week ago, Caleb and I decided we'd teach Aaliya the concept of praise first and foremost so that she will always accept His Word, whether stern and painful or gracious and joyful, with an attitude of praise. It's a great concept... in theory. But this week, we spent a lot of prayer time trying to figure out exactly how to do this. Aaliya is one and not very still very often, so incorporating a devotional time that would keep her attention was, is and has been, a task of gi-normous proportions (okay, I may have slightly exaggerated). Nevertheless, armed with Jesus in one arm and faith in the other, I've dove in to see what it is He requires of us.

Here is what the Lord has required of us during this season of our lives as our devotional time with Aaliya;
  • Start off with a praise song she can really dance to and enjoys and stick with it! We want our children to know that praising Jesus is enjoyable, fun and worth every bit of our attention and abilities. We also know children crave routine and we desire to create routine even during our devotional time.
  • Read a Psalm (or portion thereof if it's a long one) quickly thereafter. Little Miss has a very short attention span, but by keeping music in the background (lower than when we're praising Him with songs, of course) she stays focused long enough for us to read at least 6 or 7 verses. We've decided to just start at Psalm 1 and make our way through. We're not sure how long this will take, but we know it'll keep us tied over for a while (or until the Lord leads us elsewhere).
  • Choose a verse or two to focus on and pray them over herself and her family. Though Aaliya's vocabulary isn't ready for her to utter tangible prayers, we want to teach her how to pray, and even more, how to pray Scripture over herself and family members. I do most of the praying, but Aaliya sits with Mommy (okay, sometimes wiggles with Mommy) and I say a 20-30 second prayer focusing on those Scriptures so that she can be exposed to praying Scriptures.
  • We finish off by choosing another fun praise song and praising. This time though, we bring out the "big-guns" and we play the djembe, her tambourine and any other "instrument" that will make a joyful noise unto the Lord! She loves it.
Sometimes, depending on how many wiggles Aaliya's got going on, we'll play an additional worship song and I'll read her a story (enter in Noah, David and all that jazz). We get to do this maybe once or twice a week, depending. Eventually, we'll incorporate it into the daily routine, but we're still introducing her to Devotional Time and getting her used to the consistency and routine of it.

What does your devotional routine look like with your kiddies? Babies or young kids, it doesn't matter! I'd like to know. =)

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