Time Alone with God: A Habit

I recently read Noel Piper's book Treasuring God in Our Traditions (a book that's less about ideas for creating traditions in the family and more about explaining why traditions are important). I was struck by one particular passage where the author describes a daily tradition her daughter embraced:

"...she picks up her Bible and goes to a cozy corner by herself to read and pray. She knows we won't interrupt her during this quarter hour. This habit with God's Word began for her, as it did for her brothers, before she could read. Like them, she listened to Bible stories from cassettes or CDs. It takes only a few seconds of thought to realize that it is smarter to get a three-year-old started with good lifetime habits than to spring a new regimen on a teenager."

Hmmm...Hard to argue with that one. Even though I've always read a children's Bible to my daughter, and although we encourage her to pray on her own as well as with the family, we haven't talked much about "being alone with God." So for the past week, I've been giving my four year old "Quiet Time with God." We picked a comfortable spot (I envisioned making a canopy area in her room, but she chose a simple children's couch in the living room) and I told her to use that time to talk to God and look at one of her Bible story books. I promised I wouldn't bother her, and neither would her brother.

Admittedly, this Quiet Time doesn't last long. She tends to say a prayer, flip through a book, and then proclaim, "I'm done!" Not because she doesn't like the concept, but because she's not quite sure what to do with the time yet. This Christmas, we hope to give her a kid-friendly CD player she can use during this Quiet Time. I also recall seeing Bible stories on CD at the Dollar Tree and hope to purchase some to help in this effort. Amazon also offers some Bible story downloads for young children, starting at 99 cents a file. 

Surprisingly, I could only find one website offering free audio downloads of children's Bible stories that I could burn to disc: StoryNory. For older children who can read independently, I'd make sure they have a Bible simple enough they can truly read it. For tweens and teens, I highly recommend a study Bible, which offers background information that can greatly aid your child's understanding of the Bible.

And don't forget to allow your child to see you having your own Quiet Time with God!

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