Last year, I had one of those moments. You know…the moment we’ve allllll been waiting for? My 6-year-old came home from her public school with a whole slew of new ideas and thoughts that did not line up with our values. We were sitting at the kitchen table talking as a family, and in the span of just a few sentences, it became very clear that not all the conversations going on in her classroom were what I would deem appropriate for kindergarteners.
It was one of those moments where you just sit there and think, Where did you learn all this stuff? It is so tempting in these moments to want to change course, question every decision you have ever made, and admit defeat. However, I knew how faithfully my husband and I had prayed over the decision of where to send our daughter for kindergarten — we loved her class and teacher and friends, and truly felt this was where she was supposed to be this year.
As she and I were talking, I felt a nudge from God that instead of blasting all of her new thoughts and ideas, I should start by sharing the truth with her. So, over the next few days, we opened up the Jesus Storybook Bible and the Bible app and found some stories that would help her see the truth in the midst of all the false information she was getting.
I painted a beautiful picture for her of God’s plan for us. We talked about how sometimes we want to do our own thing instead of following the path that God has for us, but even if our path looks like fun, it ends up hurting us instead.
I also spent some time in the prayer room at my church’s mom’s group with three mentors who prayed with me, helped me claim God’s truth over my family, and encouraged me with their experiences.
One of these women helped me see more clearly that even if I say all the right things and train up my daughter to know what the truth is, there is still a battle going on for our kid’s hearts in the spiritual realm. So not only do I need to teach her the truth, I need to pray for protection over her and empower her to do battle as well.
She shared the Armor Prayer for Kids with me, and ever since then, my kids, and the little girl we carpool with, say this prayer together with me before walking into school every day. I say a line and do an action, and they repeat after me. It only takes a minute or two, but important habits don’t have to be complicated. And if I miss a day, they remind me.
Once, after repeating the lines about the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit, my daughter turned to her friend and said, “This means that if someone says something mean to you, you can say, ‘That’s not true! I am a child of God.’ Which means, ‘I am a princess! And God loves me! I will not listen to you, Satan!’” In almost the same breath she continued, “But you wouldn’t really say that outloud. That’s just something you say in your head.” And for a moment I thought, Who is this kid? Speaking powerful truth in her mind AND still keeping it socially acceptable by not calling the rude kid ‘Satan?’
After weeks of saying the Armor Prayer together, it was so good to hear truth and affirmation come out of my daughter’s mouth instead of hearing my sweet child repeat lies and confusion. If you are looking for a daily habit to remind your children of their identity, train them in basic spiritual warfare, and send them into the world protected and empowered, I can’t think of a better place to start than here.
So here it is…the Armor Prayer for Children:
(written by Pastor Paul Anderson)
I put on the helmet of salvation to guard my mind. (Point to your head) I think the thoughts of Jesus.
I put on the breastplate of righteousness to guard my heart. (Point to your heart) I am righteous in Jesus.
I put on the belt of truth. I don’t believe any lies, and I don’t tell any either. (At this point, my daughter pauses to commentate that without your belt of truth your pants will fall down and everyone will see your underwear!)
I put on the Gospel shoes of peace because I am on a mission for Jesus. (Stomp your feet…unless you’re driving your car.)
I take the shield of faith (hold up a shield) to stop all the darts of the enemy.
I take the sword of the Spirit (stab with a sword), which is the Word of God, and I defeat the devil.
Danielle Miller is mom to three girls and has been married to her husband, Johnny for 10 years. After 14 years in the medical field, including almost a decade as a nurse, she is enjoying being a stay at home mom with all the coffee and play dates that go along with that. She also enjoys eating out, running, gardening, and lake vacations.