In my life, the most precious thing to me has been developing my relationship with God; getting to know His love for me personally, learning to hear Him and see Him for myself.
The main thing I hope to give my children is a love for God, that they too would experience His love for themselves and develop their own relationship with Him. I've always wanted this for my kids. I read them the Bible, we pray together at dinner and bedtime and for any needs that may arise, we go to church, I tell them miracle stories and I try to live my Christian life openly for them to see.
I had taken the Communion With God Course with Mark Virkler and was looking for a way to help my young kids hear God's voice for themselves too. During the course, Mark had me close my eyes, picture Jesus walking down the beach with me, and ask Him how He saw me. As I pictured Jesus walking with me, I asked Him how He saw me. He stopped, bent down and picked up a small sea shell. He started telling me all about the sea shell; the colours it had, the grooves in it, where it was worn or cracked. He went on and on about it. He obviously knew everything about this shell and really liked it. I got a little offended, as I had asked Him an important question... Then He said that I was that sea shell. He knows everything about me and cares about every little thing about me. As that sunk in, I laughed, I knew that I had heard from Jesus. I had not made this up. I was even offended at first, before I realized what He was showing me. Since then, I have experienced His voice regularly and more than anything, I want my kids to hear Him too.
Like Mark had us close our eyes and picture ourselves walking on the beach, I asked my kids to picture themselves doing something they enjoyed with Him. At first I would ask them a question like; “What is your favourite thing to play at the park?” If they said; “The swings”, I told them to close their eyes and picture themselves playing on the swings with Jesus. They did, and it worked. They experienced Jesus playing with them. Then I had them draw what they played together. For the first while, I would come up with the things they played. Then after a bit, they took over and decided themselves what they wanted to play with Him. We call this “Playtime With Jesus”.
We started Playtime With Jesus when my kids were 2 and 7, they are now 7 and 12. Over the years I have watched as God has taken them deeper and deeper in relationship with Him. Through playing with Him, they are getting to know Him. Really know Him; His personality and character. I have watched Him start to lead them in areas of their life.
This does not mean life is perfect, or that every time we do Playtime With Jesus is perfect. Sometimes we are tired, our minds wander, and it is hard to focus. Sometimes they even fall asleep while praying. But overall, this has been such a huge success for us as a family.
Through Playtime With Jesus, we have learned that God is fun; He has the most amazing smile; He is contagiously happy; He cares a lot about everybody; and that the thing He likes most is spending time with us. That is why He made us.... to be with Him.
During the transition of doing this at home with my kids and starting to teach it to the kids at my church, I wrote a book and workbook. I hope that they will help parents walk their children into a wonderfully personal relationship with Jesus.
Check out our Facebook page (Playtime With Jesus) to enjoy more pictures and words from our Playtime's with Him. Also, please post pictures and words from your family's Playtime's with Him on our facebook page. Blessings and have fun! -Jessica
Helping Kids Pray.