ABOUT TIME WITH JESUS
Listen... Imagine... Pray
Time with Jesus ('TWJ') is a powerful prayer resource for children. By listening to Scripture and then using their imagination, children are lead to an encounter with Jesus.
TWJ can be used in a variety of settings, including children's ministries or in the family home. TWJ has been created as a resource to facilitate personal prayer - as such, the focus is on the child's personal encounter with Jesus. The activity sheet which contains family questions, can be used to help draw out their experience, and give you and the child deeper insight into their personal experience of God.
Listen to narrator Celie Smith introduce TWJ to listeners here:
TWJ is a collection of 13 bible readings and corresponding meditations, each going for about 5 minutes.
For a list of all 13 meditations click here.
Listen to the TWJ meditation on the transfiguration of Jesus here:
For those who work in children's ministries
TWJ could be used as part of a lesson plan for a particular topic. For example, if you were giving a lesson on the resurrection of Jesus, you could;
present the Resurrection story in your own creative way;
do an activity with the children;
ask reflective questions;
play the TWJ meditation 'The Resurrection' to facilitate a time of prayer; and
use the TWJ activity sheet (Teachers) to draw out their experience.
One of the lovely benefits to using TWJ in the home for family prayer, is hearing your child share their favourite part of their prayer time with you. It gives you intimate insight into their relationship with Jesus and how the Holy Spirit is working in them.
It can be helpful to begin by trying to create a quiet, prayerful space, free from distractions. Here are few ideas of how to do that:
light a candle as a reminder of the gentle presence of the Holy Spirit within us, Who helps us to pray;
say a simple prayer to the Holy Spirit eg. 'Come Holy Spirit';
ask your child to close their eyes, breathe gently, and say Jesus’ Name;
play a Christian song.
You could then listen to a TWJ meditation, chosen by yourself or your children. After the passage is finished, you can go through the family questions on the TWJ activity sheet or simply ask your children to share what they enjoyed most in their time with Jesus.
I have learnt from experience to resist the temptation to add my own ideas, theology, or analysis after your child shares his/her prayer (unless there is a pressing reason to do so). This can take away from their experience and make them hesitant to share next time. I think it is best simply to thank them for their sharing, and to treasure in your heart what they have shared with you as a privileged moment with your child.
It is especially valuable for children to hear you share your experience of prayer with them as well. This is a beautiful way for them to learn the different ways in which God speaks to, and interacts with, His people. It also helps build intimacy between you and your child, and demonstrates by example that prayer is important for everyone.
When you have finished your sharing together, you may like to finish your prayer time with a simple prayer or song.
While the language in TWJ is targeted more for children, adults and teenagers can enjoy the meditations too, and encounter Jesus. It's a beautiful and powerful way to pray with the Word of God.
TWJ is available to purchase as a CD or as a digital download, meaning TWJ can help facilitate prayer anywhere, any time - from road trips, to bed time, and every moment in between!!
I trust and pray that you and your children will be as blessed by these times of guided prayer as abundantly as my family have.