Step 1 to a Generous Family: Pray (Nurture a Generous Heart)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave…”
— John 3:16, NAS

God was the first and ultimate giver. He gave extravagantly, generously, joyfully, eagerly, and without guarantee of return. Our greatest gift, salvation, was a costly gift. In the midst of the horrific yet beautiful “giving process” of Calvary, Jesus prayed to the Father for each of us and for future generations. “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” – John 17:20-21, NAS

One of the most effective habits of a generous family is prayer. A spirit of generosity naturally grows when a family prays together. Here are three key points to remember:

1. Make it a habit to bless others.
Pray for opportunities to bless others: neighbors, friends at school, and strangers you meet. Then, teach your children to be open to God’s interruptions.

2. See people as God sees them.
Pray to see the need rather than the task… the person’s heart, rather than their external trappings. Encourage your children to look deeper.

3. Be creative.
For example, you could create a customized prayer calendar handcrafted with specific prayer requests each week from your family, friends, and the ministries that you support. Or you could use a missions-type calendar that lists a specific people group each week with the needs of that group (go to www.samaritanspurse.org for an example). Position it near the dinner table and pray before each meal for those on the calendar for that day or week.

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