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Practical Ways for You and Your Teen to Pray

October 26, 2020
By Coastal Community School

Praying Together with Your Teen

“In prayer you’re going to partner with God to unleash His power, to fulfill His perfect plan for your kids.” —Sally Burke, Parenting Pivot Challenge 

As parents, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of making sure our kids have a strong, lifelong faith. When it comes to prayer, we can’t make our kids have a prayer life, we can only encourage them to pursue it, and pray for a desire to build in their hearts to grow close to God

You may be a great example for your child, but their prayer life is between them and God; it doesn’t have to look exactly like yours. In the end, we can only hope and, yes, pray that they take advantage of God’s availability. But it’s hard to know how to begin when prayer doesn’t always come naturally. Here are a few ways you and your teen can experience prayer in a fresh way! We encourage you to first explore these on your own to strengthen your own prayer life, and afterward share them with your teen as part of helping them discover what works for them.

1. Lectio Divina. This is one form of contemplative prayer or “Christian meditation.” First, find a passage or verse you want to focus on and start by taking in the message. Then read it again and ponder it for understanding. Lastly, pray that God reveals His will to you. This can help us have a two-way conversation with God where we read His Word, and respond through prayer. Even if we don’t say anything to God, we can spend time in contemplative silence while focusing on Him, His presence, or His word.

2. Check-ins. Taking a few minutes to pray and check in with God can be a great way for your teen to connect with Him when they’re feeling busy or overwhelmed. This can be a time to vent their pent up feelings or just a time to be calm and rest their mind. And remember, there’s no time requirement for prayer. A simple “Hey God, I’m overwhelmed, be with me,” is enough. When talking with your teen about prayer, try to lift the pressure of expectations or time requirements, and encourage them to simply talk with Him in the way they feel most comfortable.

3. Music. Encourage your teen to pick their favorite praise songs and spend time speaking with God as it plays in the background. When they hear a verse that reflects their feelings or thoughts, they can take it directly to God and talk with Him about it. This also gives them space to repent of their sins and praise God for His forgiveness of them. And no, this doesn’t have to be limited to something they’d hear on K-Love! There are a lot of cool artists and bands out there who love Jesus, so encourage your teen to explore some different music if they’re not sure where to start. (P.S. Find some great music suggestions here!)

4. Prayer list. This list can take many different forms. The idea is to write out parts of our lives and acknowledge God’s role in them. For example, your teen might make a list of their strengths and positive attributes followed by God’s involvement and impact in their lives. After the list is finished, go over each bullet point with thankfulness, and give the praise to Him. And the list doesn’t have to be upbeat, either. Does your kid feel overwhelmed by everything going on in their life right now? Do they battle with negative thoughts? Have them write out each fear, worry, or struggle, and then go back and write God’s truth beside those things, reclaiming what the devil wants to use against them by embracing God’s sovereignty over all things.

5. Journaling. Writing out our prayers in a journal can be a great way to communicate with God in a way that helps us concentrate on our words. Think of this as a direct message to God; a love letter that He receives as we write. Sometimes writing helps us understand our thoughts and feelings better, so this can also simply be a therapeutic task to unwind and get some emotions on a page.

6. Daily Prayer App. This app has prayers to consider in the morning, afternoon, and evening. It has an opening prayer tab, a confession prayer tab, and a tab dedicated to scripture. We encourage you not only to follow these prayer guides but to dwell on their meaning and apply the messages specifically to your life.

Watch the accompanying webinar and get the additional resources from the original blog posted on Axis at:   https://info.axis.org/blog/practical-ways-to-integrate-prayer-into-your-daily-life

This blog was originally posted by Axis on October 23, 2020.

Why Christian Education?

July 07, 2020
By Coastal Community School

It’s a Difference in Focus and Goals

Students spend more than 15,000 hours in school from kindergarten through 12th grade. This is an influential amount of time. This means that your decision regarding your child's school is really a 15,000-hour decision. Who will shape your son? Who will influence your daughter? How will God be portrayed? Your choice of school matters greatly and we believe that an excellent education within an accredited Christian school is the best way to prepare your child for life

What does it mean to "teach from a biblical worldview?"

We all have a lens through which we view and understand the world. It forms from your life experiences, and your beliefs and values. It includes what you believe to be true. A biblical worldview means that you examine, evaluate, and make sense of the world through the truth of the Bible. Christian schools teach from a biblical worldview. Christian teachers and coaches integrate biblical values into every program of the school. Teaching from a Christian perspective does not simply mean diagramming Bible verses or studying biblical text as literature. Teaching itself is not just the passing along of information from one person to the next. Our staff and teachers strive to reflect the Person of Christ in the classroom, in grace and truth.

Why is a biblical worldview so important?

History, science, the arts, and every subject, every curriculum, and every teacher has a point of view. There is no such thing as neutral. If a Christian viewpoint is not present, the only other option is a non-Christian viewpoint. Not allowing prayer, not wishing “Merry Christmas” or explaining how God is not involved in history, are just some of hundreds of examples that present God as non-existent or unimportant when this supposedly “neutral” point of view is presented. Children are bombarded with non-Christian messaging from movies, TV, music, social media, academia, and more. We believe that a school should be instrumental in equipping children to understand the truth about life, the world, and their place in it, and that truth includes God.

Yes, but many Christians have gone to public schools and turned out just fine!

No one can deny this. Yet parents must ask themselves, "Is today’s permissive culture what I want for my child?"  The difference between a public or non-Christian school and a Christian school is not in the professionalism of its staff or perfection of its student body, but in the focus and goals of its education. That focus and those goals greatly influence the school culture. In a Christian school, students are loved and influenced as they learn by committed Christians sharing the same Biblical values as their parents. Students learn these values not just from Bible class but also from the examples that are modeled and taught by staff members in every school activity. Challenges, conflict, and circumstances are engaged from a Biblical / Christian perspective.

Shouldn't Christians be "out in the real world" making a difference in non-Christian circles? Why segregate themselves in a Christian school?

A quality Christian school should never become an institution that shelters students into a reclusive life. That is not the purpose of Christian education. In fact, the mission of Christian education is to do just the opposite – serve the community and equip students to be transforming influences in the world for Jesus Christ. Field trips, community service and volunteerism are just some of the ways students at a Christian school learn about the world and how to share their faith.

Isn't it the role of the parents and their church to teach the Christian worldview?

A Christian school does not replace the role of the parent or church; a Christian school becomes a partner with the parent and church. Christian parents today too often feel as if they are battling an entire culture in order to raise godly children. Parents increase their effectiveness by widening the circle of influence around their children with other godly adults. At a Christian school, students are taught by faculty and staff who share the same basic values and beliefs as the parents. It is a partnership. Those relationships will have a lasting influence on your child.

What about outcomes? What can I expect once my child leaves CCS?

A 2018 Cardus Education Survey is the most comprehensive study ever done on the outcomes of K-12 Christian education. The study found that Christian school graduates, as compared to graduates from non faith-based schools, charter schools, and public schools, are more outwardly focused individuals with a higher commitment to family, church, and the larger society. They donate significantly more money, are more generous with their time, and participate in far more relief and development services than their peers. They also feel more confident, are more likely to graduate from college, less likely to divorce, and pray and read the Bible more often.

At CCS, we feel these elements are an invaluable part of your child’s education. If you are interested in learning more about Christian education at Coastal Community School, email Nora Huggins:  nhuggins@coastalcommunityschool.com

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