Chat and Catch


"In order for children to grow their own faith, they have to find their own way of having a conversation with God. This will look different for each one of us." 

Rachel Turner

 

‘Chat and catch’ is simply a way to describe prayer. Just like we chat with our friends, and catch their answer, whether they tell you in words, a gesture or just their body language, so we can chat and catch with God.

Chatting’ (conversational prayer) encourages children to use informal language, as well as non-verbal forms, to communicate with God.

Catching’ (listening to God through prayer) is simply supporting children to recognise and respond to God’s voice – however he chooses to speak – meaning that they can easily, naturally and directly connect with God in a two-way, ongoing conversation about anything, whenever and wherever they are.

Using the term 'catch', when thinking about listening to God, helps children understand that listening is active and they need to be ready to ‘catch’ whatever God is going to send them.

The promises in the Bible tell us that God will answer when we speak to him and we will recognise his voice. We have to learn how to do this and make it part of our daily practice so we become more in tune with God’s voice.

"Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvellous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own."
(Jeremiah 33:3)

"The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice."
(John 10:3)

How do we teach children to 'catch' from God?

Firstly, reflect on our role as parents/ carers / church community through the Old Testament story of when God spoke to Samuel. Watch what Eli does and doesn’t do - read 1 Samuel 3:1-10.

I wonder what you might learn from this story about helping your children catch from God?

Eli listened to Samuel and pointed out that the voice he was hearing was God. He coached Samuel so he knew what to say to God when he spoke again. Eli left Samuel alone to meet with God. Eli trusted God enough to speak to Samuel without him.

I wonder if we act like Eli? Or do act like a mediator or referee between God and our children?

A prayer for your family

Loving God,
Thank you for our family and the for the love that connects and unites us. We bring our family before you now and ask that you help us to carve out quality time, so we can grow a personal relationship with you. Create a right and humble heart in each of us, that we may be open to all you are revealing and doing in our lives.
‘Speak Lord, your servant is listening.’

Listening God,
Thank you that you care about us so much, that you bend down to listen to all we have to say. As we learn to recognise your voice and presence, teach us Lord, to be attentive to all that you are saying and doing. Help us to be like Eli, to give our children the tools they need to recognise and respond to your voice and to then stand back and allow them to meet with God personally.
‘Speak Lord, your servant is listening.’

Faithful God,
We thank you that you promise to you walk with us each day, giving us directions for living life.
Continue to bless our family, our time together and our conversations with you.
‘Speak Lord, your servant is listening.’

Amen

Our whole bodies were designed by a creative God to catch from him. We can train ourselves to recognise how God speaks to us in many different ways. Ask, ‘How did you catch from God today?’

I wonder how we can share these different ways with our children?

How might knowing God speaks to us in different ways support your children?

Sometimes our skin just senses that God is in the room or really close to us. We might also feel his physical touch as we chat to him.

 

God can drop pictures, Bible texts or visions into our minds. It might be as we read something or hear someone else speak. God speaks into our mind to direct our thoughts, to bring wisdom, joy or drive out negativity.  "God what do you think?" "God what should I do?"

God speaks and reveal himself through our sleep in dreams. “Did you have any dreams that you think came from God?”

 

 

When the wholeness of your body just knows or you get a feeling that you know God is prompting or speaking to you. 

 

 

 

Where we become totally overwhelmed with emotion as we pray. We may be filled with God’s love, peace, joy or get stirred by God’s heart for justice. 

 

 

 

 

Some people actually see God with their eyes or hear God with their ears.

As adults we have to show and model to our children that they can catch in different ways as they pray. We also have to listen carefully as our children speak to us and encourage them when they feel God is not speaking. It is about helping find windows into their lives, so they can spot and discover God in action.

“That’s great, go back and chat more to God about that.”

“Give it some more time, ask God your question again.”

"How did you catch from God today?"

Catching from God: example questions

You will naturally build on these as your relationship with God develops. By praying through these prompts, our prayer time turns from a ‘shopping list’ into a two-way conversation where we seek God’s will for our live, our actions and his desires for others.

  • Jesus is there anything today that we could thank you for? Why?
  • Is there anything that we need to say sorry for?
  • Is there anyone you want us to pray for?
  • Are there any burdens or sadness we are carrying that you want to lift for us? Ask Jesus where it came from, what it is, and if he would please remove it
  • Jesus, do you have any promises or blessings for me before I go to sleep?
  • God what was the best part of your day? What made you happy today?
  • Ask God what made him laugh today
  • Ask God how he feels about you
  • Ask God what he’d like you to help him change
  • Ask God what makes him sad
  • Ask God how he feels when he watches the news

Inspired by ‘Can you hear me’ by Brad Jersak and Parenting for Faith website

Allow your children to pause and be still as they wait to catch from God. Remember we all catch from God in different ways, so provide opportunities and space for them to do this. For further guidance on helping you and your children discern what God is saying visit this website.

Recording what we catch: practical examples

  • Consider starting a family journal to record God’s words and promises
  • Use post it notes or luggage tags to record God’s answers to your catch questions
  • Share what you have heard with each other or other friends and family
  • Could you draw or paint what God has shown you/ spoken to you about?
  • Could you use Lego, playdough or sand to recreate what God said to you?

Chatting to God: prompts

It doesn’t really matter what you chat about. The idea is to keep encouraging your children to connect with and God to weave it into any and every part of their day. Conversation is best when it's two-way! Remind your children to pause and catch if God is saying anything back before carrying on the conversation.

 

  • Tell God about your day, what went well, what didn’t
  • Tell God something that makes you feel worried and why
  • Show or tell God something you are proud of
  • Tell or show God something you are thankful for
  • Tell God about a time when you felt really alone
  • Tell God about something that makes you feel loved
  • Show or tell God a part of the Bible you don’t understand
  • Tell God what you favourite TV programme is and why
  • Tell God something you have learned today
  • Tell God about your friends
  • Tell God what makes you feel safe
  • Tell God about something that is bothering you at the moment

For more chat and catch prompts visit this website.

We offer our grateful thanks to the work of Rachel Turner from Parenting For Faith who has influenced this section.