I had an interesting thing happen recently as I was doing a radio interview about my seminar, 10 Steps To Talk To Your Kids About Values. The interviewer asked the logical question of what is the first step. When I mentioned that the first step to talking to our kids should be prayer, he casually brushed it aside. "Yes, but after we do that, what are some practical things to do?"

I tried to be cute with my response, "Practically pray your brains out!" But I was deadly serious! What could possibly be more practical than prayer?

His question is typical for the average Christian parent. "Just tell me what I should do to bring my kid under my control again." It's almost as if prayer is a Christian cliche'. "I'll pray for you!" has become the mantra of many. But do we really pray? Do we see prayer as the most important thing we can do, or has it become a polite way to say good-bye?

Christians must understand that if we are spending more time talking to our kids about our concerns and their attitudes than we spend talking to the Lord about our children, we need to change our priorities. We must remember that the values from rock music and entertainment are not worldly problems to be handled by worldly means. They're spiritual problems that can be fought through prayer.

I'd like to tell you the same thing that I told that radio host: We must begin to see prayer for what it is -- the most important thing we can do for our children. Whenever a parent asks for my counsel about his child, I ask how much time has been spent in prayer for the child. All my "wise counsel" is worthless unless you have been covering your child in prayer on a regular basis.

How should you pray? I'm glad you asked. Pray specifically for eternal things. As Proverbs 17:24 says, "a fool's goals are the ends of the earth!" You know how I remember that verse? A fool has goals that will end when their time on earth ends. Not so with the wise man.

What are your goals for your child? Are they eternal? Are you praying that they would quit listening to rock music? Why? That's not an eternal issue! The thing we should be concerned about is the attitude that makes the wrong kind of music attractive to him. When his attitude toward sin and worldliness changes, his music will also begin to change. Remember when it comes to our children, prayer should always be the first step -- not the last resort.