Bar Magnets, Paper Clips, and God

Today’s Weekend Visitor came early. Welcome Kevin Weeks! (Yes, he’s my husband.) I hope you all enjoy what he has to share. Look for my regular post later next week.

Teaching our children to pray is one of the most significant ways we can build eternal value into their lives. And while our approach to God should always be driven by humility and respect, we can still teach our kids the value of prayer in compelling ways. For example, the next time you pray with your children, show them this clever object lesson.

Begin by placing a paper clip on the table, and put your hand over the paper clip so it is just under your knuckles. Then, rest a bar magnet on top of your hand directly over the paper clip. Lift your hand from the tabletop and be amazed as the power of the magnet holds on to the paper clip wherever it goes!

Perhaps your children can see themselves in a similar position to the paper clip: moving along in life but not always knowing where they’re going. It’s here that two lessons about prayer become invaluable to our children.

1: We are always being led by God . . . much like the paper clip is always being directed by the magnet. The Apostle Paul said, “But I thank God, who always leads us in victory because of Christ. Wherever we go, God uses us to make clear what it means to know Christ. It’s like a fragrance that fills the air” (2 Corinthians 2:14, God’s Word Translation). We are always being led by God and the primary way we show our dependence on his leading is through prayer.

2: We can always rest firmly in the hand of God. The power of the magnet is what holds the paper clip in your hand. Similarly, the power of God at work in our kids’ lives is what will give them peace to rest in the hand of God. Again, Paul beautifully describes the ‘unbreakability’ of God’s power: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39, NIV). Prayer is the means by which we rest safely and securely in the hand of God.

These are two simple lessons to teach our children about the power of prayer. Now, go and find a bar magnet and a paper clip. I know it’s killing you to see if it actually works!


Kevin is the Pastor of Family Life Ministries at Orchard Park Bible Church. You can read more articles by Kevin here.

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