Parenting / Family

6 Tips For Teaching Children to Pray

Teaching Children to Pray

One of the most meaningful things we can do as a parent is teach our children the power of prayer.

Teaching Children to Pray

Teaching children to pray is a vital part of introducing them to Jesus and reinforcing their relationship with God. Our Lord gave us prayer so we could communicate with Him directly, and getting children comfortable with prayer helps them to understand that God is always close and accessible.

When to Start Teaching About Prayer

Children can start learning to pray even before they can speak in coherent sentences simply by allowing them to see you praying and by inviting them to pray with you as best they can. As with any good habit, you’ll want to start reinforcing prayer as a regular part of life as early as possible. Once a child can communicate verbally, they can learn to pray on their own either out loud or silently.

But, if your Christian walk began after you started raising a family, it’s never too late for kids to learn about the importance of prayer.

Teach Prayer as a Conversation

Be sure that children understand that prayer is simply a conversation with God, one that is held with respect for his unending love and power, but that is spoken in our own words.

Matthew 6:7 says, “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.”  In other words, we need not pray with any formula, and we can and should speak to God in our own words.

Some Christian religions teach specific prayers, such as the The Lord’s Prayer, which was given to us by Jesus. Children can start practicing and learning these at an appropriate age. The concepts behind these prayers must be taught so that the prayers aren’t recited without meaning. If you teach these prayers, it should be in addition to, and not instead of showing them how to talk to God naturally.

Let Your Kids See You Praying

The best way to begin educating your children about prayer is to pray in their presence. Look for opportunities to practice prayer in front of them, just as you would seek out instances to teach them about manners, good sportsmanship or humility. While praying in the morning or before bed is a common and valuable practice, God wants us to come to Him with all things and at any time, so let kids see you praying throughout the day for a variety of needs.

Ways Children Can Pray

Prayers for a good day at school, for pets, friends, and local and world events are perfect ideas for kids of any age.

Show children that there is no prescribed length to prayer. Quick prayers such as asking for help with choices, for blessings on a birthday party or for protection and safe travels before going on a trip are ways to show kids that God is interested in all aspects of our lives. Another type of quick prayer to model is as simple as saying something like, “Lord be with me,” before getting into a challenging situation or, “Thank you, Father,” when learning that a problem will be easier to work out than expected.

Longer prayers are better taught to older children who can sit still for a few minutes. These are a great way to teach them about God’s all-encompassing greatness. Here’s a good way to model these prayers:

  • Start off by thanking God for being with you and for providing for your family, thank Him for His great, unconditional love, and express your reverence for all that He is.
  • Ask God to forgive your mistakes. James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
  • Then, either present your petitions to God, continue thanking and praising Him for specific provisions and blessings, or do both.

Overcoming Shyness

Some children will feel shy about praying out loud at first, and will say they can’t think of anything to pray about. If this happens, you can first pray for something, then have the child finish your prayer. For example, thank God for grandma and grandpa and then your child can thank God for specific things about the grandparents, whether that’s grandma’s yummy cookies or a productive fishing trip with grandpa.

Another way to overcome shyness is to simply have them repeat your prayers, but in their own words. For example, thank God for keeping people safe during a storm and ask him to help people who have lost their homes. Then, have your child pray for the same thing, but not parroting your words.

Be Supportive

Reinforce that we can come to God with all things, and no request before God is too small or insignificant. Prayers are very personal, and a child’s worries and concerns change at different ages. So, encourage your child to talk to God about whatever is on his or her mind.

60 Comments

60 Comments

  1. Staci Miller Saylor

    April 3, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I make sure my grandkids know the meaning of prayer. Great post!

  2. Nolwazi Shekwa

    April 2, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    I know K is still young buy you’ll need this soon Phumla Portia Shekwa

  3. Nolwazi Shekwa

    April 2, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    I know Ks still young bt ull need this soon

  4. Criselda Argota

    April 2, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Amen!

  5. Damaris Mwangangi

    April 1, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Amen

  6. Ayrhenne Otinguey Oros

    March 31, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Amen…

  7. Lena Pieterse

    March 31, 2017 at 5:41 am

    Amen.

  8. Kenya Nicole

    March 31, 2017 at 1:45 am

    Kyd Martin KaSheena Martin

  9. Honey Thomason

    March 30, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Ellen Thomason

  10. Lebogang Makoana

    March 30, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Amen

  11. Amy Airey

    March 30, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Amen

  12. Unity Garawaziva

    March 30, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Amen

  13. Tam Ara

    March 30, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Kalei

  14. Allyson Sando

    March 30, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Yes LORD as of today you will help me ursher my children through the POWER OF PRAYER….

  15. Jenny Greeff

    March 30, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Amen

  16. LaTasha Lynette

    March 30, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Amen….

  17. Theresa Campbell

    March 30, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Amen

  18. Theresa Campbell

    March 30, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    A3

  19. Olivia Manjinjiwa

    March 30, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Amen

  20. Lanie Leonico Sandigan

    March 30, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Amen..

  21. Janet Sutterby Buck

    March 30, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    First thing is for the child to see the parent pray.

    • Emma Norte

      March 30, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      Amen– so true, if we believe they believe.

  22. Mary Kahoro

    March 30, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Sure I thank God my kids are in that Chanel may God sustain them forever amen

  23. Theresa Echa

    March 30, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    This piece was very helpful, thank you

  24. Bliss Nwachi Okafor

    March 30, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Yes

  25. Tonya Stephens

    March 30, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Oh yes

  26. Lyn Gonzalgo

    March 30, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Amen

  27. Terry Daley

    March 30, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Amen

  28. Altia Liria Gonzalez

    March 30, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Amen

  29. Charlot Mhlanga

    March 30, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    It’s true to teach them earlier how to prayer.

  30. Portia Chipo Ndindana Kufa

    March 30, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Amen

  31. Vanessa Pascual

    March 30, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Lisa Stump

  32. Vanessa Pascual

    March 30, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Adrian Pascual

  33. Shannon Morgan

    March 30, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Amen!!!

  34. Cynthia Denease

    March 30, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Amen

  35. Jollie Kitra

    March 30, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    That true

  36. Nikky Solomon

    March 30, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Wow!!!

  37. Dorathy Jackson

    March 30, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    A
    M
    E
    N SO very true.

  38. Sharon Monaghan

    March 30, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Amen

  39. Tamara Lair

    March 30, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Tameka Lair Toussaint

  40. Marie Februarie

    March 30, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    So true

  41. Iracema Alegria

    March 30, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Amberlee Alegria

  42. Cheryta Huckaby

    March 30, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Savannah Turner

  43. Reneé Naé Amorez

    March 30, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Kyla Shantel

  44. Afor Precious Nkuma Nnoke

    March 30, 2017 at 11:29 am

    This is a great work. Learnt a lot from it.

  45. Prudence T Mhlanga

    March 30, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Amen

  46. Ligaya Gochico

    March 30, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Lysa Goch

  47. Perpetual Maponga

    March 30, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Amen to that

  48. Gu Guu

    March 30, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Amen

  49. Jessica Ortiz-Carrizales

    March 30, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Alissa Carrizales

  50. Cheryl Mcdowney Jones

    March 30, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Tanesha Unique Mcdowney

  51. Bobbie Deal

    March 30, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Amen so true

  52. Taylor Danielle

    March 30, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Amber Arthur

  53. Vivian Boozer

    March 30, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Amen starts at home

  54. Kabagabo Jesca

    March 30, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Amen

  55. Ermie Moreno Tiburcio

    March 30, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Amen

  56. Cathy Ume

    March 30, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Amen.

  57. Chrystal Barr-Baker

    March 30, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Akaya Nichole this is a good read. Aria already does some of them.

  58. Debbesa Sealey

    March 30, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Amen

  59. Dee Jones

    March 30, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Amen

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