You may have grown up in a praying family where prayer is second nature. Or, you may be new to praying and the thought of teaching kids to pray is scary and overwhelming because you don’t know if you’re going to do it right. Take a deep breath! Teaching kids to pray doesn’t have to be hard or philosophical.
Whether your child is tiny and can hardly speak on their own yet, or your child is growing and becoming a young adult, it is never too early or late to focus on prayer. Praying with kids can be such a fulfilling and humbling experience as you hear their prayers and see them grow in their relationship with Jesus.
Just like starting to spend time with a new friend, you and your child can explore how to talk to Jesus and make it a fun part of each day. The following nine easy tips for teaching kids to pray will help you break down the process and be able to teach your child to love praying. As you begin praying with kids, it’s a good time to do some self-reflecting as well. How can you make praying a simple, but necessary part of each day? How can you do more praying with your kids?
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How to Teach Children to Pray
So how do you exactly get from Dear Jesus to Amen? As a mom, you have the God-given task to raise your children to know Jesus and develop a relationship with Him. You want to teach your children right from wrong and not make the same mistakes as previous generations. But sometimes that kind of thinking can hold you back from taking the steps to move forward.
Even Jesus had to take some time to teach his disciples how to pray. They had heard him pray, seen him pray, and seen the results of his answered prayers, but yet they still needed some guidance and specific examples. Your children need some encouragement as well. So let’s dive into nine easy steps to teaching kids to pray.
- Lead by Example – The easiest way to teach your kids to pray is to allow them to see you praying. Not just praying before a meal or before bedtime, but invite them to pray with you when something is lost, or when you are scared. Show them that you pray and have Bible study in the morning. Whether they join you or not, they are witnessing your example.
- Pray Consistently with Your Kids – Bring prayer into your daily life. When you see something that happened that was an answer to prayer, or a need that you had, talk about it with your kids and teach your children to pray for what they need and also to pray thanking God for the blessings as well. The more you pray for God’s help, the more you will see Him answering your prayers. Help your children to see those answers to prayer as well by talking about them, recording them, reviewing them, and praising God for them.
- Make Praying with Your Kids Easy – If you listen to different people pray, it can be intimidating to have the “right” words to say to God. But when you pray, Jesus just wants to hear us talk to him. He doesn’t need a memorized prayer, or a specific order that we pray about things, He just wants to hear our hearts. Think about how you talk to your friend, on text, on email, or on the phone or in person. You don’t usually memorize a poem to recite to them to tell them hello. You simply talk about your day, the exciting things that happened (blessings), the things that were hard (your requests), and how thankful you are that you can talke to them (praise). It really is that simple!
- Document Your Prayer Requests – As your children learn and grow, keep track of your family prayer requests so you and your kids can see that God is hearing and answering your prayers. Encourage your children to add their prayer requests to your prayer journal and let them see you praying for their requests as well. Look back at your requests often so you can see when God is answering.
- Pray About Everything with Your Kids– When you make prayer a priority in your life, teach your children that nothing is too big or too small to pray about. If you’d lost something, pray about it. If you need a new job or have to move, pray about it. When you are happy, pray about it. When you are sad, bring your tears to God in prayer. As your children see you praying to God about everything, they will grow up knowing that they can pray about everything too.
- Learn about Prayer in the Bible – Take time to read and share Bible stories about people who prayed. A great place to start is The Lord’s Prayer where Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. There are many examples of prayers in the Bible that are great stories for kids to learn about. They can greatly strengthen your child’s faith and trust in God. Some stories include Daniel in the lion’s den, Samuel in the temple, Jacob praying before seeing the ladder of angels going to heaven, Esther praying for going to the king, and so many more.
- Pray for Your Kids to Love Jesus – You can teach your children to pray, but only God can help their love for Him to grow. Spend time daily praying for your child to learn more about Jesus and to love Him with all of their heart for all of their days. Remember, you are a living example, so what they see you model, is powerful in their life.
- Start Simple – When your children are very young, start by simply helping them copy your prayer a word or two at a time. As they grow older, they can add their own thoughts and words to their prayers as they learn to pray independently.
- Use Prayer Activities or Games in Family Worship – As you are teaching your kids about prayer and how to pray, you want to surround them with resources and activities to encourage them to see prayer as more than a quick sentence they say before they eat. By focusing on different aspects of prayer and ways to pray, you will encourage your child’s creativity and interest in continuing to talk to God.
- BONUS: Memorize Scripture – As you teaching children about prayer, you also want to provide them with the Word of God. As they memorize scriptures, they can begin to pray these promises back to God. “He who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it.” Phil 1:6 can be prayed for years as your child is growing and maturing. “When I am afraid I will trust in You” Psalm 56:3 can bring peace in a child’s prayer when they are afraid. There are so many wonderful scripture promises that go hand in hand with prayer! Go on a treasure hunt with you child and collect these special verses that will comfort and guide your child.
RELATED: 52 Bible Verses for Kids to Memorize (Get a free printable list here)
Prayer Activities for Kids
As you are looking for some creative prayer activities for kids to help teach your children to pray, you will probably want to include interactive ways that they can learn more about prayer. This could be through prayer journaling, writing prayer requests and answers on index cards and placing them in a jar or special box to remember, or numerous other creative prayer activities for kids to encourage them to see prayer as a daily part of their life.
When you make something a priority and display it on the fridge, or hang it on the window, you are placing great value in your child and also the work that they are doing. There are many different ways to do this and the following links have a lot of ideas for making prayer something that can be visible in your home. These creative prayer activities can encourage your child’s individuality and also their unique way of praying and talking to God because they are uniquely created by Him.
When you add creative prayer activities into your daily prayer time, it brings a two-fold blessing. You and your children can engage in your prayer requests in a deeper way as you are doing activities about prayer rather than just a two-minute prayer and then you go on with your day.
- Games to Teach Your Kids to Pray
- Personal Bible Studey for Preschoolers
- Prayer Bible Crafts and Activities
- Fun Activities to Teach Your Child to Pray
- The Lord’s Prayer for Kids
- 40 Impactful Prayer Activities for Youth and Kids
Get this awesome printable list of Bible verses for your kids to start memorizing today! 📌
Praying with Kids
Once you begin praying with kids, you will most likely understand the story of Jesus and the children a bit more. When He tells his disciples that they need to become more like little children, you may discover the key to this story. As a little child learns to pray, they pray from their heart, not worried about if their prayers sound just right, or if they are saying the “right” words. They are simply praying from the desires and expression of their little faith and trust in Jesus.
Praying with kids can help you develop that sense of newness in your prayer life as well. As you listen to their prayers and realize again that praying is simply talking to your friend, your prayer life may take on a deeper meaning. As you spend time praying for your child to grow up to love Jesus with all of their heart, you will be playing an intercessory role for your child.
That is one of the amazing things about prayer. When you take time praying for your kids, it allows God to work in their lives in ways that wouldn’t be possible without your prayers.
Ask God to renew your child-like faith so that you can teach your child to pray from a faith-filled heart.
You may also like these Biblical parenting links…
- Tips for Sitting in Church with Kids
- Bedtime Prayers – Creating an Evening Routine
- 52 Memory Verses for Kids to Memorize
- Family Worship Ideas with Kids
- Morning Prayers for Families
- Teaching Kids to Pray
- 9 Powerful Prayers for Your Daughter
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