}

Teaching Children to Pray

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  • Model prayer. This is the most important and effective way to teach your children to pray. Allow your children to see you pray. My best praying happens in the shower or in the van when driving alone or in bed late at night or early in the morning. None of those are places where the kids can witness me praying. Therefore, I have to make an effort to be purposeful about praying in front of my kids. It doesn’t come naturally to me. Neither does praying out loud, but I consciously do both to model a prayer life to my kids.
  • Teach them the power of praying in numbers. “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”-Matthew 18:20 If someone texts, e-mails or phones me a prayer request, I will often ask the kids to pray with me for that person or situation, explaining that it is more powerful if we all pray together. Sometimes we do this while in the van or while in the middle of an activity. I think the drop-everything-and-pray when used only occasionally is very powerful as it shows them that nothing is more important.
  • Keep a prayer journal or another type of record of answered prayers. When we pray first thing in our homeschool in the morning, I jot things down in my homeschool planner as they come up. Later, the kids and I look back on what prayers have been answered. This has been a good way to reinforce to them the power of prayer.
  • Have visuals. We use pictures. I call it our prayer wall. In our homeschool classroom, there is a corkboard and I add pictures of people we are praying for. We used to do this on our fridge. This gives the kids a visual reminder to pray for those individuals and it has been powerful to witness what God has done. We have helped pray home many children waiting to be adopted. Seeing their “before” pictures when they are in an orphanage or foster home and then being able to put up the “after” pictures of them with their new family has been amazing. We also prayed for our friends’ son who was in the hospital for almost the first two years of his life. He has just been discharged and now I will be able to change his picture to one of him at home and the kids will see visible proof that their prayers are at work!
  • Form habits. Just like most things in life, prayer is easier when it becomes a habit. By praying at certain times of the day, a habit is instilled. For our family, this happens in the morning, before supper and at bedtime when we tuck the kids in. This is a very effective strategy as now if we forget to pray before supper, the kids are the ones to remind us! On nights when we get home late and the tuck-ins are fast, the one thing that we cannot not do is pray.
  • Pray in all things. It can be easy to praise God when a prayer is answered or when we are desperate and crying out, but praying in the little things, in the in-between moments teaches our kids that God is to be our confidant, our friend, our Healer, our Redeemer, our Everything.

Comments

  1. I like the idea of the prayer wall!!

  2. I, too, love the wall idea and I’ve wanted to start a prayer journal for awhile now. Thanks for the inspiration! There is nothing more beautiful than a kid who has a strong faith in God because of the habit of prayer!

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