If I were to ask you, “What are the top ten most important things that parents need to teach their children?” would prayer make your list? We teach our children how to add and subtract, how to play musical instruments or sports, and how to read. But, how many of us can say that we have made it a priority to help our kids pray with confidence?
If you are a Christian parent, you probably know that prayer is important. But, knowing that prayer is important is not enough. We need to be intentionally teaching our kids how to pray.
How can we do this? Often we don’t feel at all confident in our own prayer abilities. How can we intentionally help our kids pray with confidence and show them that a conversation with God is easier than they think?
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How Can You Help Kids Pray with Confidence?
1. Pray about it!
God wants your children to know how to pray even more than you do! Bring your desire to teach your children to pray before God. Pray that God would help you to grow in your own prayer life and that He would give you wisdom as you teach your children. Most of all, pray that God would get hold of your children’s hearts so that they would desire to pray.
2. Let your children see you praying.
Do your kids ever see you praying? Early in the morning, when they crawl out of their beds, will they accidentally stumble upon you praying? Do they hear you praying before meals? Or when you are facing a major decision? Do they see you praying when you are overwhelmed or when you are thankful?
Once they see that prayer matters to you, it’s easier to start intentional conversations to help kids pray and make this a consistent part of their life.
3. Set aside time to intentionally pray with your children.
Set aside time each day to intentionally pray with your children and for your children. Maybe this happens after family Bible study each day, before they leave for school each morning, or in the quietness of the night before bedtime. Use this time to start teaching and help kids pray with confidence.
4. Make time for spontaneous prayer.
Have you lost the car keys again? Stop and pray aloud with your kids about it. Then, when God helps you to find them, thank Him! Did you just receive news that a friend is sick? Stop and pray about it!
5. Use a visual model to show them how easy prayer can be.
Kids may feel nervous or uncomfortable about praying to God, but using a visual reminder, such as this praying hands graphic below, makes it easier. Put this visual reminder in a place where your whole family can see it and be reminded to pray.
This visual prayer model to is the perfect way to spur kids towards spiritual growth and help kids pray with confidence.
6. Celebrate Answered Prayer
Find a creative way to celebrate God’s answers to your prayers. One family I know writes answers to prayer on colorful rocks and drops them into a large glass vase. Look for ways to help your kids understand that God does indeed answer prayer!
7. Help kids pray the Lord’s Prayer.
In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus gave His disciples a simple prayer that can serve as a template for our own prayers and as a simple way to teach our children how to pray.
Here are the four parts of this template:
Teach your kids to begin prayer with worship. True worship brings God glory and realigns our hearts to trust and follow Him.
Teach your children to confess their sins to God and ask for forgiveness. Encourage your children to run to God and confess their sins when their hearts are repentant. Help them to understand the joy of forgiveness.
God loves to hear our petitions. So, teach your child to come to God and ask Him for what they need. Guide your child to ask for things according to God’s will. You can use verses of petition to encourage your child to ask for meaningful things.
Teach your child to respond with thankfulness for all of God’s blessings.
If you would like a little extra help for teaching your children how to pray God’s word, try these printable verse prayer cards. These verse cards will help you to pray through the four categories – worship, forgiveness, petition, and thanksgiving.
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YOU CAN Help Kids Pray
When life gets hard, our children need to know how to pray. It’s important when they feel far away from God, they need to know how to pray. When they need wisdom, forgiveness, or a deeper relationship with God, they need to know how to pray. As they are completely overwhelmed by life, they need to know how to pray.
Will YOU make it a priority to help kids pray with confidence?
Now it’s your turn. Which of these ideas will you incorporate into your daily routine? Do you have any more ideas? I would love to hear from you!
This post was written by Anna, a Christian mother and the blogger behind Path Through the Narrow Gate. She is passionate about helping families discover that Bible study is not only doable, but also enjoyable!