Four ways to teach children about prayer
By Pastor Dustin Lee
The Bible tells us in Luke 11:1, “It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place after he had finished, one of his disciple said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.’”
As parents we have the great responsibility to disciple our children and teach them how to pray. Sometimes we can overthink how we pray to God when it is simply talking to Him.
In this article we will learn some tips on how to teach our children about prayer. We will talk about how to keep prayer short, simple, specific and special.
1. Keep It Short
God hears all of our prayers and all of our prayers matter to Him.
In this season in my home we have two toddlers. There is lots of activity and silliness in our lives.
My wife and I want our children to know about prayer. It’s very evident with our kids that we only have their attention for a short amount of time.
Teaching our kids short prayers are very helpful. For example, short prayers can take place at the dinner table, the car, the backyard or anywhere. You can be creative with teaching your children short prayers.
Here is one prayer that I prayed with my son Lucas in our backyard: “Dear Jesus, thank you God for making bugs, dirt and sticks. Help us to be thankful for everything. Amen!”
2. Keep It Simple
Prayer is a conversation with God. It doesn’t have to be fancy but from the heart.
Prayer can be one sentence or just one topic. Topic examples include being thankful, praise, God’s word, being obedient, serving/helping others, keeping Jesus first, etc.
Prayer should be a part of our everyday life. When this is modeled for kids, it will have a huge impact on their spiritual walk in growing in Christ.
3. Keep It Specific
When teaching children about prayer it’s very important to be specific. Explain to your children what and why you’re praying.
Busyness can often times deter us from praying and especially praying with our children. When someone asks you to pray for them or if you say that you’re going to pray for them, it’s great to pray with them in front of your children right then and there. Remember it doesn’t have to be long, it can be short and simple.
One of my friends taught his children a great way about specific prayer. They took pictures of family members, friends and missionaries. They cut the pictures out, laminated them and glued them on popsicle sticks.
Each night the entire family would pray for one of those Popsicle stick pictures. This is great for their children because they were able to see, touch and pray for these different people!
4. Keep It Special
Kids’ prayers matter to God! As parents and children there are a lot of teachable moments.
As a parent I’m grateful for God’s word, and I’m grateful that it says in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “You must commit yourself wholeheartedly to these commands that I’m giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk to them about when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you were getting up.”
My wife and I are in the process of adoption. It has been very special to see our kids be a part of praying with us for the future child that will be a part of our family.
Children learn best by seeing things modeled for them especially by their parents. Proverbs 22:6 states, “Train up a child in the way they should go and even when they are old they will not depart from it.”
With that being said, parents, you have the greatest opportunity to make a huge kingdom impact in your children’s lives. Pray with your child today!