Teaching Children How To Pray
Teaching children how to pray is one of the most important responsibilities of Christian parents and teachers.
When a child learns to pray, they have instant access to the Creator of the universe and a Heavenly Father Who can comfort and strengthen them no matter what the circumstance.
When God becomes real in the heart and mind of a child, they benefit in so many areas of their life.
Of course, first and most importantly, they are able to understand God's simple plan of salvation and accept His gift of eternal life. By becoming God's child, they can be assured that no matter where they are, God Himself is with them.
As a result of this God consciousness, children will not only gain a sense of comfort and companionship, but also the knowledge that God is aware of every word, thought, and deed.
By teaching kids how to pray, you are helping them develop a relationship with a holy and righteous God that they will want to please, as well as a gracious and forgiving Savior when they stumble and fail, as we all inevitably do. What could be a greater gift?
In addition, prayer is a way for children to connect with God when they express their gratitude for daily blessings, ask for guidance when unsure, and protection when they are afraid.
As Christian parents, we want to help our children develop a strong prayer life from a young age. Let's explore some practical tips for teaching children how to pray.
Tips for Teaching Children How To Pray
- Lead by example: The best way to teach children how to pray is by setting an example. Let your children see you praying regularly, whether it's alone or with others. Make prayer a part of your daily routine, and let your children know that it's an important part of your relationship with God.
- Keep it simple: When teaching children how to pray, it's important to keep it simple. Use language that your child can understand and focus on the basics of prayer, such as giving thanks, asking for forgiveness, and asking for guidance and protection.
- Encourage gratitude: Gratitude is an important part of prayer. Encourage your child to give thanks for the blessings in their life, such as their health, family, and friends. Help them see the good in every situation and develop a heart of gratitude.
- Use visual aids: Visual aids can be a helpful tool for teaching children how to pray. For example, you can create a prayer jar filled with slips of paper that have different prayer prompts written on them. You could have a stack of missionary cards in a napkin holder on the table and choose one missionary to pray for before each meal. Even young children enjoy using a prayer journal where you can record prayer requests and answers to prayer as a visual record of how God has helped and answered their prayers in the past.
- Pray together: Praying together as a family is a great way to reinforce the importance of prayer and to create a sense of community. Encourage your child to pray with you and other family members, whether it's first thing in the morning as you begin your day, before a meal, before you pull out of the driveway, or at bedtime.
- Make prayer enjoyable: Prayer doesn't have to be boring or tedious. While you don't want prayer to become a game or silly, you can find ways to make prayer fun and engaging for your child. Keeping track of answered prayer, whether in a journal, on a whiteboard, or on a colorful homemade poster, can bring added joy and interest.
- Be patient: Teaching children how to pray takes time and patience. Don't expect your child to master prayer overnight. You don't want 'prayer time' to seem tedious, or like a punishment. Be patient and encouraging, and continue to model a strong prayer life for your child.
- Highlight the importance of listening: Prayer is not just about talking to God; it's also about listening to God. Help your child understand that prayer is only one side of the conversation, and that they should take time to listen for God's voice and guidance, and watch for His answers in their daily lives.
- Use the Lord's Prayer as a guide: The Lord's Prayer is a great model for teaching children how to pray. It covers the basics of prayer and can be a helpful guide for children who are just starting to learn how to pray.
- Emphasize the power of prayer: Help your child understand that prayer is powerful and can make a difference in their life and the lives of others. Encourage them to pray for themselves, their family and friends, and for the world around them.
If you take the time to teach your kids how to pray when they are young, as they grow older and mature in their faith, they will have developed a rich prayer life that will help them through the trials and difficulties that they will inevitably face.
One of the great bonuses of teaching children how to pray is the effect it has on you as the teacher. You, too, become more God conscious in your daily life, and develop a closer relationship to your Savior.
So, let us encourage and support our children in their journey of faith, knowing that prayer is a powerful and necessary tool for connecting with God and growing in our relationship with Him. The results are worth every moment of effort.
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