Have you ever just talked to God as if in conversation? You know, the kind that comes from the heart where you share your hardships and victories?
Prayer is about having a conversation with God that comes from the heart. It’s a time to get personal, to ignite hope and connect with God.
Here are some tips to help you teach your children how to pray.
1. Start early
Some may say that they are too young to understand, but it’s good to lay a firm foundation for communicating with God. It’s never too early for your children to start praying so that prayer becomes a natural part of their daily lives. It’s a precious moment when you see your children talking to God about their day or sharing stories. Remind them that prayer is a conversation with their loving heavenly Dad.
2. Include them when you pray
When you’re praying, include your children. They don’t necessarily have to pray with you at the start, they can also listen to how you pray. Model honest prayers for your children so they understand how to. Once they feel confident, ask them if they’d like to join you in prayer. This way, they have an idea of what to say already.
3. Whenever you have the chance
When you’re trying to teach your children to pray, consistency is key. Take the opportunity to pray:
- Before meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
- Before bedtime
- Before embarking on long road trips or camping trips
- Before a big presentation, play or test
- When they’re in special need of something or hurt (if they’ve fallen off their bike, if they failed a test, etc.)
- For others. When praying, ensure you include other people so your children know they can pray for their friends and family.
If your child is shy to pray out loud, remind them that it’s just a conversation with God.
4. The immediate reaction
In Philippians 4:6, it says “don’t be anxious about anything. Instead, pray about everything.” It should be our immediate reaction to go to God in prayer – through good times and bad times. As parents, we want to comfort our children as much as we can, but it’s good to teach them to go to the source of true comfort. Hopefully, prayer becomes a firm foundation in their daily lives so when they grow up they’ll take their concerns to God.
Don’t know what to say?
If you’re children are struggling with what to say, here are 2 ideas to help them construct their prayers.
Highs & Lows: Lots of things can happen in a day, they will have good moments and not-so-good moments. When your children get home from school, take the time to talk about each other’s highs and lows. Afterwards, pray together.
A.C.T.S. Prayer: This is a famous structure for prayer that’s easy to remember.
A = adoration: Praise God for who He is.
C = confession: Confess your sins.
T = thanksgiving: Thank God for the blessings and favours He’s given your family.
S = supplication: Lift up specific areas in life which you need God to supply.
Seek the Kingdom First
Matthew 6:33 reminds us to “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”. As your children continue to put God and their prayer life first, He will continue to walk with them.
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