One of the most important jobs we have as a parent is to teach our children to pray- I want them to have a joyful relationship with Jesus and find conversation with Him comes easy, and natural.
Teach Our Children To Pray The Natural Way
I’ve found the most natural way to teach our children to pray and learn about prayer is in everyday situations. While there is a place in our spiritual rhythm for prayers before dinner or bedtime, the best way to cultivate an ordinary ongoing conversation with Jesus is when they are short, spontaneous, and heartfelt.
It can be about swimming lessons, an upcoming test, a friend, a fear, a need, thanks, anything… prayer is a touch base about everything, anytime.
Teach Our Children to Pray Through Our Example
One of the most important key factors, when we teach our children to pray, is that we teach our children this important skill through our own example! Here are a few practical steps to take as you spiritually lead your children to interface with Jesus.
Show them how you pray. They learn how the most important prayer is when we model it, integrating it throughout the day. They need to hear me be thankful, concerned, sorrowful, repentant, and worshipful.
At our house, we go around the table and share something from the day that was happy (and we are grateful) and something that was crappy (and extends empathy for.) End each day with prayer, together. During this special time, guide them in ways to pray.
For additional reading >> The Simple Reasons Why Prayer Strengthens My Faith
Teach them to give thanks for what they’re learning, the time they have to play, and the people in their lives. Most Important: Share what you’re thankful for.
- What do they need help with? This can be school, a teacher, or a friend they’re having difficulty with, where do they need His help?
- Who do they want to pray for? Once children get the hang of this, you’ll hear them ask for blessings and healing for parents, grandparents, friends, and strangers.
Pray with them for healing, both physically and emotionally. Bumps, bruises, and hurt feelings occur throughout the day. Teach them to ask God to heal them of these hurts.
Powerful prayer is to gather the family and, one at a time, pray God fills them with all the love they needed that day but didn’t receive. Rarely does anyone receive all the love they need?
Pray for forgiveness.
This isn’t a time to shame or embarrass them. They simply need to say, “Jesus, please forgive me for being unkind to my sister.” Use this as a time to be vulnerable by praying, “Jesus, please forgive me for losing my temper with my children.”
Teach your children to pray short prayers- “Help,” “Thanks,” and “Wow” are sometimes all we need to create a connection between our hearts and God.
When they’re old enough, teach them The Lord’s Prayer or a verse that models God’s desire for conversation with us.
Read to your child children’s books about prayer.
There are lots of books about children who have prayed and moved God’s hand. I’ve written five books full of true stories of God’s kids talking to Him and it makes a difference. I have listed three of the five below.
Bless your children before they leave for their day.
When we take a minute to send children to school with a blessing, we send a powerful set of messages:
- God is with you.
- God is for you.
- Nothing can get between you and God.
- I think you are worth it.
Praying is a skill that will benefit our children for the rest of their lives. Teaching them to pray will come easier when we prioritize praying ourselves. These ideas are just springboards to cultivate meaningful exchanges between you and your children as you come before the Father together.