Implementing prayer in our everyday lives is so important. As a church, one of our values is to pray about everything. Kids need to learn that they can talk to God about anything and trust him with everything. We build relationships with the people in our lives by talking to them, and we can teach our kids to do the same with God. If they haven't heard prayer often, it can feel awkward to pray with your kids, especially when you don't know where to start.
Here are three practical steps for teaching kids how to pray:
1. Model prayer in everything
Consistency is vital when modeling prayer for your child, so pray regularly as a family. Show your kids that prayer is for every situation- from thanking God for the food he provided to praying for healing and comfort for those who are sick.
If your child is newer to prayer, you can ease them into it and start by just having them close their eyes while you pray. Next, you can have them fold their hands. At kidVenture Island, we shake our hands and clap them together before prayer. It helps get the wiggles out and makes an excellent transition for them to be able to focus on prayer! Have them bow their heads, too. When they get used to hearing prayer, they can repeat a prayer after you.
2. Explain what prayer is
Let them know that God loves them so much and wants to build a relationship with them, and we can do that through prayer. Prayer is simply a conversation with God- like talking to a friend or family member. The more you talk to God, the more you get to know him. Explain that they don't need the right words to speak, but just what's in their hearts and minds is enough.
3. Support your child's prayers
Your child's needs, fears, and priorities will change as they grow- so let them know now that God cares for them and their prayers deeply- no request is too big or small! Teach them to bring everything to God, and let them know you'll be praying for them, too.
5 Finger Prayer:
Here is a great place to start when teaching kids how to pray, with a topic for every finger:
Thumb: Your thumb is the closest finger to you. Pray for those closest to you, like your family members and friends.
Pointer: Pray for people in your life who point you in the right direction, like teachers, coaches, and small group leaders.
Middle: The tallest finger. Pray for some leaders you have in your life, like pastors or community leaders.
Ring: Your ring finger is the weakest. Pray for people who are sick or in need.
Pinky: It's important to pray for yourself, too!
Like most things kids will learn growing up, practice makes permanent. The habit of prayer will carry on throughout their lives as they grow in their relationship with Jesus. Before you know it, you may notice your kids praying on their own!
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LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ, and we're one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania with a mission to introduce people to Jesus and together fully follow him. Check out our environments for kids Ages 6 weeks-Grade 4.