Being a parent comes with both moments of joy and frustration. Often I feel like I should run and hide from all my duties. Like the time my daughter, who was around 10 months old, had taken the contents of her diaper and smeared it all on her bed and sheet! I walked out of her room in complete disbelief. It left me speechless and numb for all of 20 seconds. I could not wrap my head around what I had just walked into and I could not believe that she chose to do it while my husband was at work (lucky guy). I remember walking out of the room for a second to scream and ask God, “Why me?”. Long after successfully cleaning up every nook and cranny with some type of disinfectant I was emotionally overwhelmed and frustrated. It was a day that is common in any parent’s life. Praying about how I felt was the only thing keeping me from just giving up and temporarily losing my mind.
The first prayer I ever said and memorized was “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep…”. My mother prayed that prayer with us every night while my youngest sister and I were young children. At the time, we did not fully understand the importance of praying, but it was truly the foundation of our prayer life.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
In the United States, we are seeing, now more than ever, a seemingly God-less nation that finds joy in celebrating and promoting the immoral. Seeing these things should not be surprising seeing how it was all prophesied thousands of years ago. Instead of accepting the ways of the world, we can choose to spiritually take a stand, praying and seeking God to heal our land (II Chronicles 7:14).
Teaching kids to pray is not difficult, so don’t feel pressured to teach your kids a “perfect” way to pray. Praying is simply communication between us and Jesus and your child should understand that there are no big and special words that they have to say in order for their prayer to reach Him.
(Matthew 6:9-13, known as The Lord’s Prayer, is the ultimate example of how to structure our prayer)
When should you pray?
The great thing about prayer is that you can do it at any second of the day, regardless of where you are; whether at home, work, school, church, on the playground or at the mall. We pray with our children at every meal, bedtime, throughout the day when attitudes and behavior are not the best, and if they get hurt or complain about feeling sick. We give them opportunities to listen to us pray and strongly encourage them to lead a prayer at bedtime. Some days the girls will express that they are afraid of something. This most often happens during bedtime. I take that opportunity to remind them that they can talk to God themselves and that He will take their fear away. One of the best scriptures to quote about fear is II Timothy 1:17:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
What should your child pray?
Teaching your child to pray is not a difficult thing. Start with simple phrases, “Thank you, God”, Thank you Jesus for this day”, “I love you Jesus”. Be their example! As you pray, they will hear the words that you say while praying and they will soon develop their own words to pray.
There is power in Jesus and prayer; our children have to learn that as well. Help build their faith so they believe and know their prayers are also being heard. When they are in a situation and mommy and daddy aren’t near, they will know that they themselves can turn to God and He will hear them.
5 Quick Tips on Teaching Kids to Pray
- Be the example!
- Allow them to lead prayer throughout the day.
- Remind them their prayers ARE heard.
- Encourage them to talk to God like they talk to you.
- Help them memorize scriptures about prayer.
Want extra help?
I have put together a FREE PRINTABLE with scriptures you can share with your children to help them understand how to pray. DOWNLOAD IT HERE to recite and memorize scriptures about prayer with your children.
Do you pray regularly with your child?