Have you ever tried to get teach children how to pray and felt like your efforts fell flat? Maybe the children were spending more time poking things into each other's ears than listening to your teaching about prayer, or they were busy doing little things to get on your nerves. I get it! Teaching kids about prayer can be challenging.
Thankfully, we are promised Divine aid in our work of teaching our children to pray. "Take up your work with earnest prayer and faithful endeavor. Teach your children that it is their privilege to receive every day the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Let Christ find you His helping hand to carry out His purposes. By prayer, you may gain an experience that will make your ministry for your children a perfect success.” Ellen G. White, Child Guidance p. 69
I've spent a lot of time teaching our own three children in family worships. I've also taught kids about prayer at evangelistic meetings and other kids' meetings. Over the years, I've discovered that even young children can learn a lot about talking to God in prayer. They may seem like they are distracted and paying little attention, but they often absorb far more than we realize. They give glimpses into their growing understanding at the most unexpected times.
“I think heaven heard us way up there,” said five-year-old Caleb after prayer one day. He hadn’t looked like he was paying attention to what I was teaching all week, but the lessons on prayer were building his faith. Children readily trust in Jesus and are happy to talk to Him in prayer. We can learn much from their willingness to follow Jesus and love freely.
There are ways of teaching kids that help to make prayer engaging and interesting for them. The resources on this page are ones I've put together and gathered through the years to help kids learn the joy of praying to their Father in Heaven. They can be easily adapted for larger meetings or family worships.
Also, never forget that the children will catch your love for God and conviction about the power of prayer more from WHO you are then from WHAT you say. That's why I love these ten pointers on how to prepare yourself to teach children about how to pray from Pacific Union Conference Prayer Coordinator Karen Martell:
1. Be a praying person.
2. Let the children hear you pray for them and others.
3. Fill a journal with loving prayers for the children you teach.
4. Be transparent, open, honest, and willing to admit when you are wrong.
5. Memorize Scripture and pray the promises for your kids.
6. Cultivate the children's relationship with God.
7. Partner with them in prayer for the things that matter to them.
8. Cultivate a world vision for them so that they see the immense possibilities God has for them.
9. Find ways to stretch their experience and yours.
10. Ask God to help you know how to pray for each child's unique challenges and strengths.
More ideas on how to pray for your children and specific Scriptures to claim for them HERE.
Do you have an idea that has worked well for you? Please share them so that we can all benefit. Also, if you have questions about anything, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.
I'm a homeschool mom, prayer leader, and writer living in Northern California. God put a passion for prayer in my heart when I was nursing our babes. Since then, I've seen God answer many prayers and had many opportunities to teach children and adults about prayer. I'm by no means an expert at prayer. God gets all the credit for any good He's accomplished through me. The resources here are simply things I've gathered from other, more talented teachers of children or have created to use in teaching the children with whom I've worked. I pray they are a blessing to you and the children you work with!