It was one of the first really nice Saturdays. The sun was shining, the kids were outside playing and I was lying on the driveway with my head under a lawn mower changing the belt. Suddenly, without warning, I felt something slam into my shin. Seized with pain, I looked up to see that the wind had blown over our portable basketball goal. I shouted something along the lines of “Auuugggghhhhhrrrggghhhhhh!” My kids went scrambling inside yelling for mom, who, judging by the kids’ panic, probably thought I had spontaneously exploded. Ten minutes later, I limped into the house and as soon as I opened the door, I heard the sound of my kids’ voices passionately calling out to the Lord asking for their daddy’s leg to be healed. I’m still not sure how my leg wasn’t broken, other than the fact that I believe our heavenly Father delighted in the simple, faith-filled prayers offered to Him that Saturday.
Prayer. Some refer to it as our life line to God. The disciples begged to learn more about it. God loves it. Jesus models it. The church teaches it. And every Christian would hopefully say it’s important. So what can we do to help teach our children to pray? Here are a few steps that I would recommend to parents who desire to teach their kids to pray.
Praying parents yield praying kids. Galatians 6:7 says “You will always harvest what you plant.” If you want to gain a harvest of kids who pray, you need to sow into the ground by being a praying parent
Welcome Your Kids Into Your Prayer Time
A perfect, ideal day for me is one in which I have a period of uninterrupted time before my kids are awake. And with 5 kids, guess how often that happens? When you are spending time with the Lord, and one of your kids comes into the room, don’t ignore them or act as if they are a burden. Thank God for them and the divine appointment He has given you with your child, and include them. Even if they are just drawing a picture or reading a different book while you are praying and spending time with Jesus, you are modeling for them what it looks like to spend time in God’s presence.
Pray Often and Pray Quickly
Teach your kids that when a challenge, opportunity, or need presents itself, you stop everything and pray right away. This brings God’s presence and power into our situation and builds a connection for your kids between the answer and the request. Stop what you are doing and pray.
Anything that we want to grow in, we need to practice. The same applies for prayer. One of the greatest habits we have started as a family is praying together on Saturday nights. This is very informal. We play some worship music and spread out and just pray. The focus is always praying for the volunteers and pastor’s at church, for people to be saved, and for God to uses us as He chooses. Practicing prayer together as a family has probably had the biggest impact on our kids of anything in terms of developing their own personal prayer time.
Celebrating answered prayer will build your kids’ faith
Celebrate Answered Prayer
So many times we are quick to pray, but when the situation is resolved, we either take the credit ourselves or fail to connect the answer to our request. Be quick to celebrate God’s response to your prayers. It will build your kids’ faith as they see God moving in your family.
We all want our kids to grow up to love God with all their hearts, and teaching them to pray is one of the most foundational components of that virtue. There really isn’t a right or wrong way- it’s important just to start.
Share some of the ways you have found success teaching your kids to pray by leaving a comment below. We would love to hear what is making a difference for your family.