Childhood is a good time to learn how to pray. Children are often eager to learn about God and how to communicate with Him especially if they realize that God listens to, and cares about, their prayers. First Thessalonians 5:17 teaches that believers should "pray without ceasing." That might sound difficult, but if you approach prayer as an ongoing conversation with your heavenly Father, it's simple enough to teach any child to do this.
Talking with God
Teach your kids that prayer comes in many forms. Sometimes, people pray formally, such as when they recite the Lord's Prayer together during a church service. Other times, people can pray very simply, using their own words to talk with God. Encourage your children to have short talks with God throughout their days, asking for help when they need it and thanking God for their blessings throughout the day. Teach them that they do not have to limit prayer to mealtimes, bedtimes and church services. After all, God is listening all the time and loves it when His children talk with Him.
Rejoice All the Time
Teach your children to find joy in all things. Directly before the command to pray without ceasing, in verse 16, the Bible tells us to "rejoice always." Explain to your kids that there are some times, like when they're playing with a favorite toy, when it's easy to have joy and other times, like when they are hurt or upset, that it's harder to rejoice. Teach them that they can still rejoice when things don't go their way by talking with God about their problems or pains -- and trusting Him to be with them and help them.
Give Thanks in Everything
Teach your kids to approach God with a thankful heart. When your kids understand that life -- including the hard things in life -- is a gift from God, it makes it easier to approach Him. In First Thessalonians 5:18, right after the verse that tells you to "pray without ceasing" it says, "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Encourage your kids to give thanks for both their blessings and their trials. Teach them that when they give thanks, it helps them to stay within the will of God.
God, Guide My Steps
Children are faced with decisions -- large and small -- all day, every day. Teach them to seek God's guidance when they are facing a decision. In Proverbs 3:5, Solomon taught his children to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Teach your kids that God cares about everything in our lives. Nothing is too big or too small to discuss with Him. When kids understand that God will help them make good choices when they ask, praying without ceasing becomes a snap.
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