Perhaps one of the greatest privileges as a parent is being able to teach your kids how to pray. When you teach kids how to pray in ways that make sense to them at their levels of understanding, you are laying a foundation for learning to walk with and trust God that will stay with them throughout their lives.
There's no such thing as a wrong time to pray. Pray with your kids at mealtimes, bedtime and when they get up in the morning, but don't limit yourself to just praying with your kids during these traditional times. Teach your children to be aware of what's going on around them and explain to them that they can talk to God anytime, anywhere and about anything. Take your kids on an outing and challenge them to a contest to see who can come up with the most things to pray about before you get home.
Keep It Simple
When you pray with your kids, keep your language simple and conversational. Prayer is simply talking with God. While you should always be respectful when you pray, you don't need to be overly formal. Using your own words, say a pray that goes something like, "Father, I thank you for the sunshine today and the fun we had at the park. I ask that you'll help us to love you and each other more and more every day in Jesus's name. Amen." Then, let each of your kids have their turn praying in their own words.
Thank-You Notes to Jesus
Explain to your kids that they don't have to necessarily say their prayers aloud. Children can pray silently in their minds or write down their prayers. In fact, much of the book of Psalms consists of prayers that were written out. Talk with your kids about the many blessings you have in life. Then, sit down with them and write out thank-you notes or cards to Jesus. If your kids aren't writing yet, have them draw pictures of things for which they would like to thank Jesus.
Praying for Each Other
Get together as a family and sit in a circle. Ask each person -- kids and adults -- to share two or three things for which they would like the others to pray. Parents should ask for prayers for simple things that are age appropriate and that the kids can grasp like for someone to have a safe trip. Then, have each family member takes turns praying for each other. If you have a large family, you can cut this down a bit by having each person pray for the person on their left and right of them instead.
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