How to Teach Your Child to Pray

Published:
November 29, 2019

Contributor:
Jeannette Tuionetoa

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

I had to learn to teach my children how to pray, and the first step started with me. I know the Lord gives us children not just as a gift. We are gifted them to train them in the way they should go, but I know it’s so much more. Children show us ourselves. They are like a mirror. My prayer life was lacking and I discovered this as I was teaching my children to pray about all things. 

How to Teach Your Kid to Pray!

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As Christians parents, we can look at our children see how they should be, but that only makes us wonder if we are doing it right ourselves. 

In training our children in the way they should go, we, in turn, can check our own journey with the Lord. I am pretty sure that my children help me see myself in the following verses:

Job 13:23, “How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin.” How many times do our children remind us that we broke promises or got angry or said a “little white lie?”

Jeremiah 31:19, “For after I had turned away, I relented, and after I was instructed, I struck my thigh; I was ashamed, and I was confounded because I bore the disgrace of my youth.” Our children make us think of the sins in us that we don’t want to pass on to them. They glean from us, and sometimes, that isn’t good.

Lamentations 3:40, “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!” Have you ever treated your child a certain way, or was a bad example, and it brought you to your knees in prayer and repentance?

Matthew 7:5, “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”  Do you argue with your spouse in front of the children — then ask them not to argue with each other?

2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” Our family really knows us. Our kids are not shy to ask us why we yell or why we are in a bad mood. Our kids help us examine ourselves.

This is precisely what happened to me when I wanted to teach my children to pray and make it a part of their everyday lives. We began saying a quick prayer before we started homeschooling, and we had always prayed before we ate, but what was that enough? What was I doing to exemplify a life that regularly communicated with the Lord in prayer?

When I thought about teaching my children to pray with purpose and intentionality, it didn’t take me long at all to realize I needed to do it myself. Did my children see me praying in the mornings before I got up for the day? Did my children witness me in prayer throughout the day?

The whopping answer to the convicting questions to myself was NO. It forced me to be intentional and purposeful in my prayer life. I wonder if I hadn’t started teaching my kids about a prayer life, if I would’ve developed the habit of prayer that I have today. Yes, indeed, our children are a gift.

Once I was able to get in the swing of making prayer a priority for myself, I knew I needed to help my children do the same. For as long as they were in my home, I had to teach them the weapon that could hold them close to the Lord regardless of the world around them, trying to pull them away.

Here are some simple ways to teach your child to pray:

1.)  Teach your kids to pray by practicing specific daily prayers.

Assign specific prayer topics for the days of the week. For instance:

Monday pray for missionaries.

Tuesday pray for those who teach God’s Word as they are doubly accountable (i.e., Pastors, Reverends, Sunday School teachers, Bible Study leaders, etc.)

Wednesday pray for widows and orphans.

Thursdays pray for those who are lost and don’t know Christ.

Fridays pray for friends and family.

 

2.) Teach your kids to pray with prayer prompts or prayer cards.

I provided a few links below to freebies that will help you teach your kiddos to pray. Prayer cards and prompts will get children thinking about who and what to pray for.

 

3.) Teach your kids to pray using the Bible.

Psalm is a beautiful book of songs and poetry that lends itself to our prayer life perfectly. Other books of the Bible help you to pray directly from His excellent instruction like Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Book of John and Colossians.

 

4.) It is important to remind children there is no “perfect” way to pray.

Whether you are in a church with to the point basic prayers or elaborate, colorful prayers, no one way is a perfect way. God has shown us how to pray in the Lord’s prayer, but it indeed can be as simple as talking to him. Aloud or in your head, a prayer to the Lord is equally beneficial to your walk with Him.

 

5.)  Have you ever heard of A.C.T.S in terms of prayer?

This stands for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. In other words:

Adoration – Praise Him for all He has done and specifics.

Confession – Help kids understand the act of confession and why it is needed.

Thanksgiving – Your kids will need to think of things to be thankful for. It isn’t easy at first. However, they will start looking out for God’s hand in the little things.

Supplication – We encourage our children to please with Him for our needs and ask for His provision in our lives and those around us.

The very best lesson that our children can get to learn how to pray is the example that we give them.

If you could use some resources to help you teach your child to pray, then these are some FREE resources that we used. I hope they help as they did with us.

Teaching Children About Prayer with FREE Prayer Journal Printable | Well-Nurtured Plants and Pillars    

How To Make A Picture Prayer Journal With Your Child | Christie Thomas Writer

FREE Printable Prayer Hands

Prayer Cards For Children {FREE PRINTABLE!} | Wildflower Ramblings

FREE Prayer Cards for Kids | Thinking Kids

Prayer Cards for Kids

How To Encourage Your Tween Child To Pray + FREE PRINTABLE 31 Day Prayer Calendar! |  Like Minded Musings

50 Prayer Prompts for Kids + FREE Printable | Arabah Joy

FREE 5 Finger Prayer Method Printable! | Awefilled Homemaker

FREE Teach Your Child to Pray Cheatsheet | Ministry Minded Mom

Teaching Your Child How to Pray (FREE PRINTABLE) | Gather for Bread

My Kid's Prayer Journal: 100 Days of Prayer & Praise: Children's Journal to Inspire Conversation & Prayer with GodMy Kid’s Prayer Journal: 100 Days of Prayer & Praise: Children’s Journal to Inspire Conversation & Prayer with GodMy Kid's Prayer Journal: A beautiful Children's Journal to Inspire Conversation & Prayer with GodMy Kid’s Prayer Journal: A beautiful Children’s Journal to Inspire Conversation & Prayer with GodPrayerWorks: Prayer Strategy and Training for KidsPrayerWorks: Prayer Strategy and Training for KidsBookmark - Kids - The Lords Prayer - (Pack of 25)Bookmark – Kids – The Lords Prayer – (Pack of 25)Faithworks Prayer Cubes for Mealtime and Bedtime (Set of 2)Faithworks Prayer Cubes for Mealtime and Bedtime (Set of 2)My Salah Mat - Educational Interactive Prayer MatMy Salah Mat – Educational Interactive Prayer Mat

 

Remember that the Lord’s prayer is a great model for our prayer, as the Bible does say for us to pray that way. It is the perfect pattern for prayer. Praise, submission to His will, asking for His provision, confession, and asking for protection.

For me, it took a bit for a prayer to be real, genuine, purposeful, and authentic. Just like we can put prayer into practice, we also can teach our kids to do the same. Having prayer become second nature for your child will take effort, but will be worth every moment you invest to arming them with the weapon of life.

How to Teach Your Child to Pray

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