As Christian parents, we know teaching our children to pray is important. But how important is it? If I were to ask you for the top 5 things you want to teach your children, would praying with confidence make the list?
Teaching children to pray can be difficult, especially if we have our own fears and concerns about praying. Regardless of how hard it might be, teaching children to pray needs to be a priority. Throughout scripture we can see examples of people who prayed, even Jesus! We are also told throughout Scripture to come before God regularly in prayers. So how can we help our children become fervent prayers?
First, Just Do It! Teaching children to pray requires you to pray. Do your children see you praying each day? You can pray when you get up, pray before meals, pray at bedtime, pray when something urgent comes up. When children see that prayer is important to you, it becomes easier to talk about prayer with children and help them make it a part of each day.
Second, Set aside time to pray intentionally with your kiddos. This doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. It could happen before they go to school each day, or before they go to sleep each night. It could be prayers at mealtime - whatever works for your family. Just remember things usually do not happen if left to chance. Intentionally set a time to pray with your children each day.
Third, Don’t forget about spontaneous prayer! Has something gone wrong today? Stop and pray about it. Did you lose something? Stop and pray about it. Did you hear of a friend who is sick? Stop and pray about it. Taking advantage of these little moments each day will work wonders in teaching your children how valuable it is to speak to God about everything.
Lastly, Celebrate answered prayer! When God answers prayer, whether big or small, acknowledge and celebrate the answer! There are many ways to do this. You could start a prayer notebook. Write down specific prayers and the date prayed. Then write down the date and how God answered the prayer. Write answered prayers on rocks and place the rocks in a pretty container. Or cut paper into strips and write answered prayer on them. Connect the strips together to make a chain of answered prayers. However you choose to do it, celebrate God’s answers to your prayers!
Here at Shady Oaks we have put together a prayer calendar for your family. The calendar begins in September 2021 and continues for one year. Each day there is a simple prayer prompt. Put the calendar somewhere you will see it and stop once a day to say a prayer. At the back of the calendar is space to record answered prayers. When you get to the end of the year, you will have a list of all the ways God answered your prayer! And when we see and acknowledge God’s answers, it drives us to continue to pray! If your family has not received a prayer calendar, please reach out to me at . I would love to get one to you!
Anytime is a good time to pray. Jeremiah 29:12 “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” So, Just Do It!