“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.”
One night when we were sitting down to eat supper, my daughter held her hands out to me. We hold hands every day but this was different. She wasn’t pulling me to the fridge or to her toy box. She wasn’t pulling me anywhere. Her palms were facing up and she looked at me expectantly. . .
My baby girl was leading me in prayer.
We’ve been praying over our children since before they were born but this was the first time our oldest initiated it. I was so proud and happy and hopeful. This was the budding of her relationship with the Lord!
Prayer is the foundation of our children’s relationship with God. When we teach our children to pray, we are guiding them on their first steps to the path of righteousness!Prayer is the foundation of our children's relationship with God. Click To Tweet
The first step in teaching your child to pray is to lead by example.
Your children are watching you, Mama. They hear and take notice of everything. Allow them to witness your prayers and learn from them! They will see your compassion and kindness. At times, they will see your vulnerability and humility. Most of all, they will see you comfortably talking with the Father and trusting Him with your joys and burdens. In time, they will learn to do the same.
Deuteronomy tells us to “talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” There are no set times for prayers.
God is always present, always listening. In our home, we pray as a family before every meal and at bed time but my children hear me send them up throughout the day; any time, any place and whenever I feel it in my heart to do so.
They are seeing their mother rely on her faith daily!
Other tips to teach and encourage your little ones to pray:
- Teach them the Lord’s Prayer – When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, this is what He taught them. Christians still say this prayer thousands of years later! It is the root that all prayers branch from.
- Help them write and keep a prayer journal – This is a great activity for you to bond with your kids. They tell you who or what they need to pray for and you keep track of it with them.
- Show them that prayer is about a relationship with God and not so much about asking for things that they want. I want my children to know that they can talk to God about anything, including (but not limited to) their desires. Prayer is so much more than a ‘wish list’!
- Prayer is powerful – No matter how big or how small, when a prayer is answered talk with them about it. Praise God together! And when a prayer remains (seemingly) unanswered, remind them of “Thy will be done” and that our Father has a reason for everything.
- Begin and end each prayer with praise – To remind your children what a loving and mighty God we serve!
I am so excited for my babes to continue to grow in their relationship with our heavenly Father! For now, I’m content with holding hands at the supper table and hearing the chorus of “Jesus Loves Me” 500 times a day.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:14
Jesus told us in the book of Matthew that the kingdom of Heaven belonged to the little children. What an awesome thought! They are the Lord’s greatest gift to us. What better gift to give our babes than to guide them into a meaningful relationship with Him? That relationship begins with prayer.
What have you done to teach your children to pray?