Prayer. It’s a simple concept right? We’ve always been told we should pray and talk to God every day ever since we can remember. However, many kids (and even adults too, if we’re being honest here) are left confused and frustrated with questions like, “WHAT am I supposed to pray for?” or “HOW do I pray for more than 30 seconds without running out of things to say or getting totally distracted?”
On Sunday, I was talking to the kids in my Kid’s Church about prayer. I asked them a simple question: “How many of you pray by yourselves, without a parent, not at a meal time?” Only a few of them raised their hands in both services. Gotta love the honesty of kids! Well, I wanted to find a way to make prayer easier and exciting for them. I wanted to give them ideas to help them know what to pray for and make prayer more than just saying the same things every night before they go to sleep. So, I dissected the Lord’s Prayer into 4 kid-friendly things to pray about.
1. Celebrate God – Tell him you love him. Thank him for all that he has done for you and the things he has given you.
2. Ask Him to give you what you need – Tell him your prayer requests. Ask him for help, healing, or to provide the things you need.
3. Ask Him to forgive you – Ask for forgiveness for sinning or doing something wrong. Ask God to help you forgive others who have hurt you.
4. Ask Him to keep you from doing wrong – Ask God to help you not repeat your sins, or sin in new ways.
I want kids to understand that prayer doesn’t have to be just about talking. It’s easy for kids to lose focus, fall asleep, or run out of things to say when praying. Here are 4 WAYS we can pray to God and keep our prayer lives a little more interesting.
1. Talk to God – Talk to him just like you would a friend who was in the room with you.
2. Write it out – Keep a prayer journal. Make prayer lists. Write down all the things you are thankful for. Write down all the things you need help with. You will be surprised at how much you really do have to pray to God about! Go back and pray through your prayer lists. If you can’t write yet, that’s ok. Draw pictures of the things you want to pray about.
3. Sing a song – Listen to worship music when you pray. If you run out of your own words to pray, sing a worship song as a prayer to God.
4. Pray a Scripture Verse – You can memorize verses or use your Bible to help you pray through a situation or need. Scared? Pray: “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man to to me?” (Psalm 118:6) Having trouble sleeping? Pray: “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.” (Psalm 4:8) Worried? Pray: “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything.” (Philippians 4:6) And the list goes on… Whatever it is, you can find verses to help you pray it through.
What about you? What has helped you and/or your kids focus and get more excited about prayer?