preayer-child

Praying Parents

Family / Parenting / Prayer / Spiritual Formation //

Praying for our children is one of the most important things a parent can do. Are you
unsure of how to pray for your kids? Maybe you are unsure of how you can pray WITH  your kids?  Or perhaps you want to teach your kids about prayer.  Here are a few ways that might help you get started:

1.  Have a daily quiet time with God     One way we can teach our children how to pray is to do so by our example.  You need your own personal time alone with God each day.  Maybe you barely have time to get everything done in the morning and can’t even begin to fathom how to fit in a quiet time with God.  It doesn’t have to be in the mornings, but I have found that starting my day with God is a good boost for the day.  When your kids see you reading your Bible and praying, they will begin to do that as well.

For example, I like to do my quiet times in the early mornings before anyone gets                   up.  Just me and God.  However, on some days my kids will come down the stairs                   and interrupt (but that’s ok).  On one particular day, my oldest daughter came down           the stairs, looked at me sitting on the couch reading my Bible, then turned back                     around and went upstairs.  After a few minutes she came down again.  This time with             the Bible in her hand.  She sat down right next to me, opened her Bible, and began                 reading it.  That was a very cool moment for me as a parent.  Made me feel like I was               doing something right.  Loved that day.

2.  Pray daily for your children.    Our kids are faced with so many things in their lives these days.  They need constant prayer.  Get into the habit of praying for them each and every day.  I guarantee they will feel good knowing that their parents are praying for them daily.

Karen Kingsbury is one of my favorite Christian authors.  She writes fiction and I love her books.  In some of her Baxter series books, one of the characters talks about praying for their children’s future spouses.  I had never thought about doing that.  Sounded like a great idea to me.  So now, I pray for the men that my girls will marry one day.  That they be strong Christian men who will be good spiritual leaders for my daughters and their families.  One day your children will leave your home and have their own families.  Why not pray for their future families that God is preparing them for?  So thankful to Karen Kingsbury for giving me this idea.

3.  Pray daily WITH your children.   Moms and Dads need to make sure they find the time to pray with their kids each day.  Here are a few great times to pray with your kids:  morning time before school, in the car, meals, and bedtime.  I make sure to pray with my kids at these times, but also pray with them whenever a need arises.  Did they not do well on a test?  Stop and pray with them.  Did a friend say something mean to them?  Stop and pray with them.  Are they angry or upset about something?  Stop and pray with them.  This will help teach your children to go to God in everything.

On a side note, we all know that kids ask for prayer for silly things sometimes.  Maybe some things that we, as adults, don’t think is relevant or important.  For example, I had a friend tell me that at the dinner table one night when they asked their son what he wanted to pray for he said, “I want to ask God to help me poop.”  She then went on to say that her child had been constipated recently and unable to poop.  So, for him, he just wanted God to help his stomach and make it better by allowing him to be able to poop!  Seems silly to us, but to him, it was very important.  If it’s important to them, we should let them pray for it.  If we tell our kids that we don’t need to pray for our cat or for them to find their lost toy, or even to help us poop, this may send a message to your child that some things aren’t “important” to God.  Everything is important to God.  Teach them to take all things to God in prayer.

4.  Look for opportunities to pray.    Find things in daily life that give you the opportunity to pray with your children.  These could be things like flowers, babies, animals, toys, or anything else.  One thing I learned from my pastor as a child was to pray for the police and ambulances as they pass you.  He used to stop his sermons on Sunday mornings when he heard a siren and prayed out loud for those involved with wherever the siren was going.  Now, my kids and I pray for all involved whenever we pass a siren, hear one close by, or pass a wreck on the side of the road.  We even take turns on who prays each time.  I’m so thankful for my pastor who taught me this as a young child.  There is so much to give thanks to God for and to ask for God’s help with.  We should help our children see the need for prayer in all things and to praise him for all things he has created.

5.  Teach your children how to pray.   The single most important thing you can teach your children about prayer is that there is no right or wrong way to pray.  Prayer is just simply a conversation with God.  God wants us to come to him every day and talk with him and spend time with him.  I never want a child to feel like they don’t know how to pray.  Jesus taught us in the New Testament how to pray.  He gave us the Lord’s Prayer as a guide to helping us in prayer.  Teach your kids the Lord’s Prayer.

Another way that has helped me with praying is by doing the ACTS prayer.  This stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.  Begin by praising God and giving him the glory for all things.  Then confess your sins or the bad things you have done in which you need forgiveness.  After that, thank God for all that he has given to you.  Lastly, the supplication part is praying for all the requests we need:  for our children, parents, healing from sickness, friends, etc.  Following the ACTS guidelines has been wonderful for my prayer life.

6.  God Sightings      A God sighting is how we have seen God in action each day.  I learned to do this activity with my kids thanks to Group’s VBS programs each summer.  Every night at the dinner table we go around and tell our favorite thing about the day, the worst thing about the day, and then give our God sighting for the day.  I am so amazed at the things my kids say about where they have seen God.  God is everywhere and by talking with your kids about where they have seen God, this will help show them that we should always give thanks to him for being present in our lives.

Prayer is a vital part of our relationship with God.  Our role as a parent is to teach our kids about God, about prayer, and to show His love to them.  We must be praying for our kids each and every day.  They need it, especially in today’s world.  If you don’t already do these things, try them out.  I guarantee that you will be blessed and that your kids will most definitely be blessed and feel God with them each day.

What are some other ways that you pray for your kids or other ways you teach them about prayer?

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About the Author

Vanessa Myers has been in the ministry for 13 years serving in Youth Ministry & Children’s Ministry and currently serving as the Children’s Director at Dahlonega UMC. She has found that children’s ministry is her passion. She enjoys sharing the love of Jesus with all children, teaching the kids the Bible stories in fun and exciting ways, and planting seeds in the spiritual lives of these children. Vanessa has found another calling to be one of encouraging other Children’s Ministers and loves to write and share her experiences on her blog. Vanessa and her husband, Andrew, have 2 daughters and live in Dahlonega, GA. You can follow Vanessa on Twitter at: vtmyers0921.