Why did the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray?
They reached a place where they realized that they didn’t know how to pray and that Jesus did know how to pray. They could see that Jesus was getting His answer to His prayers and they were not.
I am a believer in experiential learning. Just telling kids they need to pray is not good enough. I want them to know how to pray and get answer to their prayers.
Young believers don’t know automatically know how to pray any more than the disciples knew how to pray. In fact when we first get saved our prayers are usually selfish and misguided. Many people see prayer as an opportunity to complain to God about their problems. Kind of like a heavenly Customer Service Department.
The bottom line is that we need invest time in teaching our kids on prayer. Prayer is so important I spend three months every two years teaching on prayer.
The first thing we need to teach kids about prayer is that pray is simply talking to God and listening to God. Talk to God like you talk to your best friend and them take time to listen. It’s rare that God physically gives you the answer to your prayer. Most of the time God will give you something to do that leads you to your answer. This is why it is so important to develop the skilling of listening when you pray. Don’t do all the talking when you pray. Half of your prayer life should be spent listening.
Our pray life is more effective if we connect with what God wants for out life. It’s possible to talk God into things, like Israel talked God into letting them have a king, but our prayer life is much more effective if we hook up with his will.
The Bible teaches us about the will of God. If we base our prayers on the Bible we can have confidence God will answer our prayers.
We need to teach kids that there are many different kinds of prayers. Here is a short list of the different kinds of prayers:
- Prayer for salvation – Romans 10:9
- Prayer for forgiveness – I John 1:9
- Prayer of faith – Mark – 11:23
- Prayer of agreement – Mathew – 18:19
- Prayer of intercession – I Timothy 2:1
I follow this pattern when teaching kids how to pray.
1. Teach on prayer, this happens during Large Group. The next three steps happen in small group.
2. Ask the kids to pray based on the teaching.
For example if we taught on the prayer of intersession, ask them to pray for someone they know to that needs salvation.
3. Take time to be quiet and listen.
4. Ask to kids to share what they heard.
5. Ask for testimonies on a regular basis.
Did anyone get a prayer answered recently? I still remember the first time I ever got a prayer answered. There is nothing that excites a young believer more than an answered prayer.
How do you teach kids to pray?