“Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray….”
Why did the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray?
They could see that Jesus was getting answer to his prayers and they were not.
I am a believer in participatory learning.
Just telling kids they need to pray is not good enough.
I want my kids to know how to pray and get answer to their prayers.
New believers don’t know automatically know how to pray. In fact, when we first get saved our prayers are selfish and misguided. Others use their prayer time as an opportunity to complain to God about their problems. This is offensive to the Lord.
Prayer is so important I spend several months every year teaching on prayer. Here are four things I teach kids about prayer.
- Prayer is simply talking to God and listening to God.
Talk to God like you talk to your best friend and 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 our 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.
- Teach on Prayer
This happens during large group. The next three steps happen in small group
- Practice Prayer
If I teach on the prayer of intersession I ask one of the kids to pray for someone they know to that needs salvation.
If I teach on the prayer before the meal I ask one of the kids to practice praying for the food.
- Listen when you pray
Ask your kids to just be quiet for 1 minute and listen. This helps them develop the skill of listening when they pray.
- What did you hear?
Ask the kids to share what they heard. When you do this it gives the kids confidence that God will speak to them. If you are unwilling to do this then I question if you even believe that God will speak to kids.
- Ask for testimonies.
Did anyone get a prayer answered recently?
I still remember the first time I got a prayer answered.
There is nothing that excites a young believer more than an answered prayer.
Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team.