The Importance of Teaching Kids to Pray
You and I have the tremendous opportunity of speaking into the lives of our kids and helping them cultivate their relationship with God.
We get a few hours a week to share God’s Word and its everlasting truth.
So, how do we expand the amount of time they spend with God?
The answer is simple…
We teach our kids to pray.
When our kids see the importance of prayer and begin doing it throughout the week it expands their relationship with God.
Jesus’ disciples knew prayer was important from the example Jesus set by going away to spend time with God.
They could see that Jesus was getting answers to His prayers.
I believe teaching kids about prayer goes beyond just telling them they need to pray, but giving them hands-on experience.
You and I cannot pray for our kids, it is something they have to do for themselves!
I want my kids to know how to pray and get answers to their prayers; therefore, it is important in my mind to lead them by example in how to pray.
Here are four things I teach kids about prayer:
1. Prayer is talking to God and listening to God.
I always like to start by saying prayer is just another word for talking, so when I share about prayer I say it is simply talking to God.
The light-bulbs across the room start going off as they realize they can talk to God just like they do with their best friends.
On the flip-side I always remind my kids talking involves listening, so they cannot be the only one talking, because who likes to listen and never get a word in? NOBODY!
2. Our prayer life is more effective if we connect with what God wants for our life.
God has a specific plan for our kids lives and it is important that we teach them to be sensitive to what God is telling us to do because then we will be more effective.
3. The Bible teaches us about the will of God.
The Bible is the clear expression of the will of God and if we use it as our guide when we are praying we will see more of our prayers get answered.
4. We need to teach kids there are different kinds of prayers.
Once kids grasp the concept of praying is talking to God. We can move in to the many different kinds of prayer found throughout the Bible.
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
The actual teaching happens during the large group, but the next three steps happen in small groups.
• Practice Prayer
This is the fun part because kids get to actually put the lesson into practice. For example, if we are talking about the prayer of faith, I’ll ask kids to pray for something they are believing for whether it is a dog, toy, or a family member to get better.
• Listen When You Pray
Like I mentioned earlier, prayer isn’t just talking, but it involves listening as well, so I have the kids sit for 60 seconds just listening to God to cultivate the skill of listening.
• What did you hear?
It’s important to not only ask them to listen, but share what they heard.
• Ask for testimonies.
I always like to start off by sharing one of my first prayers that got answered with the kids, it breaks the ice and helps them share their victories.
It is important to share the breakthrough because it inspires and encourages others in their prayers.
I believe there is nothing quite like seeing a kid’s face light up when they have a prayer that has been answered!
Every year when I conclude my series on prayer I have countless stories from kids who have amazing testimonies.
For example, I had one little boy who was believing for a little puppy and guess what…
By the end of our series he had a little puppy!
Are you ready to teach your kids how to pray?
I have some good news for you.
We have written an entire 12 week curriculum on prayer.
It introduces talking and listening to God and then covers nine different kinds of prayers.