Children's Prayer: This article is about how important it is to instruct children in prayer. Since through prayer the little ones from an early age establish an intimate communion with God, which will be reflected in their lives and in the relationship with their family environment.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Children's Prayer
- 2 What is Children's Prayer?
- 3 The Prayer for Children – Point out the Five Key Points
- 4 Prayer for Children – Indicate Its Importance
- 5 Teach Children How We Should Appear Before God
- 6 Prayer for Children – Ideas to Teach Them to Pray
The Children's Prayer
The habit of praying is an activity that we must acquire from the time we are children. In children, learning to pray and also that it becomes a habit, is very simple for them. Equally simple is the task of teaching and guiding them in prayer. Particularly, because in their innocence it is very easy for them to talk to God, they do not feel any fear in doing so.
However, the adult has the responsibility to teach them the importance of prayer. In the same way to guide them, to indicate the key steps. So that they achieve spiritual maturity through prayer. Spiritual maturity will lead the child to maintain fellowship with God and to persevere in him as an adult. This intimate communion is essential for a spiritual life, with a solid, mature faith centered on total dependence and trust in God.
When the teaching of prayer for children begins, we can realize that they will lead a repertoire of pure requests. However, as they enter the spiritual world, they discover other reasons to pray. For example, they know that it is forgiveness that leads them to forgive and ask for forgiveness during prayer. In the same way they discover how important gratitude is for God. So they include giving thanks in their prayer or they simply pray as a sign of gratitude and praise to God.
All this teaching process in prayer for children is really rewarding. Especially when we see their growth and spiritual maturity. Let us then hold in high esteem the practice of praying with the little ones in the house. Likewise, let us recognize the power of prayer and its importance. Because through it we establish a personal contact with God, which is reflected in our relationship with others.
What's its purpose?
The purpose of teaching children to pray can be seen in the word of God, in Luke 11:1-4. This would become the biblical basis for us to instruct the little ones in the habit of praying. In this process we must take them to:
- Understand that God wants to have a personal relationship with them and is waiting for them to seek Him
- Show them that prayer is the only way to communicate with God
- Get them used to talking to God at all times
Other verses that support the work of teaching prayer for children are Matthew 19:14 and Proverbs 22:6
19:14 But Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven, (RVR 1960)
22:6 Train up a child in his way, and when he is old he will not depart from it, (KJV 1960)
What is Children's Prayer?
Many people, even in adulthood, have a moment when they stop and cry out saying: -Lord, I don't know how to pray!-. In the innocence of children, for them, praying is talking to daddy God, as simple as that. Now, this does not mean that we feel ashamed when comparing ourselves with children, no! Because, even the disciples of Jesus came to express to him: -Lord, teach us to pray! And Jesus showed them the most complete and simple prayer to address our heavenly Father, the Our Father. Jesus teaches us with that prayer the five key points that God likes in a prayer:
- Praise and worship God
- Confess our sins, forgive and ask for forgiveness
- Thank God
- Intercede for the needs of others
- Ask God for our needs with supplication and prayer
If we realize how innocent children are right, prayer is the channel to communicate with God. But just as Jesus taught his disciples to pray, adults should teach and instruct children in prayer. Explain that talking to God is not just asking for what they want, it is also praising, thanking, interceding, forgiving and asking for forgiveness.
The Prayer for Children – Point out the Five Key Points
In general and frequently, children imagine that prayer is talking to God and reciting a whole list of requests for what they wish to have at that moment. But we as adults have a responsibility to make children aware of the other needs that must accompany prayer.
In the same way we must make them see that prayer is not only a communication from us to God. But he also communicates with us; a simple way to make them see this with an example is the telephone. With the telephone we communicate with someone who is at a distance, we cannot see that person but we can hear them.
We can listen to God when he fulfills our requests, when he saves us from some danger, when he heals us, when we read his word, and in many other ways. Let us then make him see during the teaching that in prayer God also speaks to us, only that we have to learn to listen to him.
To learn and come to listen to God it is necessary that we have part of our time to pray. It doesn't matter how long it is, but let it be with all our attention, thought and heart. To do this, let's tell the children to find a place at home where they can feel comfortable without anyone interrupting them. That place will be the one destined to pray and talk with God.
To teach children the five key points of prayer, we can use Matthew 6:9-15 as a reading, where Jesus teaches us the Our Father.
The adoration of God is to approach us with respect, honor, humility, it is the introduction to what we want to talk to daddy God. In worship we show our heartfelt love for God. Matthew 6:9-10 (KJV 1960):
9 … Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be doneAs in heaven, so also on earth.
We must thank God for everything, for what he has given us and for what we do not have. Because if we don't have it, God knows we don't need it. Let us remember that he supplies our needs. In gratitude, we acknowledge our dependence on God. Matthew 6:11 (KJV 1960):
11 Our daily bread, give us today
Confession is a very important point, because it represents repentance. As humans we are we can make mistakes and even sin. But if we repent from the heart, the Lord in his infinite mercy forgives us everything. Let us at this point teach the children to confess everything they have done, before God and ask for his forgiveness in an attitude of repentance. Matthew 6:12 (KJV 1960):
And 12 forgive us our debts, as well as we we forgive to our debtors
Tell them likewise that if God shows that infinite mercy with us that we are wrong. We must follow the example of forgiving others and not hold a grudge for what they do or have done to us.
Intercession is praying for ourselves as well as for others. You can ask God for other people, be they family, friends, teachers, etc. but it can also be ordered as a whole, that is, for the church, community, country or for the whole world. The reason for intercession may be due to illness, some need, some problem or something else that someone we know is suffering from, or even if we don't know them too. Matthew 6:13 (KJV 1960):
13 and not our goals in temptation, but deliver us of evil...
supplication and prayer
We must ask God with prayer and supplication to protect us, care for us and help us at all times in our lives. He is our help and opportune help at all times. Matthew 6:13 (KJV 1960):
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen
Prayer for Children – Indicate Its Importance
Once you have taught children the key points of prayer, they will better appreciate how important it is to pray. Because in addition to talking to God and praying for us, we can also intercede for the people we love. We as people are not oblivious to feeling the pain that other people may be going through, even more so if they are close, such as dad, mom, some other family member or friends. In addition, prayer makes us grow spiritually, it enlivens communication with God to listen to him better.
One way to make children see the importance of prayer is through the word of God. Here are some verses that serve in the context that prayer is important because:
- He gives us the peace and care of God, Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV):
6 Don't worry about anything; rather, on every occasion, with prayer and supplication, present your petitions to God and give him thanks. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus
- God opens his heart to us and leads us to know his mysteries, Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV):
3 “Call to me and I will answer you, and I will make known to you great and hidden things that you do not know”
- When we pray we are in his presence, Matthew 18:20 (NIV):
20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I in their midst."
- Open the heavens to receive the reward and blessings that God has for us, Matthew 6:6 (NIV)
6 But you, when you begin to pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is in secret. So your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you
Teach Children How We Should Appear Before God
Teach our children how we should present ourselves before God when praying; it's extremely important. When we talk about presentation it is not only in our physical and spiritual form. But also in the name of whom we make our prayer or supplication. The word of God teaches us that no one comes to the Father except through his son Jesus, John 14: 6 (DHH)
6 Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. Only through me can you reach the Father
This word of God tells us that when we pray we must do it in the name of Jesus. So when we present ourselves before God to pray, whatever the reason, or for whom we are going to pray. We must always do it in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. John 14:13 (NIV):
13 Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it; thus the Father will be glorified in the Son.
As for our willingness to pray, it should be done in an attitude of reverence, humility and respect for our Lord and heavenly Father. In addition to
- Speak the truth at all times, without hiding anything that has been done
- Introduce ourselves with a humble Heart
- Willing to ask according to the will of God. That is to say whatever your answer to our prayer that can be a yes, a no or in God's perfect time it will be done.
Prayer for Children – Ideas to Teach Them to Pray
In this section we want to share with you some suggestions of ideas to teach children the habit of praying. Some of these ideas can be:
- If you are a children's classroom teacher, start and end the class with a prayer. Involve the children in the prayer as well, assigning one child in each class to lead the prayer. In the prayer, show how important it is to give thanks to God for the class that is going to be received and, in the end, for the opportunity to have received it.
- In the case of fathers and mothers of children, pray together as a family before going to bed to sleep. One way to engage the children in these times of prayer is to have each member give thanks for one, two, or even five things that happened to them during the day. If you do this regularly it will become a habit for the child to give thanks to God before going to sleep.
- Set aside time each day or week to read the word together with the children. This is a way for them to learn to listen to the voice of God. Teach the children the praise in the psalms for God.
- During the readings of the word together with the children, take advantage of reading to them the promises that God has for all of us. In this way they learn to ask God in prayer with the word.
- They can set a verse of the week to meditate on during that time; and talk about it on the way to school or on the way home. Little by little the verses become rhema in their lives.
Below are some methods to make children understand certain concepts of the sentence.
Understanding that Praying is Talking to God
At a family meeting, assign each member a specific topic. As well as color, candy, food, etc. Then assign a general question for all given topics. A question might be, “What is your favorite ______, and why do you like it?” Each member will write down the question on a piece of paper, adding the assigned topic in the blank space. At the same time you will write the answer.
Once everyone has done so, have a family member share the answer with the group. To another member to share it quietly with another. Also ask a third member to do it silently. If there are still more members, each choose the way to share their response: loudly, quietly, or silently. After the exercise, explain to the children that in this same way we can communicate with God. We can speak quietly, loudly or silently. God of the three forms will listen to us. Finally then have them express their response to God. Example
“God: My favorite color is Green, because it reminds me of nature, thank you for creating it for me”
As well as the color green, tell him that he can do it with anything, and talk to God in the way that he likes or feels comfortable. God will always be pleased.
Understanding What Makes Us Pray to God
When we talk to God through prayer there are many reasons or topics to which we can refer. We can make a prayer to give thanks, we can also make a prayer to praise him, acknowledging his greatness. But in addition, we can also talk to God to confess our mistakes or something bad we have done. In short, there are many things that we can communicate to God. A practical way to teach this to children is to draw a table on a piece of paper and place in the first row:
– Who is God – Thank you – Forgiveness – For others – For me
Instruct the children to form a sentence in the rows below, placing in each column what they want to ask for. Example:
- Who is God: Our heavenly Father, Creator of all things
- Thank you: For my family, for the food, because I am healthy
- Forgiveness: For hitting a little friend, for my disobedience, for telling a lie
- By others: for my sick grandmother, for my mother's headache, for my sick puppy
- For me: Help me study to do well in the exam, help me not to feel afraid, take care of me from all evil
With the board filled, begin together to recite various prayers that may come from it. For example:
¨God heavenly Father, I thank you for my family. Forgive me because I was disobedient to my mom, this time I ask you to help heal my grandmother who is sick, take care of her. I also beg you to help me not to feel fear, take care of me from all evil. I ask everything in the name of Jesus your beloved son, thank you God amen and amen "
Thus children understand that there is no single way to pray, or read a pre-established prayer. They can do it according to the need of the moment.
Understanding that Praying is not just Talking
In the previous exercises, the children have already learned that praying is a way of talking to God. They also learned that there are many things that we can express to God. Now it's time for them to learn that talking to God is not a monologue, where only we speak. God also speaks to us only that we must exercise ourselves in silence to be able to hear his voice.
This part may be the most complex to teach since we cannot do it alone. For this point we need the help of God through the holy spirit. It is our time to ask in intercession for God to open the spiritual ears of our children. So that they can listen attentively to what God says through his word.
Together with our prayers we can teach our children that God speaks through his servants, in a Sunday preaching or in Bible classes. If they have been praying for something or someone ask them to listen to what they say in the service or Bible class and find God's answer during those dispensations.
When you are in this part of the teaching of prayer for children, it is good to make them draw, this helps to awaken their creative part. In the same way, it helps to listen to praise music and above all to read the word of God aloud. There is no better or more direct way to listen to what God says, if not by reading his word. Let us also remember what is written in Romans 10:17 (RVR 1960)
17 So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Regarding this, explain to the children that sometimes God does not speak to us directly, but that he can always do so through his Word.
Prayer for Children in a Prayer Journal
A very practical way for children to practice in their prayers with what they have learned previously is through a prayer diary. Try to do it together with the children with blank paper and colors. Each separate sheet will be a day of the week, and on it you can indicate who to pray specifically for. This will help them to make prayer a regular and pleasant habit in their lives. Also maintaining intimacy and communication with our heavenly Father. There is nothing more rewarding than a child in the ways of God.
When children are a little rebellious when it comes to obeying, this can be detrimental to teaching children's prayer. We invite you to read the article Phrases for rebellious children to obey. These phrases will help your children change their attitude with love, and not with useless reprimands. Also discover in the following articles:
-What are the 3573 promises of the Bible for meI? In the Bible, God announces the plan of salvation and the blessings that he has for his people.
-Holy Spirit Gifts: What are they and how to use them? They are all eternal gifts that God sends us to cope with earthly life and we receive them when we make the decision that Christ enters our lives.