7 Jun, 2011

Teaching kids how to pray… day by day…

“Clara, will you pray for me?”

This is one of the sweetest things that my 5 year old, Avery says to my oldest daughter. If she bumps her head, has a fever, or feels sad- you name it. When life just feels too big for Avery,  she goes right to her big sister and asks if Clara will pray with her. Clara will usually stop whatever she’s doing and pray for her little sister.

How do you teach kids to pray out loud… or pray at all for that matter?

Here are a few things that my husband, Jeremy and I do pretty regularly.

1. When our kids are scared or nervous about something, we remind them that God is always with them. (I Sam 17- God was with David when he fought Goliath) The Bible tells us not to worry about anything, but to pray about it right away. (Philippians 4:6)

2. Teach them that prayer is simply having a conversation with God. You talk, you listen… and you don’t even need a cell phone!

3. Model it. We pray at dinner time, before bed and we pray out loud for each other when we’re sick, etc. We pray for every ambulance that passes us on the freeway. Sometimes we will even pray when the kids are playing hospital. We “pretend” and put our hand on the patient’s broken leg ask God to heal them.

4. The kids take turns. They pray for meals and at bedtime. This is a big one. I think often times that adults are afraid to pray out loud because they simply haven’t practiced doing it.

5. We keep it short and simple most of the time. Talking to God doesn’t have to be long, drawn-out  and full of fancy, “I-only-say- this-when- I’m-trying-impress-someone” words.

Admit it, we’ve all done it sometime in life. Reminds me of this funny scene from “Meet the Parents”.

Kids love to pray. And they’ll do it more and more. Just lead them day by day. :)

So, what do you think?