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Teaching Children to Pray

By: Chanda Stegall

Listening to your children pray can be one of the most rewarding experiences a Christian parent can have. As my oldest son understands more and more about God, we've move from echo prayers where he repeats a simple prayer from memory to a more advanced level of prayer where he speaks straight from his heart to God's ears.

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Our prayers begin with praising God for who He is. I say, "Lord you are," and my son fills in the blank. Sometimes he will say, "My shepherd" or "So Awesome" or "The Greatest!"

Then we move into a time of confession. I say, "Lord, forgive me for," and my son will say "My sins. Like being mean to my brother." Sometimes this part is hard for him when we pray together. Sometimes, he doesn't want me to know what he's done wrong. I remind him that God already knows his sins and God just want him to confess and acknowledge that he's knows he's done something wrong.

Next is a period of thanksgiving. I say, "Lord, thank you for," and he fills in with a laundry list of the people and things that he's thankful for.

This is usually followed by a time of supplication. I say, "Lord, please help me," and he'll say something like "be obedient to my parents" or "pass my spelling test." It is so awesome to hear my son asking God to help with with big and small things. It lets me know that he's beginning to understand that God cares about everything in his life, no matter how big or small.

Finally, we intercede for the needs of others. I say, "Lord, please help" and he'll say "my friends be obedient to their parents" or "grandma to get well soon." He's learning at an early age that he can pray for others needs too.

And of course we end every prayer with "In Jesus Name we pray, Amen."

You can hear my son and I go through this exercise in Episode #6 of the Teach Kids The Bible Podcast.

Prayer Model:

  • Lord, you are...(Praise & Adoration)

  • Lord, forgive me for...(Confession of Sins)

  • Lord, thank you for...(Thanksgiving)

  • Lord, please help me...(Supplication)

  • Lord, please help...(Intercession)

Try this prayer model with your children. Before long, they will not need you to prompt them and they'll be praying by themselves! Praise God!!

 

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Recommended Reading:
Quiet Time Bible Guide
The Power of a Praying Parent
Bible Devotions for Bedtime
 


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