Teaching Our Kids to Pray with 3 Simple Tips

As parents, one of our top priorities is teaching our kids to pray. Prayer can be such a tremendous blessing, but only if we take advantage of it. Where else do you have an opportunity to communicate with the living God? But for some reason, one of the hardest aspects of my spiritual life is prayer. I really can’t figure out why that is, and it seems like so many others have the same struggle.

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Prayer Doesn’t Always Come Naturally

How to teach kids to pray.

Let’s be honest – praying can be awkward at times. I know there are people I’m around who just seem to be SO spiritual and able to freely and deeply talk with God. But for me, sometimes I just feel like I’m talking to myself. We all have strengths, but prayer is one that I constantly have to remind myself to work on. Β We all know it’s important, that it’s even commanded (Luke 6:28, 1 Thessalonians 5:17), and yet it is such a struggle for us.

But if something is difficult or awkward, does that mean it will always be? No, absolutely not. It just means that it requires practice and patience.

A prayer journal, like this one, is a great tool to improve your prayer life! A friend got me this journal for Christmas, and it has really helped me to keep my train-of-thought while I pray. It’s also fun to look back and see how God has answered previous prayers!

Praying the Scriptures is a great way to pray when you don’t know what to say. For some guidance on how to do this, check out this post from my friend at I Want Them to Remember.

Teaching to Pray

A lot of our parenting strategy centers around creating good habits (and avoiding bad ones). For that reason, we pray A LOT around here…way more than we did before we had the girls (to our shame).

Riley. Teaching our kids to pray with 3 simple tips.
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Teaching Our Kids to Pray Tip #1: Start early

Think about it, do you ever remember a time where you weren’t potty-trained (barring a medical condition)? Most of us can say “no” to that. We learned at a young age and that’s just “how things are.” Why can’t that be the case with so many other things?

As soon as our girls were able to sit up, we started holding their hands together during prayers. Now, I’m not saying you *have* to do a certain posture while praying, but this is a good start in our family. Once they understand to be still, we teach them to close their eyes.

This is Riley learning to pray when she was younger…

Obviously we’re not going for perfection at 15 months old, but she definitely knows what she’s supposed to do and you can even hear her trying to say “Dear God” a few times. 😍

Many habits are taught early in life and will last throughout adulthood.

Teaching Our Kids to Pray Tip #2: Pray Frequently and Consistently

We pray at meals, Avery prays her own prayer at bedtime (which is always a treat to listen to!), and I pray with each girl separately when I lay them down. I want them to hear me pray for them individually and what I am talking to God about specifically for them.

Here’s a video of Avery (4 years old) saying her bedtime prayer…

The habit of frequent prayer didn’t just happen over night, as the girls grow, we start adding more and more to the prayer “routine” (for lack of better words). Our hope is that the more we practice teaching our kids to pray, the more natural it will be for them as they grow up and eventually leave home.

Teaching Our Kids to Pray Tip #3: Let them hear you pray sincerely

So back to Avery’s video, here’s what she said…

Dear God, thank you for this day and that friends came over. Help all of us in our life and our safeties. Please be with those who are sick and sad and don’t know Jesus. Don’t know nothing about God or Jesus. Be with Abigail. Be with Aubrey. In Jesus’ name, amen.

That little sweet voice ❀ this post gave me a good excuse to record her, and I’m so glad I’ll have that forever.

Avery praying. Teaching our kids to pray.
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Ok, so those “friends coming over” that she mentions…they came over about 2 years ago πŸ˜‚. It’s just become a part of her pattern, and it becomes true again when we have more friends over 😊. But Abigail and Aubrey are her friends that are on her heart now.

There is most definitely a time and place for repetition in prayer, especially at her age. But as we grow, there comes a time when a repetition can lose its meaning and value.

What’s really on your heart and mind? Are you concerned about something? Is someone close to you battling an illness? Let them hear you take that to God. Become the pattern of prayer for your children.

A Labor of Love

Teaching our kids to pray won’t always be easy, and it certainly can’t be completed over-night. Some days, you may be wrestling to keep them quiet and still, but it’s all about instilling those patterns of behavior.

For more on the subject of prayer, check out this post.

What are some of the ways you’ve taught your children to pray? Have a favorite memory to share? I’d love to hear them!!

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Teach them to pray

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