Teach children to pray – step #1: YOU have to pray
As we all know, the “do what I say, not what I do” approach never works. By now you’ve probably heard me beat that drum (and I’ll keep beating it).
If your children are going to truly become…
- eager to pray
- genuine in their prayers
- effective in their prayers
- full of faith in their prayers
They are going to HAVE to see and hear their parents praying. That means YOU.
Teaching children to pray starts with these 3 elements of your own prayer life
When you pray, your kids need to hear more than rote, repetitious, religious sounding prayers.
They need to hear you expressing what is truly on your heart to the Father.
That example shows them how to be honest in their own prayers.
If they hear you pray about:
and many other things
You’ll be teaching your kids to pray honestly, about the true concerns of life.
Your kids need to know that prayer is an important part of every day of your life. They need to see that you lean on the Father daily.
Here are some ideas for times you can pray (and involve your kids in the prayers):
- When leaving to go on errands (pray for safety)
- When leaving the breakfast table (pray for the LORD’s guidance in your day)
- When you hear news about a friend who is ill (stop and pray right away, for healing and for endurance)
- When you see a beautiful sunset or sunrise (praise is a form of prayer too!)
- When the family pet has to be put down (thank God for the enjoyment you all received from the pet, and for comfort in your sadness)
Do you get the point?
If you only pray when things get tough, your kids will realize that you operate independently of God most of the time… and they will follow suit.
But if you pray consistently, about the good and the bad things in life, you’ll teach children to pray in faithfulness and trust.
Your children need to see that prayer is important enough to be said, aloud, any time of the day or night.
Calling on the Father should become as natural as any other conversation – to you and as a result, to your kids.
[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#fbf06f” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Teaching children to pray begins with parents who pray (or are learning how to pray) – TWEET THIS [/dropshadowbox]
Depending on your faith background, this may be hard for you for various reasons.
Here are some suggestions:
- Fight feelings of embarrassment about prayer.
- Ask the Spirit to overcome things such as shyness, awkwardness, and discomfort.
- Ask the LORD to help you remember to pray at all times.
- Be honest with your kids about your struggle. Let them know that you are fighting to learn to pray more boldly… because prayer is important.
- Don’t be afraid to ask God for the BIG stuff. Your kids need to see humble requests, followed by God-sized answers. Nothing builds faith like answered prayer.