Ever wondered how Christian parents build the foundation of faith in their children? Children are a gift from the Lord; Psalm 127:3 confirms this fact.
Now, in a world full of immorality, corruption, and evil vices; how do you raise giants for God’s kingdom? How do you get children to pray?
How do you make them love prayer? How do you raise Godly children?
These and many more will be discuss here Proverbs 22:6 gives an insight on how to raise children in the path you want them to follow.
Of all the things Christian parents do to build their children’s faith, the most consistent is teaching their kids how to pray.
Fortunately, prayer is extremely concrete in many ways. There are a lot of fun-filled things you can do with your kids to teach them some prayer concepts and to help them develop good prayer habits.
Here are a few of my favorites prayer activities for kids.
1. Before and After prayer for children.
Teaching children how to start and end each day with prayer is a great way to get them to build their special relationship with God without distractions.
John Holt in his book “how children learn” looks at how children learn to talk, to read, to count, and to reason, and how we can nurture and encourage these natural abilities in our children.
He explained that learning is as natural as breathing for children and every sensitive activity shouldn’t be overlooked.
Maintain consistent prayer at home before leaving your children for daycare, before school, or with a caregiver for the day. This prayer activity will help children of all ages start each day with God. This is a great time to pray for teachers and friends and to help with class or peer relationships.
If your children are stressed or anxious about the day ahead, pray with them that they will turn their worries over to God and let go of their fear so they can focus more on the day’s activities.
Younger children sometimes struggle to think of things to pray for, so having a good time to pray as part of a bedtime ritual is helpful because they can easily remember and pray for what happened that day.
Children can thank God in their little way or make new friends and ask for help to correct the bad decisions they made throughout the day. End of day prayers can be comforting and soothing at any age.
2. Five finger prayers.
Lawrence Christopher in his book “The Tickle Fingers: Five Finger Prayer Book” states that children learn to pray for those closest to them and for those in the rest of the whole world.
He further explains that the Tickle Fingers characters become a part of a special reverent moment of wonderment and discovery in a child’s life, touching a cord of youthfulness and innocence in all of us.
Children learn best through games and activities that help them remember facts and concepts. To do the five finger prayer game, have the children put their hands together in a prayer position and use each finger as a prayer aid.
You can reinforce the concept of prayer by explaining how each finger works as a reminder: the thumb is closest to us, the index finger is pointing, the middle finger is above the others, the ring finger is weaker than most, and the little finger is the smallest.
● Thumb finger: Pray for those close to you.
● Pointer finger: Pray for your school teachers and Sunday school teachers.
● Middle finger: Pray for the president and the country.
● Ring finger: Pray for a sick person or someone with a serious need.
● Pinky finger: Pray for yourself.
3. How to Pray (ACTS) for Children.
The ACTS prayer method has four steps: worship, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. When used by adults, this method results in longer prayer times as quality time is spent meditating on the Bible verses that support each part of the prayer.
Marybeth Wuenschel in Acts Prayer: Adoration, Confession, Thanks, Supplications explains how we can love the Lord our God with all our heart by spending quality time with Him.
Even as an adult, the ACTS prayer is a way to get you to know and love the Lord by spending good quality time with Him and allowing Him to minister to You. It’s time for us to grow up in our faith and to turn from relying solely on rote prayers and begin praying from the heart.
This takes practice and determination, not because it’s hard, but because the devil does not want us to and will keep us from it if he can.
Most young children will not fully understand what each letter of the acronym ACTS means, so use this as an opportunity for instruction and guidance to translate through prayer times as follows, pausing about a minute after each step, to give children time to pray.
This is another prayer activity that is easy to do at home or at Sunday school.
● Worship: First tell God how much you love and adore him.
● Confession: Then tell God what you did wrong and tell Him that you are sorry. He will forgive you, but He asks you to stop doing it.
● Thanksgiving: Think of all the positive things in your life and thank God for the blessings.
● Prayer: Pray for something that needs your help and for someone else who needs God’s help.
4. Worship Music and Prayer.
This fun activity combines music and prayer and is mostly used as a bridge to move children from one activity to another. Use worship songs regularly as an end of school activity to help children prepare to leave class with their parents or guardian.
Because music is poetic and repetitive, it’s a great way for children to learn about prayer. Children love the energy in contemporary Christian pop and gospel music and this excitement helps them memorize the lyrics. Ephesians 5:19 also attest to music as a way of talking to God.
After the children listen to and sing a song, discuss the theme of the song and its relationship to God’s Word. Use this activity as a medium to pray for the concepts in the music lyrics.
5. Bedtime Prayers for Children.
Saying a prayer before bed with your children is a great way to develop the habit of prayer early in your children’s life. As you pray together, you can explain to them what each prayer means and how they can talk to God and rely on Him for everything in life.
Easy prayers for kids to say at night including rhymes and rhythms so little ones will love learning to pray before bed. Begin laying important foundations for the future by guiding your children in these bedtime prayers.
Maz Scales in Bedtime Prayers For Children has 14 rhyming prayers to encourage your little ones to talk to God before going to sleep at night. Teaching your children to pray before bed is a great way to encourage them to lead the right path.
Help them build a relationship with God throughout their lives.
Tips to Make Children Enjoy Prayer.
1. Praying Colors
This activity is ideal for the youngest children. Cut small pieces of paper of different colors. Then, as you pray as a family, have each person draw a piece of paper. Then they have to thank God for that colored thing.
So when your child pulls out a piece of green paper, they can choose to thank God for the plants. This activity is great for children who are not old enough to easily figure out what to pray for. It also reinforces the concept that all good things come from God – even plants!
2. Prayer Jars
Find all kinds of empty and clean containers. It could be a glass or a juice box (make sure all rough edges are removed and small children have an unbreakable container).
Encourage your kids to decorate their trash can. Then give them strips of paper or wide craft sticks. Talk to them about all the different things they would like to share with God in their prayers.
Have them write each type of object on a separate piece of paper or craft pen. Then, when it is time to pray, they can take as much as they like from their receptacles as a reminder of something to share with God.
This activity is great for all children, but especially for those who are stepping into their own more personal prayer lives.
This helps them remember that all the time in prayer shouldn’t be about giving God a to-do list for everything they want from Him personally. This encourages them to make their prayers a little more broad and selfless.
3. Prayer Rocks
This is another great activity for kids who are stepping into a more private and personal prayer life. Find or buy a boulder for each child. Have them decorated with paint or markers.
Encourage them to put stones on their bed pillows. When they went to sleep at night, it would remind them to pray.
When they are done, they can place the stone where they will see it first in the morning. He would remind them one more time to pray. When finished, the stone is placed back on the bed pillow to repeat the cycle.
4. Prayer of the Month (or Day or Week)
Take a container and a piece of paper. Have your children write the name of everyone they can think of, and make it one name on a piece of paper. Once a month (or day or week) they can pull the name from the container.
This person should receive “extra” attention during your children’s prayers. If you want to make it more meaningful to your children and encourage the person your family is praying for, contact them. Explain what you do and ask if they have anything in particular you would like to pray for.
5. Prayer Journals
This can be a family activity or everyone can keep a personal journal. This is a great way to emphasize to your children that God can answer prayers in three ways: “yes,” “no,” and “wait.” Most children and even many older Christians believe that God will only answer prayer if He answers yes.
Your children need to understand that God always knows what’s best for them, and that God’s words “no” in prayer are always in their best interests.
The diary itself can be a “real” diary or a diary your kids make and decorate from paper or spiral notebooks. Encourage regular review and discussion of prayer journal entries and how the Lord worked in those situations. We often tend to forget when God has answered our prayers.
Your children may forget how upset they were when God said “no” or “wait” to them and failed to connect the dots back with the blessing they have now because God didn’t say “yes” to them right away. The longer you can keep a faithful journal, the more it can influence your children’s faith journey.
It can also help you realize that you need more training and guidance from you in more complex areas, such as; Being angry with God for rejecting our prayers. These areas are rarely covered in the church and can be a stumbling block for our children if left unchecked.
6. Pray Without Ceasing Sticky Notes.
Get some sticky notes and markers. Encourage your child to decorate it with the word “pray”. You can add pictures or suggestions for something specific to pray about. Then have them distributed throughout the house.
Whenever someone finds a sticker, they should stop and pray; even if it’s just a sentence – and then put it in a new place. You can do this for a few days or continue indefinitely.
7. Prayer Request Box.
If you live in an area where people often pass by your house; this works very well. Or you might consider starting at a church and have your family empty it regularly.
Place an attractive waterproof box or container where people can see it. Put in the plastic, instructions for them to leave their prayers in the container.
Let them know that your family will regularly delete records and pray for their request. Remind them that names are not needed – God knows who they are. Keep plastic containers separate from sheets and pens for people to use.
To protect other people’s privacy, you may want to put some kind of lock on the box so that other passersby can’t access the request and use it for something unpleasant.
Keeping applicants anonymous is a great way to teach kids to pray for someone other than family and friends. It also teaches them to pray for others without using it as a subtle way to gossip about other people.
Now that you know, teach your children to pray.
Brethren, prayer are a fellowship or conversation with God. We may not be able to call on God or write to Him, but prayer is as real as an email or a newspaper which help tot strengthens our relationship with God. Can you imagine having friends without communicating with them?
Prayer seeks God and His guidance for our lives. Prayer also helps us to avoid problems. Jesus told us to pray: “Watch and pray, lest you fall into temptation.” (Matthew 26:41).
Never assume that your children will understand prayer just because you have prayed silently at mealtime and at bedtime.
Just like other things God requires of us as Christians, your children need to study the scriptures with you and learn what those things are like when they experience them in their lives. Prayer is an important part of their faith and worth the extra time and effort.
Please share these prayer activities for kids with your friends, Sunday school or children assembly.