Recommended at age 3+
Teach your child about prayer and and establish the practice of praying as a family.
Nurture your child’s faith by praying together as a family, and by guiding them in the practice of praying individually.
Be an Example
Allow your child to see and hear you pray on a regular basis. Take time to stop and give thanks in times when God blesses you or answers a prayer. Model prayer in times of difficulty or when seeking wisdom for important decisions. Pray for those in your family and others you know are in need. Model making prayer your “first resort”—not your last.
Jump Start Prayers
Use these ideas to model with your child.
- Sentence Prayers: Take turns allowing each person who is comfortable doing so to pray a very short, one sentence prayer. It can be as simple as “Please heal Uncle Paul.” “Thank you for giving Jimmy a new friend.” Or “I’m sorry I lost my temper today.”
- Fill-in-the-Blank Prayers: Use sentence-starters to guide prayer times:
- God, I love you because…
- Thank you, God, for…
- God, please help…
- God, I’m sorry for…
Prayer Tools and Ideas
- Prayer Board: Keep a dry erase board in a high traffic area of your home and use it to note items the family is praying for together.
- Prayer Journal: Purchase a journal for your child and/or family to record prayers and God’s answers.
- Mirror prayers: Using a dry erase marker, write a list of prayer concerns on the bathroom mirror so everyone remembers to pause and pray after brushing teeth.
Make prayer a regular part of your family culture and a normal part of your child’s life. Consider incorporating some of the following in your family routine.
- Mealtime: Briefly give thanks before you eat, then wait until everyone has finished to have a longer time of prayer together.
- Bedtime: The first person in the family to go to bed (usually the youngest) alerts everyone else that it is time for an end-of-day prayer together.
- Drive time: As you start the engine, pause for a brief prayer together asking God to go with you and invite everyone to pray a sentence prayer for any concern about the upcoming activities of the day. This is a great routine to begin as you drive to school in the morning.
- Walks: Take a walk together, and pray for the homes, businesses, and people you pass. You might want to observe opportunities while you walk, and pray when you are back at home.
Loved, The Lord’s Prayer, Sally Lloyd-Jones
Bedtime Prayers, Bonnie Rickner Jensen
A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller
Pray Big for Your Child by Will Davis, Jr.
What Happens When I Talk to God by Stormie Omartian
Power of a Praying Kid by Stormie Omartian