Praying With Kids
December 15, 2009
Updated August 28, 2019
0 comments 283 views
I don’t remember the course content, the final exam, or the other students in my favorite university course at
Hi, God. What an awesome day you made today. The raindrops fed all the flowers and the puddles are perfect for jumping in. Thanks for shady trees and yoyo strings. Thanks for giving us elbows so we could bend our arms in so many ways. How do you think of such cool things, Lord? Please watch over our friends who aren’t here today. The ones with runny noses, the ones who are feeling sad and those who are far away. And God, we’re sorry for hurting people’s feelings and not doing the stuff we’re supposed to do. Thanks for loving us even when we mess up. We love you, Lord. Amen.
My teacher modeled prayer to me in a powerful way. We model prayer each week to the kids we lead at church. For some of your kids it may be the only time they hear someone talking out loud to God. For others it might be their only opportunity to hear prayer as conversation instead of memorization.
We all have different “comfort zones” when it comes to prayer. I feel more comfortable praying with a group of kids than I do leading adults. My friend Nancy is a prayer warrior who once led me in prayer in the parking lot at the YMCA. My fifteen-year-old has been leading our suppertime prayers since she was in preschool and my seventeen-year-old has always refused to pray out loud. No matter how you’re wired when it comes to prayer, it’s important to invite kids into your conversations with God. Like my teacher’s prayers, your prayers may be the thing they remember most! Use these prayer pointers to expand your comfort zone:
Prayer doesn’t have to be perfect. God isn’t grading your prayers and neither are your kids. All God asks is that your prayer be heartfelt. Remember how my teacher thanked God for strings and elbows? Include thanks for the everyday blessings your kids enjoy—things like backpacks and wheels on school buses, ice cream and shoelaces. And praise God in ways that connect with your kids—thank God for eyelashes that blink out dust, noses that drip down instead of up, and all the shades of blue. How did God think of all those cool things?
Tea with the Queen should be fancy, not conversations with God. Pray for the things that matter to the kids you are praying for—new siblings, tests, fights with friends, missing pets, scary things, birthdays—in language your kids can understand. Be specific, use words your kids can understand, and leave the flowery language in the garden where it belongs.
Prayers are like medicine—apply when needed. Stop, drop, and pray anytime with your kids. Its okay to interrupt a session and say, “Hey guys, let’s talk to God!” and then tell God together about something great that just happened in your class or pray for someone you notice is missing or the sick cat someone just told you about. Tip: Avoid the temptation to use prayer to send a message to your kids about classroom behavior!
Prayers don’t need comments. When you tell a kid that they did a “good job” with their prayer you’re telling them that you were evaluating how they did. When you laugh at a child’s prayer you make them self-conscious and aware that someone is listening. Prayer is a conversation with God. The best way you encourage kids to pray out loud is by letting them pray without your praise—a simple “thanks” will do just fine.
Prayer comes in many forms. There are all kinds of ways you and your kids can pray together. Here are a few to try in the coming months:
Connect to The Network and add your own question, blog, resource, or job.Add Your Post
We love your comments! Thank you for helping us uphold the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.