Teaching Children About Prayer: 8 Tips for Parents

by Crystal McDowell · Print Print · Email Email

Are your children praying? Not just over their meals, but do they know how to get a prayer through to God? As a parent, you can’t be available to them 24/7, but God is everywhere all the time and can answer their prayers in His perfect timing. Just as you can decipher the urgency of your children’s request—how much more does your Father in heaven hear the cries of His children (both young and old) and answer according to His will?

You must instill your faith in God into your children by teaching them to pray at the earliest age possible. If you missed the boat in this—there is still much grace from God to begin today:

#1) Start by Example

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
(1 Corinthians 11:1)

Is prayer an important part of your life? Do you pray with your children on a daily basis? An active, intentional prayer life keeps you sharp and connected to God. It will give your children great hope and assurance when they know you are praying for them. They will more likely begin to pray for themselves and others as they watch your prayer life.

#2) Use Prayers from the Bible

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” (Matthew 6:9)

The “Our Father” is one of the most widely known prayers in the Bible that brings incredible unity in the body of believers when prayed together. Find the prayers of Moses, Nehemiah, David, Solomon, and Jesus for starters. Begin the practice of memorizing and reciting prayers together as a family.

#3) Pray Scriptures

“For the word of God is alive and active.” (Hebrews 4:12)

You must instill your faith in God into your children by teaching them to pray at the earliest age possible.

You must instill your faith in God into your children by teaching them to pray at the earliest age possible.

When my son was younger, he was afraid of the dark. I taught him to pray “God, you haven’t given me a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and of a sound mind” from 2 Timothy 1:7. Eventually he’s grown up to know that he can translate any of God’s scriptures to a prayer language. God’s word is the sword of the Spirit that our children can use to impact the world with powerful prayers.

#4) Practice A-C-T-S 

“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant.” (Daniel 9:17)

Years ago I learned how to pray A-C-T-S as a guideline and taught it to my children. The acronym is: A (give adoration to God), C (confess our sins), T (to give thanks), and S (to make supplication or requests). For our family devotions everyone participated in this prayer with confession being a silent prayer between God and the children. This became an effective tool for prayer that they still use today in their personal prayer time.

#5) Demonstrate Body Posture

“When Solomon had finished all these prayers and supplications to the Lord, he rose from before the altar of the Lord, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven.” (1 Kings 8:54)

Whether standing, sitting, kneeling, or stretched out —your outward expression of faith in prayer helps keep you focused. Children can be accustomed to a certain position of praying out of habit. By changing the prayer posture from kneeling to standing with palms open—your children learn to physically engage in their prayers and experience the practice of humility before an awesome God.

#6) Encourage your Children to Pray out Loud

“A time to be silent and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:7)

Have you ever felt uncomfortable when asked to pray out loud? There’s a time for silent prayers, but your children may have opportunities to speak out loud when praying. You can use your family devotion times as a chance for them to practice in a safe, comfortable place. Their confidence will build so they will always be ready to pray out loud in school, church events or wherever God leads them.           

#7) Look for Opportunities to Pray

“Pray continually.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Driving past an accident, a classmate whose parent’s are divorcing, trouble with grades, etc…all of these circumstances need prayer. As you keep alert to intercessory opportunities, your children will eventually bring their requests to your devotional time together. Let your children hear “let’s pray about it” from you when life throws a curve ball at them. It will build their faith in God to answer according to His will.

#8) Keep a Family Prayer Journal

“Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered.”
(Exodus 17:14)

Wouldn’t it be nice one day to go through a family prayer journal like you peruse through old photographs? Writing down your prayer requests and God’s answers can speak volumes to a child’s faith. It gives credence of God’s faithfulness and encourages them to seek out His face on a regular basis as well as stretching their faith in praying for the impossible.

These tips are just guidelines to get your family started on a greater journey of faith. God blesses you with so many opportunities to reveal His hand, His love, and His presence in the lives of your children. Make prayer a top priority for your family—one day you may be the beneficiary of your children’s children prayers!

Looking for more tips? Take a look at the collection:

Advice & Tips for the Christian

Resource – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Kaye March 21, 2013 at 4:33 am

You are so right about making prayer a priority. Thanks for this wonderful post I’m going to share this with my friends. Thanks

Reply

Crystal McDowell March 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Thank you Kaye for your response. Let’s get the next generation praying!

Reply

Barbara Tanne April 2, 2013 at 9:00 am

Thanks God! I agree and thank you for the post. Its very helpful and I am going to share this with our my sunday school kids. Most parents still dont know how to pray with their kids nor the whole family. I believe teaching this new generation will have an impact in the next generations to come…

Reply

Crystal McDowell April 7, 2013 at 5:33 pm

This is awesome Barbara! Thank you so much for teaching our children about the necessity of prayer. We need you!
God bless,
Crystal

Reply

Johanna July 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm

When I read about trials it is most often about death, health-issues ect. The kind of trial we are going through right now is
more of the sort getting time and energy to provide our big
familys needs(and wants not always easy to tell what is a want and what is a need). Please pray for us , I don’t want
stress to be our ruler. I know we have so much to be thankful for it’s just hard to do enough and have peace. I praise Jesus for His name.

Reply

Crystal McDowell July 10, 2013 at 11:58 am

Dear Johanna,

I pray that the God of peace through our Lord Jesus Christ will comfort you with His presence and hand over your life. He promises to hear and answer every one of your prayers according to His will. He will also meet all your needs according to His riches in glory. You are a blessed mother with children–stay strong in the Lord and cling to His promises as you pray over your precious children. He will never leave nor forsake you in the hour of testing and trials. God bless you, my sister. Crystal

Reply

Thulani January 27, 2014 at 2:36 am

Good morning Crystal,
My question is very easy, may you assist me which is the good books to read to your kids.
and thank you so much about all this prayer item i’m surely will used this to my benefit and share this to my church.

Reply

Thulani January 27, 2014 at 2:37 am

Good morning Crystal,
My question is very easy, may you assist me which is the good books to read to my kids.
and thank you so much about all this prayer item i’m surely will used this to my benefit and share this to my church.

Reply

Annie Frances May 17, 2016 at 6:21 pm

I am a parent, but I also teach Sunday School classes at my church. I like your ACTS acronym for teaching kids how to pray. It’s a great way for them to memorize how to pray, but also what prayer is for. I use it in my Sunday School classes and the children respond positively. Thanks!

Reply

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