Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.Proverbs 22:6
Prayer is a special way of talking to God. It is a medium to communicate our needs and desires to God Almighty that loves us and wants to be involved with everything about us.
There are different types of prayers for different age grades. So, introducing children to the act of prayer is very important; amongst several benefits that will be discussed, one can only pray when he/she is taught how to pray.
How do you Introduce Prayer to Kids?
Teaching children to pray is a vital part of introducing them to God and sustaining a good relationship with Him who is above high. As a direct means of talking to God, getting children comfortable with prayer helps them to understand that God is always close and accessible at all times.
Children are quick learners. They learn primarily by seeing you do it first. They simply learn by watching you pray and inculcate it just like every other positive or negative habit. Such a good habit will have to be reinforced as a regular part of life as early as possible. They can either pray aloud or silently depends on the child’s age and level.
Also try to keep the words and subjects appropriate to your child’s age level, so as not to scare younger kids. For starters, subject matters can include bedtime prayers, prayers at school, for friends, meals, family members, pets, etc.
Show children that there is no prescribed length to prayer. Quick prayers such as asking for help with choices, for blessings, healing, or for protection and safe travels before going on a trip are ways to show kids that God is interested in all aspects of their lives.
Another way is by reading religious books and stories. There was this book when we were young “The book of Bible stories”, which was read over time to us and that made us understood the stories from the Bible without difficulty. So, reading is definitely a fun way to introduce God and prayer to a child. It comes with recitals of psalms, singing, and prayer quotes.
Take your kids along to church services, most especially children’s church, where the word of God is broken down according to their age level and knowledge.
Benefits of Prayers for Kids
1. It creates stronger bonds between the parents and the child.
The time it took that might seem small, builds and grows stronger bonds between parents and their children. I’m a witness to this. Growing up, we barely saw our dad because he always traveled. But I recall vividly, my mum would never miss a bedtime prayer with us.
With lots of singing and recitals, it was quite easy to grow more much closer to my mum. It strengthens the bond of trust and unity between you and your child.
2. It helps to cultivate positive behaviour.
The habit of praying regularly gives a child the opportunity to self-reflect on his/her thoughts, behaviour, and actions of the day. It also helps to form good morals and discipline through the self-evaluation process.
3. Praying Strengthens Faith in God
It is advisable as a parent to inculcate and maintain your child’s faith in God by having them pray. Their daily routine might make the kids unable to visit places of worship, due to school and homework, but if they maintain a praying habit and lifestyle, they can still maintain a connection with God and builds their Faith. Having a specific prayer time builds a habit that is likely to continue into adulthood as well.
4. Praying Builds Discipline
Praying every day helps builds up a child’s discipline. Not only by praying but also keeping the routine continuously, also helps keep kids disciplined.
It is preferable to start with bedtime prayers after a busy day. Praying can have a great effect on children, especially if parents are having a hard time disciplining them, the Holy Spirit is always available to put them through.
5. It creates the consciousness of the presence of God.
Most especially in this advanced technological age, many have lost regard and faith in God. Prayer creates an awareness of the presence of God.
Not only is he accessible to the young ones, but that he is always with us at all times. Praying teaches children that there is a supreme power above all of us, and we need to respect it. They will be aware that God is watching their actions. The faith to pray to an invisible God instills reverence and the ‘Fear of God’.
- Prayer of thanks can begin off by thanking God for providing for the family.
- Prayer of forgiveness for mistakes. James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (NLT)
- Requests to God and prayer for needs.
- Prayers for the Lord to be beside you always.
- Prayer to ask for God’s guidance, Love, and care.
- Prayer of praise to God Almighty for specific provisions and blessings.
- Our Lord’s prayers; Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. Matthew 6: 9-13.
- Prayer for intercession. That is, by praying for loved ones.
- Prayer to ask God for serenity (calmness) to do things.
- Prayer for the Angels to watch over you when you want to sleep.
It is good to pray always because it helps reduces stress, build self-control, make one compassionate because even the Bible made us understand that even before Jesus prayed for the sick, He had compassion on them. So, we should pray to be Christ-like. Note that Prayer is the Key.