Prayer can be a tricky subject for parents and kids. Often, we pray before we eat, repeating the same kind of prayer every night. This is a great start, and we definitely should do it, but there is also an element of praying that needs to be taught to our kids that will help them see that prayer is more than just something we do before we eat. It needs to be an integral part of our lifestyle.
If we truly want our kids to know God and love Him as well as love others, we should teach them to pray in various ways. In this article, I want to share with you four creative ways to pray with your kids.
- Prayer Photo Books: Many of us probably do not have printed photo books anymore. Most of our family photos are stored on our phone or on an old hard drive somewhere. What if you printed out photos of your family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc), put them in a photo book, and began to pray for them together as a family? You could include sticky notes with lines on them to jot down prayer requests to remind you how to pray as well as write down the answers you see to prayers. These photo books could become a prayer prompt for your family to pray for those near and dear to them. I’ve seen people do this also to pray for missionaries, collecting their prayer cards, and then placing them in an album to look at and pray for during specific times of the week.
- Count Your Blessings: You can use your hand to “count your blessings.” What if every evening before dinner or bedtime, or in the morning at breakfast, each family member (or at least one family member) acknowledged five things they were grateful for and considered a blessing? You could let each member of the family have a day where they were the ones to list their blessings and thank God for them. This would help your kids (and the adults in your family, too) to recognize the things that God has provided for them. Remember, prayer is acknowledging God and talking with him, not just asking for more blessings, comforts, or help with tests. We could all probably use a lesson in being more grateful for the things we have.
- Missions Map: This one is pretty simple. You get a map of the world and begin looking at it together. This will look different depending on the age of your kids, but as you begin to explore different countries, spend some time leading your kids to pray for each country. If you want you could utilize resources like the Joshua Project (https://joshuaproject.net) to help you pray for unreached people groups ny country. Or you could pray specifically for countries that you have heard about in the news. You could also be on the lookout for countries on the map that are related to people you know. There are many options for using a map to guide your prayer. Use your imagination, but break out the map often and use it to prompt prayer for the nations.
- Prayer walk your own neighborhood: Take regular family walks in the neighborhood and pray for the people who live in each house. As you show your kids that you are praying about being a good neighbor, you are living out the mission in front of them. They will see how faith can be put in action, and I bet your kids will feel more interested in being a good neighbor. As you pray, look for opportunities to serve your neighbors and ask your kids how you can love your neighbors as the Bible tells us to.
These are four ideas for creatively praying with your kids and leading them into a lifestyle of prayer. Hopefully, they will catch on that prayer is more than something we do before we eat dinner, but it’s a part of who we are.
What are some creative ways you have prayed with your family?