CEE's Family Building Blocks
"Raising Praying Kids"
Teaching our children total dependence upon God will enable them to handle anything
that comes their way in life. Confidence in God's sovereignty and wisdom set the Christian
apart from the non-Christian in handling life's most difficult trials, especially those
that can seem meaningless, like death and suffering.
The best way to train your children to pray--to communicate with God daily and to trust
in Him--is to model this behavior yourself. You might like to kick off the day with a
morning prayer huddle and pray together as a family at bedtime. In addition to prayer at
mealtime, make communication with God a normal part of life. Instead of silently sending
up a bullet prayer when you have a need, verbalize it aloud so the kids can hear and join
in--even if you're driving in the car and pass an accident scene. Or Daddy is late getting
home from work and you are concerned. Take every opportunity to teach your children to
relinquish their fears and needs to the Lord.
Keeping a prayer journal, in which you write family prayers and then note answers as
they are received, will help to build your children's faith, as they see the hand of God
at work in very tangible ways. You can also post a bulletin board full of pictures of
various people (missionaries, family, friends, the pastor, etc.) that you are praying for,
and point them out as you pray. Such a visual reminder is especially helpful for toddlers
and young children.
Even very young children (age 3) can pray real prayers, not just recite memorized
prayers. Teach them to pray for others, to be thankful, to ask for help when they are
afraid or have a need. We can also help them memorize, and then pray, scriptures, like
Andrea Collins suggests, in Christian Parenting Today, encouraging our children to
include the following Six P's of Prayer:
- Peace. Pray that God will give you peace when you face
difficulties or uncertainty (Prov. 14:30).
- Patience. Ask God for patience in waiting for answers to
prayer (Rom. 8:25)
- Pathways. Ask for guidance in making a good decision (Acts
- Protection. Pray that God will keep you safe, healthy and
strong (Ps. 41:2).
- Perseverance. Ask God to help you stand strong when you feel
weak (Rom. 5:3-4).
- Penitence. Confess your sins to Jesus and ask forgiveness (1
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