At least once in our lives, the Christian faith made a big impact on us. So big that it still affects our lives today and, therefore, our children’s lives. Raising our children in our faith and helping them understand all the beautiful parts is an essential part of parenting, one we shouldn’t take lightly. One duty that we must take seriously is prayer. We need to practice it regularly because prayer benefits our life, and we need to teach our little ones how to pray so it can help them too. Keep reading to learn about teaching your children how to pray.
Demonstrate Prayer Yourself
Children tend to mirror their parents from the clothing they wear to the words they say to the activities they do. Use this to your advantage by demonstrating prayer for your children to see throughout your own life. If you’re struggling with anything from economic issues to opening a pickle jar, take it to God in prayer and tell your children that you’re doing so. While the Bible does tell us to pray in secret (Matthew 6:5-8), showing your children how to pray is also important, so doing so publicly as you go about your day is good. This can be as simple as asking God for help as you perform a task or as serious as moving to a quiet space to kneel and pray.
Say Simple Prayers Together
Young children may struggle with some words in formulated prayers such as the Lord’s Prayer and Hail Holy Queen. Help them overcome this roadblock to prayer by starting with short, simple prayers that you can do together. Do this during a planned time, before bed, or as the two of you go about your day. Some simple prayer ideas for bedtime include listing things you’re thankful for or asking for help with certain activities planned for the next day. Tailor your daytime prayers to your specific situation, such as asking God to help you find a particular toy during playtime or thanking God for a delicious meal after you’ve eaten it.
Make Prayer an Activity
Young children and children who struggle with attention disorders may struggle to focus during prayer. This doesn’t mean they should skip out on this important activity. Instead, make prayer more tactile by offering activities they can do while you pray together. Some children will be satisfied by fiddling with a rosary, but others may need more. You can find and print prayer and novena worksheets online so your child can write, draw, and color as they pray. Worksheets will keep them focused and give you both the opportunity to look back on that specific prayer. Maybe in a week, you’ll notice together that you received something you prayed for that you would have forgotten if you hadn’t written it down.
Teaching your children how to pray is important because prayer is beneficial throughout life. By demonstrating prayer yourself, saying simple prayers with your child, and doing activities during prayer, you can teach your child this important aspect of Christian life and how they can pray themselves. Soon, you’ll be praying together and enjoying this special time of bonding and faith.