“Pass on what you heard from me…to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2 The Message).
As we sit at Jesus’ feet in the school of prayer, we are challenged to break down the teachings into bite-sized pieces for our children and grandchildren.
Here are a few ideas that may help you as you teach them to pray:
Let them see you praying.
You are probably already praying with them at mealtimes or bedtime, but also allow them to watch you sit in reverence before the Father. From a surprisingly young age, children can be trained to respect the time of prayer by setting aside a special Bible book used only in this time in prayer. Suzanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles (as well as 17 other children) simply pulled her apron over her head when praying. I’m sure they got the idea!
Make a habit of adding the Father into your daily conversation.
When you discover something of wonder, like a rainbow or a new kind of bird, simply thank the Father aloud for showing it to you. This also works when you or your child expresses a concern. One sentence will do, and then you can return to the dialog you were already having with your child. Integrating the Father into daily life is a great way to “pray without ceasing”.
Use visual prompts in intercession.
Using the conversational idea above, you and your child can pray simple one sentence prayers for others as you scroll through pictures on your phone. Something as simple as “thank You Father for Jeremy’s love of laughter” is teaching your child to intercede. Try this as well when you are looking at Facebook pictures with your child.
You can expand on this idea by making an easy intercession scrapbook. Each page of your scrapbook is designated for one individual. Place that person’s picture in the center of the page as a visual reminder to pray for them when you come to their page. Write what you are praying around their picture and soon, both you and your child will be surprised at how many of your prayers have been answered. You may want to only pray for a couple of individuals per day. Better to be consistent than overwhelmed.
Google “teaching your children to pray”.
There are lots of other ideas not covered here.
What would you like to add to the list?