Kids continue to amaze me when it comes to spiritual things!
They have the innate ability to cut through the fluff and get to the heart of prayer. That is one of the things that I absolutely love about children’s ministry!
But one of the challenges of children’s ministry, not just for ministry leaders, but parents as well, is how to help them focus their attention long enough to develop a prayer habit. Children aren’t the only ones that struggle to focus in prayer. It happens to us all. There are so many things competing for our attention. So we have more things than ever to distract us.
Help them establish a time,
First thing in the morning or just before they go to bed works best for most folks.
Not a ritual.
There is no life in rituals. But a prayer habit that puts priority on spending time with God is life giving.
What do I say to God?
Then the struggle becomes, what do I say? The repetitive, “God bless Mommy!” is a great beginning place, but kids are ready at a young age for much more meaningful prayer times.
Jesus gave His disciples a pattern, called the Lord’s Prayer. We often use it as a prayer, which is fine. But when used as a pattern, the prayer becomes even more personal and meaningful to us.
I have taught children a simple prayer pattern for years.
While it is not unique to me, it is a great prayer guide.
I like to add an “i” before the acrostic “PRAY” because I must choose to pray. I must make spending time with God a priority. Then the word “PRAY” is broken down into four components of prayer.
In the yield portion of the prayer. We simply ask God, “For whom or about what” do you want me to pray? I have been blown away by kids responding to this, “listen and pray” time with God. God speaks to children. But they must learn to listen.
The acrostic is explained fully on the sheet below. It is taken from my Object Lesson Book “Teach Us to Pray.”
Click here to purchase Teach Us to Pray 52 Object Lessons Download for $4.99.
Print out a copy of the Prayer Journal page below. Maybe it will jump start your children in beginning their own prayer journal.