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How to Teach Children to Pray: Fun, Bible-Based Advice

Prayer Tree

To develop a deeper relationship with your class, I suggest making a Prayer Tree. It develops during the school year as you watch it transform, reflecting prayers that are answered with God’s sovereign “yes” or “no” at the bottom. His “wait” responses remain on the tree branches. (Cherishing and Challenging Your Children, pages 159-160)

How to Pray for Our Children and Students

Never forget the power of praying for our children and students. Teaching them can go only so far. Praying for them is a must.

Our hearts often feel burdened for the many things we want to pray for regarding our students. Years ago I made a prayer card to guide me as I prayed for children and later made copies for moms at school and church. It listed requests such as to know Jesus as Savior, to be a prayer warrior, to love the Word, to be disciplined and more.

I added Scripture verses and other items of daily concern around the concentric circles. For a class, I copied the cards on paper and used a hole-punch to put them into a binder. For my own children, I copied cards on smaller cardstock to fit into my Bible.

These cards became a record of the spiritual journey with a child. When a card or sheet was full, I started another one. (Put the child’s name in the center and a start and stop date for each.)

Prayer Requests

Have older students write prayer requests on 3×5 index cards. Often they felt comfortable sharing such requests with me that they didn’t want known to the entire class. Not only did this help me know what to pray for, but it also strengthened my relationship with that student. It also gave kids more confidence in sharing their burdens and believing in the power of prayer.

Praying God’s Word for Our Children

Here are a few of the many items we can pray for kids. There’s great power in praying God’s Word and inserting the child’s name.

For example, if a child is struggling with gossip, you may want to pray: “I pray for _______ to know that without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.” Proverbs 26:20

If a child is having trouble forgiving someone, you may want to paraphrase Ephesians 4:32: “I pray for ________ to be kind and compassionate to others, forgiving just as Christ has forgiven him/her.”

May God bless you as you explore how to teach children to pray!

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jodycapehart@churchleaders.com'
Jody Capehart has more than 40 years' experience as a children's minister. She's the co-author of The Discipline Guide for Children's Ministry and the author of numerous other books. She currently teaches Sunday School at Stonebriar Community Church.