Teach Your Child to Talk to God
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One of the greatest things you can do is to help your child develop a relationship with God through prayer. Prayer is how we communicate with and connect to our Heavenly Father. Nurture your child’s faith by praying together as a family and by guiding them in the practice of praying individually.
Be an Example
Allow your child to see and hear you pray on a regular basis. Take time to stop and give thanks in times when God blesses you or answers a prayer. Model prayer in times of difficulty or when seeking wisdom for important decisions. Pray for those in your family and others you know are in need.
Jump Start Prayers
Use these ideas to help start prayer time with your child.
- Sentence Prayers: Take turns allowing each person who is comfortable doing so to pray a very short, one sentence prayer. It can be as simple as, “Please heal Uncle Paul,” “Thank you for giving Troy a new friend,” or “I’m sorry for losing my temper with everyone earlier today.”
- Fill-in-the-Blank Prayers: Use pre-written language to guide and focus prayer times such as the following starter lines:
- God, I love you because…
- Thank you God for…
- God, please help…
- God, I’m sorry for…
Prayer Tools and Ideas
- Prayer Board: Keep a dry erase board or the calendar included with this kit in a high traffic area of your home and use it to note items the family is praying for together.
- Prayer Journal: Consider purchasing a journal for your child to start recording prayers and how God answers them.
- Mirror prayers: Using a dry erase marker, write a list of prayer concerns on the child’s bathroom mirror so he or she remembers to pause and pray after brushing teeth.
Making prayer a regular part of your family culture will help make it a normal part of your child’s life. Consider incorporating some of the following in your family routine.
- Mealtime: Briefly give thanks before you eat, then wait until everyone has finished to have a longer time of prayer together.
- Bedtime: The first person in the family to go to bed (usually the youngest) alerts everyone else that it is time for an end-of-day prayer together.
- Drive time: As you start the engine, pause for a brief prayer together, asking God to go with you and invite everyone to pray a sentence prayer for any concern about the upcoming activities of the day. This is a great routine to begin as you drive to school in the morning.
- Walks: Taking a walk together is the ideal time to pray. Or pause at the end to pray about the matters discussed during your walk.