Ten ways to pray with your children

Having an active prayer life, and inspiring one in my children, is something I desire as a mother. I need daily help to teach my children the ways of the Lord, and I want them to know that they do not have to rely their own strength – God wants to help them. I like to keep prayer times fresh, natural and organic.  We use a combination of routines and unique ideas in our prayer life. Here are ten ideas for ways and times to include prayer in each day, with and for our children:

  1. Pray before meals.  This a traditional time to pray, and it provides a regular reminder for us to thank God for His blessings.
  2. Have a ‘circle’ prayer.  Named the ‘circle’ prayer at our house, this is simply a way to pray where one person opens the prayer and each then takes a turn saying what they are thankful for, or what they are requesting of God. It goes around a few times and then someone closes it.
  3. Pray before bed.  Another traditional prayer time, which I think is very helpful in creating a peaceful, loving, positive routine. In our family we each have a turn to pray (or sometime do the circle prayer), and my husband and I try to include prayer for the spiritual growth of our children at this time, as well as requests for peaceful sleep and sweet dreams.
  4. Pray when a need becomes known.  Sometimes we get a call or message with an urgent request for prayer. At these times it is good stop what we are doing, call the family together and pray.
  5. Learn the Lord’s prayer.  While this is not something we have done (yet), Jesus provided us a sample prayer which we would to well to acquaint our children with.
  6. Pray when they are scared.  Whether it is bad dreams in the middle of the night, or stage-fright before performing to an audience, we should pray with our children whenever they are scared, teaching them that God both comforts and strengthens us in times of need.
  7. Use a prayer list.  Whether you keep a list on the fridge, in the lounge or on the back of the toilet room door (as my parents did when I was growing up), keeping a list of ‘prayer fodder’ around helps us and our children to remember to pray for “all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18).
  8. Pray alone.  As I have mentioned in a previous post, spending a personal time with God praying for your children is nourishing to the soul, and I could not get by without this time to ask God for His grace, wisdom and Spirit to be poured out on me and my children as we teach and learn together.
  9. The ‘Three Things’ prayer. Quite often during our daily Bible time the kids and I do a ‘three things’ prayer. We each choose one thing to be thankful for, one thing to pray for ourselves (with a spiritual emphasis) and one thing to pray for someone else.
  10. Pray when the impulse arises.  Princess has been an inspiration to me on this last point. Quite often when we are in the middle of doing something she will pipe up and say, “We should have a prayer!”. Yesterday we were out for a walk at a local National Trust property, enjoying the beauty surrounding us and the special time together as we all walked hand in hand. During this walk she gave this sweet-voiced suggestion, and so as we walked we said a circle prayer of thanks for the lovely time we were having. I hope she never loses the desire to pray spontaneously, and that it infects all she knows with a love for talking to God.

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5 Comments

  1. Rachelle said,

    August 29, 2012 at 10:19 am

    How do you keep your public prayer list updated and neat? Do you rewrite it from time to time?

    • DeneM said,

      August 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      Hi Rachel! One of my aunties uses a whiteboard to keep a prayer list. This makes it easy to wipe off and add on things whenever you want. At the moment I don’t have a written one (something I plan to change soon!) but other ideas could be:
      – Write a new one each week (can be especially useful to write down Sunday morning requests and create the new list from these)
      – Use individual sticky-notes on the fridge/door/wall and take off/add new as needed
      – Keep it ‘shopping list’ – add on when needed and cross off when dealt with!
      – Keep a version the computer and print off updated versions as and when you need to.

      Hope this helps, and maybe others can share the ways they keep their prayer lists!

  2. March 5, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    […] to incorporate prayer into family life:  Ten ways to pray with your children [note: in the 1 1/2 years that has passed since I wrote this post, my children's prayer life has […]

  3. March 10, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    […] Praying for each other, thanking God for the gift of family and asking God to help each child when they are struggling. […]

  4. February 9, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    […] prayer throughout the day for both our own and our children’s sake. In our house, we try to pray in lots of different ways: together at our Bible snuggle time, stop what we are doing to pray if we hear of a specific need, […]


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