I LOVE hearing my three year old pray. There is something so special and endearing in hearing such a tiny voice talking to God. Granted, he might not fully understand what he’s saying, but I think the tender sweetness of a child’s prayer is enough to more than melt God’s heart.
No matter how young your child is, it’s never too early to start teaching them how to pray!
2. Talk to your child each day about happy things that happened and hard things that happened. Thank God for the “happy things”, and ask his help for the “hard things”. Begin doing this when your child is very young. Then, as soon as they begin learning how to talk, start asking them to tell you something that made them happy or sad that day. As their vocabulary keeps increasing, they can transition this into making their own spontaneous prayer of gratitude and petition at the end of each day.
3. Give your child prayer starters. These could be written or verbal. Examples: “God, I am thankful for…”, “I love you because…”, “I need your help in…”, or “Please forgive me for”…
4. Teach your child different prayers through music. Many common prayers have already been turned into songs. If you don’t know a song or don’t like the tune you know, create your own, or if you have older children
5. Make prayer rocks with your children. Find stones that have at least one smooth, flat side. Let your child decorate (paint) the rocks with different symbols that remind them of their faith. After the rock has dried, your child can choose a place in his room to keep the rock (perhaps on his nightstand or dresser – some place that he will see it often). Whenever your child sees the rock, it will remind them to stop and pray for a minute.
6. Have your kids take turns coming up with things they want your family to pray for everyday. You can have some things you pray for regularly, and then special things that they come up with and keep changing.
7. Is your child old enough to read? Give them a prayer journal. I have a simple prayer journal you can download for free that includes the history of some common prayers, information on types of prayer, and place for your child to write their own thoughts and reflections.
8. Write a family prayer together. Talk about things that are very important for your family and things you want to ask God for together. Write your prayer and then say it together each day.