When my oldest was little I can remember my husband and I lying in bed with him at night and having him recite to us the well-known child’s bedtime prayer,
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray to God my soul to take.
May angels watch me through the night,
And wake me with the morning light.
His little voice would repeat this prayer in almost a sing-song manner. It was a prayer both my husband and I had learned as children. It was a recited prayer, but it was understood and a great first step for teaching our child to pray.
I know that for children, especially younger children, it may be hard to understand “Why” they should pray, “How” they should pray, “When” they should pray and “Where” they should pray. However, you’ll be surprised how simple prayer is for children. They aren’t like us adults who tend to over-complicate things.
Teach Your Child to Pray by Answering These Questions
These are all questions I’m sure many of us have asked ourselves in the past. “Why should I pray?” Well the Bible is very clear that God wants us to communicate with him. He even says that we should, Philippians 4:6 explains, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
We pray because God knows that there are things that we need his guidance, his love and his support on. He does not want us to worry or be anxious and therefore we should pray. I have come to learn that on the days I worry the least are the days I have prayed the most.
We pray because God knows things that we need his guidance, his love and his support on. #TeachingOurChildrentoPray
“How should I pray?” Prayer is not meant to be complicated. Though we aren’t supposed to go to God only with our “wish lists”, we are supposed to come to Him like a trusted friend. We should feel comfortable enough talking to God that we have a conversation with Him, talking but also listening for Him to answer us. Prayer is to be a private conversation between us and God.
It is described in Matthew 6:6, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
“When should I pray?” If you’re familiar with Scripture you may have heard the verse, “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Do you literally have to be down on your hands and needs all the time praying to Lord, well of course not. However, God’s desire is for you to be so comfortable talking to him that you can stop and whisper a prayer to Him anytime throughout your day when you feel you need a listening ear. He is always there and is always ready and willing to listen to you.
Finally, “Where should I pray?” An earlier Scripture spoke of praying in secret, yes, we should never pray to draw attention to ourselves or for show, but we can also join together with other believers to pray. We can have prayer partners, prayer meetings, and other times of prayer to assemble together and talk to God, for the Bible says, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 God will always come to be with you when you pray, whether alone or with others. The important key is that you PRAY!
Teaching your child the importance of prayer as well as answering any questions that they might have starting with these common questions is the first step in helping your child to understand the need for and how easy it is to pray to our Savior.