As Christian parents, we want to demonstrate the importance of faith to our kids and help them learn to rely on it to meet the challenges that life will bring. Prayer is one of the cornerstones necessary to provide a basis for this type of faith, but it can be a difficult one for some children to grasp, and parents are often at a loss as to how to deal with this issue in a constructive manner. The upcoming National Day of Prayer on May 7, 2015 provides parents, along with church leaders and entire communities, an opportunity to draw together and help children of all ages understand the true power of prayer. Get started today by using the following tips to begin a meaningful conversation about faith and prayer with your child.
Pre-Schoolers: Learning the Importance of Prayer Through Observation
One of the best ways to help raise faithful children is to understand the benefit of learning through observing within the family home. Watching parents and siblings practice and participate in daily demonstrations of faith are strong motivations that help children learn to become comfortable with prayer. The following activities can be used to stimulate conversations about prayer and to help even the youngest children become more comfortable with adding prayer to their daily life.
- Learn simple prayers, such as the Our Father prayer and slowly grow your child’s prayer library – memorizing basic prayers in this fashion helps provide children with a structure to build upon, much like learning the alphabet allows them to learn more complicated language and reading skills as they progress.
- Add movement to prayer to make it more memorable – teaching small children to properly make the Sign of the Cross is a way to incorporate their love of motion into prayer in a way that will become part of the very fibers of their being.
- Pray together each day – praying together before family meals and bedtime will become deeply ingrained rituals that will help children see prayer as an important part of their daily routine.
School Age Through the Teen Years: Learning the Importance of Prayer Through Challenging Them with Greater Knowledge
Just as observation helps younger children successfully develop their appetite for prayer, it also helps older children. School age children, including young teens, can benefit from adding to the basic lessons they have already learned from years of observing and interacting with their parents and church families. These children are ready to explore more complicated teachings from the Bible and hold open discussions about the meanings of these teachings and how they apply to their lives. When questions are raised in these discussions, prayer, both as a group and alone, can help these children more fully understand what they are learning.
Parents can help children of any age, and the family unit as a whole, by setting aside some time each day to work on faith. Reading the bible as a family, praying, singing, meditating and discussing all the aspects of faith and prayer is the best way to ensure that your child understands the true power of prayer. On May 7th, 2015, participate in the National Day of Prayer as a family and make it an annual tradition that your children will remember even when they are adults with families of their own.« BACK