One important aspect of the Christian life is Prayer. So often we begin to teach our kids to pray at an early age by reciting poems and rhymes before meals and bed. But then we drop the ball and never develop or foster the growth of a real prayer life.
Today I am going to share how we try to help our children become real prayer warriors for others and themselves, as well as going to God for some quiet time of reflection and thanksgiving.
Five Finger Prayer
The first idea that I will share is to help them learn why and how to pray. We use the “Five Finger Prayer” model to help them remember how to pray.
The idea is simple. You start at your thumb praying for family and friends. Next, the index finger for those who teach or are in authority positions. The middle finger is for our country, town, and government. The ring finger reminds us to pray for those who are sick and in need. Finally, the smallest finger, (the pinky) is for ourselves.
Praying in Color
We also like the “Praying in Color” prayer method. Basically, this is doodling prayer. To keep little minds focused they doodle and attach a prayer need or thought with each doodle. When they are done decorating and designing that shape they move to another need or thought.
Where to Pray
We have set up a special quiet place for the kids to go and pray. Only one child can occupy the space at a time. It is in a room free from distractions and noise.
There is a small table with different items that will lead the children through a special quiet time with our Lord. Small battery candles for the littles and real candles for the bigger children help to make this time a special quiet time.
Picture cards help the children to recall and focus on all the areas that God has provided for us. We switch the cards and items (such as the nails) with the seasons. During Advent a small nativity is placed to remind them to be thankful for His coming. During Lent, nails, thorns, or other prayer cards are added.
Children’s devotional books are on the lower shelf and of course a Bible. We like A Child Training Bible.
The sticky notes allow them to write or draw a special request for the family faith board. This helps the whole family unite in prayer for a concern or request that they may have. The bulletin board is hung over the prayer station.
Each child is encouraged to spend some part of their day in the prayer area. The hope is that we can teach them to rely on God during the hard and scary times and also to praise Him in the good. No matter how your day is going or what may be happening around us, we need prayer to carry us through it!