Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Teaching Kids to Pray

I typically like to have a well-outlined plan for everything, step-by-step instructions warm my heart. So for many years I jot down notes about how others teach their kids to pray, so that I can do the same. I don't believe I've ever actually implemented much of what I've made note of, though, and still my children are learning to pray.

Abbey (7) has a tender heart for the things of God. Her bedtime prayers consist of blessings for children in far away countries who have no toys, clothes, or food. (Future missionary in the making?)

Shea (4) can be counted on to burst into spontaneous prayer when it's most needed. Once, we were driving and talking about the kids' older cousin, C, who was having a hard time and making "bad decisions" (best way I could think of to explain things to them), and Shea just burst out in a few sentences of prayer for him.

Braeden (11) and Megan (6) are a bit more reserved, but when a bad dream comes in the night they head straight for mom and dad and ask us to pray - they know where their security lies.

Even Malakai (almost 2) will bow his head and fold his sweet little hands together when we pray, and he gets this look of reverence on his face that makes my heart swell.

So how in the world are these children learning to pray when I haven't been following a plan???

We pray with them at logical times, such as dinner time and bedtime, and we encourage them (but don't force them) to say the prayers.

We let them see us (and join us) in times of prayer throughout the day. For example, if I am praying for someone or something, and a child comes to ask me if I'm sleeping (LOL) I'll invite him/her to pray with me.

They have the opportunity to learn and practice praying at school.

We are always asking God to give them hearts for Him, hearts for prayer, hearts to serve - in spite of how badly we may mess up in teaching these things to them. And He is faithful.

As my children grow up and come into their own, I am realizing that this adage holds a lot of truth:

Faith is caught, not taught.

holy experience


  1. It sounds like you are being very successful in teaching your kids to pray. Even without an outlined plan - I SO relate to that tendency. ha.

    But you are right on - "faith is caught, not taught." Sometimes that scares me, sometimes it comforts me. Blessings to you and your sweet family.

  2. So true, this: "Faith is caught, not taught."

    I wander down roads of doubt with my own girls. Am I doing enough? Are they "catching" faith? Am I modeling it?

    I appreciate your honesty.

    (Found you through Ann's... Your title caught my attention. So glad I stopped by.)

  3. Such a delight to find you today. You echo the cries of my heart through your words as you enlist a mighty army of prayer warriors in your home.

    Faith is caught, may mine be the most contagious!

    Blessings from Costa Rica,
    Sarah Dawn

  4. What an awesome reminder that we need to be a living example of "passionate pursuers of prayer" before our children!

    Great post!


  5. I like the caught part. Need to work on the taught though.
    Thanks for this.

  6. My 2 year old sometimes says "Wakey Wakey Mummy" when i'm praying :-)

  7. I've noticed that as our daughter gets older, her prayers changed from "I pray for toys" to "Keep my Daddy safe". As we pray, they too learn to pray. Thanks for your post.

  8. Fresh from God, Children are fresh from God...
    Blessings on your home ~ Maria


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