How can we get our kids to engage while praying as a family?
Each week at Family Ministries we have a focused time to pray and intercede for people and events around the world and during our schools our children join us in this special time. This can be a great time to teach our kids how to pray for others and listen to Gods voice. However, for most parents this can be a daunting task, with the prayer sometimes lasting up to an hour, it is hard to keep kids focused and engaged. So we have come up with some creative ways to get kids of all ages engaging in prayer.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it" Proverbs 22:6
This is a great resource to use to pray for all nations. It is a good idea to give a few things that the kids can pray for once they choose their country. Things such as the government, widows, orphans, unreached people groups, missionaries, or any current events happening there.
Place a globe or map in the middle of your family circle. Get each child, one at a time, to close their eyes a spin the globe or hover over the map and randomly place their finger on a country. Get them to pray for that country and ask God specifically if there's any people they can focus on. This is a particular favourite for my kids as they also learn geography and so much about our world.
Get your child to write prayer needs they may have on a piece of paper. After this, get them to fold the paper into a paper airplane. If this is too hard for younger children get them to screw it into a ball.
Stand in circle facing one another and have fun throwing them at one another. Pause and tell everyone to pick a plane or ball and open it. Pray for the person whose paper it is. Then repeat until finished.
Pass the Ball of Thanks
This is a great way to start a prayer time, with thanks to God for all He has done and given us.
Stand in a circle and with your family. Pass a ball around the circle. As you catch the ball say something out loud that you are thankful for. Then pass it on.
The Blessing Chair
This prayer time to such a great way to bless and encourage everyone in the family. It fills the kids love tanks to the brim.
Place a chair or cushion in the centre of the circle. Have one person at a time sit on the blessing chair/cushion. Each person has a turn at saying something they appreciate and love about that person, blessing them. We as parent's usually go last praying a blessing over each child at the end.
Roll the Dice
Get a dice piece from a game you have. On a piece of paper get each child to write 1-6 and beside each a name of people they know who may be sick, lonely, unsaved, or whoever comes to their mind. Roll the dice and whatever number that it lands on pray for that person, ask God if He has any words or encouragement or things that you could do for them.
This is an easy one. If you have young kids or toddlers they love to go exploring with you. Take them on a prayer walk around your street, community or backyard. As you go get them to pray for people or places that catch their attention.
Remember kids are never too young to learn how to pray to their Heavenly father. Developing a healthy prayer life from a young age will give them confidence in the future to boldly approach God in all circumstances. You will be amazed at how God can answer their prayers. A great idea is keeping an "answered prayer jar". Place in it specific prayers they have prayed that God answered. This will build their faith and also yours!
Don't forget have fun! Let kids be kids, and make prayer times engaging and different. As they get older they can better learn to be still and quiet and you can spend more time focusing and listening to what God is speaking. Make sure you get them to share with everyone even if they are not totally sure. Many times God can give similar words to each person and this also builds their confidence and faith.
So be encouraged and persevere, there will be times where the kids are just over it! Don't despair, we've all been there as parents. May God use these prayer times to grow a generation of great prayer warriors and intercessors!
By: Karlyn Mataitoga