A simple and effective way to teach children to pray scripture.
Almost every night that I walked into my mom’s room to kiss her goodnight I would find her knelt down beside her bed.
Interceding for the world.
If I could paint a picture of her, it would be this image of her faithfully at her bedside lifting up the world from a little corner of her room.
My Childlike Faith
Without me knowing my prayer life has been carefully and intricately knitted together since my childhood. It’s what gives me hope and has kept me close in the most traumatic times of my life.
As a child, I had no idea the impact this would have on me later in life. Nor did I realize the foundation I was laying as I sat on my bed and talked to God every day after school.
I spoke to him as if he was my best friend.
As if he was sitting right there in person next to me.
Sometimes He just listened to my tween girl ramblings other times he gently guided me.
More often than not he just held me as I cried.
Since then my prayer life has become the bedrock of my faith. When I get caught up in the busyness of life and don’t make time to deeply connect with Him, my soul literally yearns for conversations with my Savior.
A Simple and Effective Way to Teach Children to Pray Scripture
My boys are young so they are still learning and discovering the power of prayer. But don’t let this keep you from teaching your children how to come before Jesus. This is the perfect time to open their eyes to the beautiful connection they can have with our Savior through prayer.
My hope is for my children to also experience the deep abiding connection I have with my our Heavenly Father. We’ve taught them how to pray, we’ve tried modeling it but prayer is such a personal thing for me that I really have to work hard on doing it in front of them. Recently I taught them my love for praying scripture.
Now my heart desire is to share it with you so you can ignite your own prayer life. I want to encourage you to continue modeling it to your children and teach them how to connect with God.
What I did to start teaching my children how to pray scripture was I jotted down a few scriptures that are relevant to our boy’s ages and stages of life. Then I put them in a jar so they could easily grab them in the morning or throughout the day. This activity started with us preparing our hearts for Easter in prayer, I loved it so much we are now continuing this just not as structured.
related article: A POWERFUL FAMILY ACTIVITY TO PREPARE YOUR HEART FOR EASTER
I have the jar of verses out around the dining room area for them to use throughout the day or at night when we say our nightly prayers.
3 Simple Steps to Pray Scripture for Kids
I have created this 3 step printable so you can have as a reference. Click here to print: prayingscriptureforkids
- Have your child pick a verse. Start with prayer. Ask God — Open my eyes to see the wonderful things in your word. psalms 119:18
Things you can take note of as you read:
-What does it say about God/Jesus/Holy Spirit?
-What is it asking you to believe?
-What is it asking you to do?
-Who is it talking to?
-What is the context of the verse?
- Read the verse out loud. After you’ve pondered the verse then pray it back to God. You can personalize the verse though you do this with caution because not all verses in the Bible are meant for us.
Example verse: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Pray this verse: Heavenly Father, Your word says that you will not leave me. Help me remember that you are with me wherever I go and that is why I can be strong and courageous. I do not need to be afraid or discouraged because you are with me wherever I am.
- You can also write the verse out in a journal. Journal your prayer and pray the verse back to God. You can start off by telling him what you think or how you feel then answer this question, “How would I live differently if I believed this verse?”
Example: Sweet Jesus, Sometimes I am afraid. Help me remember I can be strong and courageous. I do not have to be afraid or discouraged because you are with me wherever I go. Amen
Making prayer a priority in our homes
My parents did not sit down and teach me the basics of prayer using the ACTS method like I have with my children. Instead, they did something more powerful. My parents modeled prayer to me.
My father would wake us up early in the morning so we could pray as a family and sometimes together with other families. My mother, she was a prayer warrior. I would find her knelt down beside her bed at night pleading for the world, for those around her and whatever else God put on her heart.
Honestly, as a child, all of this stuff drove me nuts. We would get awakened really early in the morning and the long prayers from my mother would keep us on our knees longer than I liked.
But my parents didn’t stop or change what they felt was important in their faith journey because we didn’t like it. So by the time I was 10 years old, in my childlike faith, — I simply believed in the power of prayer. No one had explained to me the 5 basics of prayer. Nor the complexity of the trinity. I didn’t go to church every day. I didn’t even know how to read my Bible.
I simply believed he listens to me.
I believed he cares about me.
I believed he is real.
I believe with all of my heart this deep abiding connection I have with my Savior is not something only a few to experience. As children of God, we ALL have access to Him in prayer.
My prayer life is strong because of the trials I experienced since my childhood and as an adult, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s one of the greatest gifts my parents gave to me!