Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Teaching Kids/Teens to Pray

Prayer-an opportunity to communicate with, or talk to, God, the One who created you, who loves you more than anyone else.

Prayer is an important aspect of Christianity but can sometimes be hard to explain or to wrap our heads around, not just to adults but especially to kids and teens. So how can we teach our kids and teens to pray?

First, pray in front of them. Whether it is by praying out loud for them or praying out loud for yourself. Show them by your lead.

Second, make it consistent. Set up a pattern for them that they will expect and can later model in their own lives. This can be done by praying as a family before dinner starts. Or perhaps praying with each child before bedtime. Consistency can also be done around events or holidays; such as praying for them specifically on their birthday, praying for them before a vacation or major event, or involving prayer into your holiday events like Christmas and Easter.

For toddlers and preschoolers, teach them to pray by using a telephone. If they are used to talking to a grandparent or distant relative on the phone you can take those experiences and teach them that just as their loved one can hear them on the phone, God can hear them when they pray too. For such young ones having something they can hold on to, an object they can see and touch, helps make God more attainable for them.

For elementary age on up a good acronym to use to teach them what to pray is ACTSS.
A-Adoration-Take a moment to tell God how amazing He is, how awesome it is that the creator of the universe created you, loves you, sent His son to die for you, has forgiven you of your sins, knows who you are more than you do, and still wants to spend every moment with you.
C-Confession-Take a moment to ask God for forgiveness, yes He does know what you've done but when we come to Him about it, we are not only gaining His forgiveness, but helping ourselves to forgive, and enabling God to move in and through it to get us past it
T-Thanksgiving-Take a moment to thank God for the blessings He's given you, or others around you, or for the ways that He is moving in and through your life
S-Supplication-Take a moment to ask God for the areas in your life ,or on behalf of others, that you need Him to be apart of, move in, heal, etc.
S-Silence-Take a moment to be silent. Be silent before God, give Him a chance to answer you, to move in your life. This may involve reading your Bible, or listening to worship music or truly being silent. But we can't say God never spoke to us if we don't give Him a chance to.

How did your parents teach you to pray? How are some ways that you have taught the kids/teens in  your life to pray?

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