The Bible has a lot to say about prayer. It not only teaches us what to pray but how to pray. How we pray is often more important than what we pray, so it’s vital that we teach children these principles.
Pray all the Time: Scripture has a lot to say about when we should pray. God wants us to pray all the time. That doesn’t mean we’ll spend 24 hours a day on our knees, but it does mean we’ll be ready to pray at a moment’s notice whenever a need arises.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18(ICB) Never stop praying. Give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.
James 5:13-16(ICB) If one of you is having troubles, he should pray. If one of you is happy, he should sing praises. If one of you is sick, he should call the church’s elders. The elders should pour oil on him in the name of the Lord and pray for him. And the prayer that is said with faith will make the sick person well. The Lord will heal him. And if he has sinned, God will forgive him. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other. Do this so that God can heal you. When a good man prays, great things happen.
Pray With the Right Attitude: Attitude is important to God. Jesus even taught about the right attitude and the wrong attitude when you are praying.
Matthew 6:5-8(ICB) When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites. They love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners and pray loudly. They want people to see them pray. I tell you the truth. They already have their full reward. When you pray, you should go into your room and close the door. Then pray to your Father who cannot be seen. Your Father can see what is done in secret, and he will reward you. And when you pray, don’t be like those people who don’t know God. They continue saying things that mean nothing. They think that God will hear them because of the many things they say. Don’t be like them. Your Father knows the things you need before you ask him.
Be persistent: When we pray, God doesn’t want us to give up until we get an answer from him.
Luke 11:5-19 (ICB) Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you went to your friend’s house at midnight and said to him, ‘A friend of mine has come into town to visit me. But I have nothing for him to eat. Please loan me three loaves of bread.’ Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you went to your friend’s house at midnight and said to him, ‘A friend of mine has come into town to visit me. But I have nothing for him to eat. Please loan me three loaves of bread.’ Your friend inside the house answers, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked. My children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you the bread now.’ I tell you, maybe friendship is not enough to make him get up to give you the bread. But he will surely get up to give you what you need if you continue to ask. So I tell you, continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. Yes, if a person continues asking, he will receive. If he continues searching, he will find. And if he continues knocking, the door will open for him.
Luke 18:1-8(ICB) Then Jesus used this story to teach his followers that they should always pray and never lose hope. “Once there was a judge in a town. He did not care about God. He also did not care what people thought about him. In that same town there was a widow who kept coming to this judge. She said, ‘There is a man who is not being fair to me. Give me my rights!’ But the judge did not want to help the widow. After a long time, he thought to himself, ‘I don’t care about God. And I don’t care about what people think. But this widow is bothering me. I will see that she gets her rights, or she will bother me until I am worn out!’” The Lord said, “Listen to what the bad judge said. God’s people cry to him night and day. God will always give them what is right, and he will not be slow to answer them. I tell you, God will help his people quickly! But when the Son of Man comes again, will he find those on earth who believe in him?”
Pray with humility: Scripture tells us that it is those who humble themselves before God who will be lifted up. With humility comes repentance.
Luke 18:10-14(ICB) “One day there was a Pharisee and a tax collector. Both went to the Temple to pray. The Pharisee stood alone, away from the tax collector. When the Pharisee prayed, he said, ‘God, I thank you that I am not as bad as other people. I am not like men who steal, cheat, or take part in adultery. I thank you that I am better than this tax collector. I give up eating twice a week, and I give one-tenth of everything I earn!’ “The tax collector stood at a distance. When he prayed, he would not even look up to heaven. He beat on his chest because he was so sad. He said, ‘God, have mercy on me. I am a sinner!’ I tell you, when this man went home, he was right with God. But the Pharisee was not right with God. Everyone who makes himself great will be made humble. But everyone who makes himself humble will be made great.”
Pray In Faith: The Bible talks a lot about faith. Without faith we can’t please God. But when we have a small amount of faith, even as little as a mustard seed, we can accomplish great things.
Matthew 21:21-22(ICB) Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth. If you have faith and do not doubt, you will be able to do what I did to this tree. And you will be able to do more. You will be able to say to this mountain, ‘Go, mountain, fall into the sea.’ And if you have faith, it will happen. If you believe, you will get anything you ask for in prayer.”