One of the best ways to teach children to pray is by example. When you pray in children’s church, pray the way you expect your students to pray. Unfortunately many children’s leaders feel awkward when they pray in public. Here’s some tips on how to be an example in prayer.
Keep it simple: Don’t use big words or thees or thous. You’re talking to your Heavenly Father. Keep it simple, and the children will do the same.
Use the Lord’s Prayer as a model. When Jesus was asked by His disciples to teach them to pray, He gave the example of the Lord’s Prayer. Use that prayer as a model when you pray in public. The Lord’s Prayer starts with praise. After beginning with praise, pray for what God wants. Then pray for needs and prayer requests. After that pray God will help us to forgive and to resist temptation. Finally end with praise.
Teach children examples from the Bible. There are many examples from the Bible about people praying. Daniel prayed three times a day before he was thrown in the lion’s den. When Elijah brought fire down from Heaven, he prayed first. A prayer meeting was held before Peter was delivered from prison. David prayed often while watching his sheep, and God used him in a great way. Show the children that these great men of the Bible were great because they knew how to pray.
Give children the opportunity to pray. It’s important to not only model prayer but to give children opportunities to pray. Let a child lead prayer time at the beginning of your children’s service. If a child has a need, call on the other children to lay hands on that child and pray for him. If there’s a need in your life or in the life of one of your church leaders, ask the children to pray for that need. Children learn by example and by practicing what they see.
My next post will be about models of prayer.