Tag Archives: teaching children to pray

Teaching Children to Pray Using a Model

Models are easy ways to teach children to pray. Sometimes people get the idea that using a model for prayer isn’t right, but when Jesus was asked by the disciples how to pray, He gave them a model – the Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer is my favorite model to teach children because it’s the model the Bible uses. I’ve included other models as well. Here’s a few models you can use to teach your students how to pray.

The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:10-14): The best known model for prayer is the one Jesus taught. Here’s an easy way to teach children this model using the finger on your hand.

ThumbOur Father in Heaven, we pray that Your Name will always be kept holy. The thumb is the most important digit on the hand. Without it we can’t pick things up easily. The thumb represents the most important part of prayer – praise.

Pointer Finger – We pray that Your kingdom will come and we pray that what You want will be done. At this time, point to the sky. This is when we pray for what God wants.

Middle Finger – Give us the food we need for each day. This is the biggest finger and represents what you pray for the most, both your needs and other people’s needs.

Ring Finger – Forgive the sins we have done just as we forgive those who did wrong to us. The ring finger is the finger that represents relationships. We ask God to forgive us to restore our relationship with Him, and we forgive others to restore our relationship with people.

Pinkie Finger – Do not cause us to be tested, but save us from the evil one. The devil’s power over us is small when we pray. That’s why we use the smallest finger to represent spiritual warfare.

Thumb – Praise. We start with praise, and we end with praise.

FistJames 5:16b The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Move the thumb over your other fingers to form a fist. When we pray like that, it’s a powerful thing.

ACTS Model: ACTS is an acronym that some use as a model during their prayer time.

Adoration – This is the time we use to praise God.

Confession – We need to confess anything we’ve done wrong to God.

Thanksgiving – It’s important to thank God for what He’s done for us.

Supplication – This is where we talk to God about our needs.

PRAY Model: Pray is an acronym.

Praise – Start prayer time with praise.

Repent – Ask God to forgive you for the things you’ve done wrong.

Ask – Ask God to meet your needs and the needs of others.

Yield – Ask God to show you what He wants for your life.

The next post will be about how God wants us to pray.

Teaching Children to Pray by Example

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.