Ideas for Praying with Children
Welcome to our very first Family University Podcast! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jessica Asbell and I am the Minister to Children at First Baptist Roswell. Today I’m going to share with you 14 ideas for praying with children. Maybe you feel stuck in a rut when you pray with your kids because it only happens at bedtime, or maybe you’re just looking for new ideas, but whatever it is, I hope these ideas enrich your family’s prayer life. You can find the transcript to this podcast at fbroswell.org. The first idea for praying with your kids is something called an Alphabet prayer:
1. Alphabet Prayer
a. Supplies needed: individual alphabet letters (each letter of the alphabet), small bag/container to hold them, paper to write on, pen/pencil
b. Option 1: Have children help you create a list of prayer requests from A to Z. Once it’s complete, have each family member draw a letter and pray for the prayer request that goes along with that letter.
c. Option 2: Draw letters from the container first. As each person draws a letter, have them come up with a prayer request that goes along with that letter. Then have the whole family pray for all of the prayer requests.
2. Board Prayer
a. Use a padded memo board or something similar and divide it into two segments: Prayer Requests and Answered Prayers.
b. Have slips of paper available so that any family member can put a request on the board.
c. Pray for them together as a family. As prayers are answered, move them into the other column.
3. Prayer Walk
a. Take your family for a walk around your neighborhood. As you walk, take turns praying out loud for your neighbors. Let your children pray however they want to for their neighbors, as long as it isn’t mean-spirited.
4. Music Prayer
a. Play hymns or worship songs.
b. Have children listen to/learn the song.
c. Tell them that they can sing these songs as a prayer to God, that prayer doesn’t have to be just words- it can be music, pictures, etc.
5. Coloring Prayer-from Praying in Color: Kids’ Edition by Sybil Macbeth
a. Take a piece of paper and some colored pencils. Then begin doodling. You can draw lines, circles, scribbles, triangles, ovals, squares or rectangles, figure eights, clouds or blobs, petals, spirals, hearts, curves, squiggly lines, whatever you want. You can combine lines with lines, hearts with polka dots, circles with triangles, invent new shapes, just start drawing!
b. Add a name for God to your drawing. Here are some options or use your own:
c. Add detail to your drawing. Use dots, lines, circles, or whatever doodle your hand wants to make. Continue to doodle in and around your shape. Think of each mark of your pen as time you spend with God in prayer. Keep drawing until the picture feels finished.
d. When the God prayer is completed, move to another space on the page. Draw a new shape or design and write the name of the person for whom you want to pray.
e. Add designs, doodles, and color.
f. Add another person to your prayer drawing- draw a new shape or design for him/her and write their name. Add designs, doodles, and color
g. Draw a new shape or design for another person you want to pray for- write their name and add designs, doodles, and color
h. When you’re finished, look at your drawing for a moment and think of each person.
6. M&M Prayers
a. Ahead of time: pick different groups to pray for that correspond with the colors of M&Ms- write these on note cards in those colors
i. Example: The note card for orange could look like this:
1. Pray For:
Teacher in Your Life
(coworker, a professor, a pastor, a Bible study leader, a school teacher, a mentor)
2. Red could be praying for a family member by name, etc.
b. Give each person a small handful of M&Ms, but tell them not to eat them yet!
c. Put the note cards that have who they should pray for for each color in the center of the table
d. Then have them either pray silently for each person or go around the table and have them voice their requests out loud and pray aloud for them
e. After everyone is finished, then they can eat their M&Ms
7. Help, Thanks, Wow!
a. Anne Lamott
b. Components of prayer: asking God for help with something (or forgiveness if you’ve done something wrong), thanking God for all that He has done, and praising God for how amazing God is
8. Five Fingers of Prayer
a. Thumb: the thumb is nearer to you, so pray for those who are closest to you (Family and friends)
b. 1st Finger/Pointer Finger- Pray for those who teach, instruct, and heal
c. 2nd Finger/Tallest Finger- Pray for leaders, that God will give them guidance
d. Ring Finger- your weakest finger- Pray for those who are sick, weak, troubled, or in pain
e. Pinky/Little Finger- smallest finger, pray for yourself
9. P.R.A.Y. Acronym
a. P- Praise- start out each prayer by praising God
b. R- Repent- “I am sorry for______. Please forgive me!”
c. A- Ask- “Please be with _________. Help me________”
d. Y- thank You- thank God for everything God has done
10. Child’s Way of Praying
a. Go God!
11. Sweet and Sour Prayer
a. Have something sweet to eat (like marshmallows) and have something sour to eat as well (like sour patch kids or sour straws)
b. Hand each person a sour candy and say something like: “Sometimes bad things happen to us, or things happen that make us sad. We’re going to eat a sour candy and ask God to help us with something that makes us sad or something that you’re worried about.” Have each person pray silently or whisper a prayer asking God to help with something that made them sad or something they’re worried about.
c. Then hand each person a marshmallow or something sweet and say that we are going to eat these and thank God for something good in our lives. Have each person thank God for the good things in their lives.
12. Praying for the World
a. For this type of prayer, you will need some play dough and a map of the world. Have each person in your family pick a country to pray for. Then have them take a piece of play dough and put it over that country on the map. As they mold the play dough to that country, have them pray that God would bless the land and the people there.
13. Magnetic Prayers
a. For magnetic prayers, you can either use your refrigerator, a cookie sheet, or something else magnetic. You’ll also need magnetic words that you can either buy or create yourself using magnetic tape and paper. You can give these to your children and have them create their own prayer to God. Afterwards, join them as they say their prayer out loud.
14. Lego Prayers
a. Yes, you can even use legos to pray! Have your children build a house using legos. As they build it, talk to them about people who don’t have a home. When they have finished building, pray with them that God will provide homeless people with jobs or enough money so that they can have a place to live. You can also pray for people who don’t have a safe place to live, because they had to leave their homes. Pray for refugees, that God will provide a safe place for them to live.
These are just a few ways that you can use to help your children pray. Prayer is a very important part of our lives because it’s how we talk to God. I hope these ways of praying will help you teach your children that they can use the things they like to talk to God, and that they don’t have to wait until bedtime to talk to Him.
Next month, our Family University podcaster will be Dr. Doyle Hamilton, who will be talking about Communication and Marriage.