During the school holidays, the St John’s Kids program is in recess, to give our leaders a well-deserved break. There will be activity sheets available, if needed, to keep hands busy while listening to the talk at our in-person services. Those watching the online service may like to print and use some of these:
Something I get asked from time to time is about the best way to pray with children. Parents can worry that they are not doing it ‘right’.
If this is you, be assured, you are in good company. Even those closest to Jesus, and heard him pray, questioned how they should pray.
Some important things parents can do:
- Pray. Bring your desire to guide your children to God in prayer. Pray that he would give you wisdom as you teach your children. And pray for God to work in your children’s hearts so that they would desire to pray.
- Let your children see you pray. If we want to raise children to become avid readers, one of the best ways is to let them see you read. If we want our children to refrain from swearing, we model language use. So, if we want to raise praying children, they need to see that it is something we prioritise.
- Set aside regular time to pray with your children. For some, this might work best as part of the morning routine. For others, quiet time before bed will work better.
- Use ordinary, everyday events as moments for spontaneous prayer. Can’t find your car keys or their school shoes? Stop for a moment and pray. See a cute puppy or beautiful flower on your afternoon walk? Take the opportunity to give thanks together. Setting off on holiday? Pause before you leave your driveway, to commit your trip to God’s care.
- Teach your children the Lord’s Prayer, not so that they can just recite it in church, but so that they know what it means. This is the prayer that Jesus gave the disciples when they wanted to know how to pray and it models to us the importance of honouring God, and our reliance on him for our daily needs, forgiveness, and protection. If you need help to explain the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer, there are lots of webpages and Youtube clips to assist.
- Keep it simple. We’re not in the business of teaching our children how to impress others with the way they pray, but how to incorporate prayer into all aspects of their life so that talking with God and depending on him is a natural part of their lives.
If you feel your prayer life becomes a bit too routine at times, look for creative ways to inspire you and your children.
This week, try an Alphabet Prayer. Write the letters of the alphabet down a page. Start with people that you know who are unwell or lonely, or friends who might be going through a tough time, and write them next to the letter their name starts with. Then move on to the remaining letters and think of something that you are thankful for, to write next to each. (Unless you are particularly thankful for xylophones, give thanks for the eXtra grace that God gives when we can’t think of things to pray for!) Take time during the week to pray for and be thankful for each person/thing listed.
Have a great week,
Kylie – Children & Families’ Minister