|Use these prayer-related activities to help children become more comfortable with praying to God and hearing his answers.
• On Target—Using markers, have children draw a target with six circles. Then have them use pencils to fill in people and places to pray for. In the outer circle, they can write a country. In the next circle, they can write a family in their neighborhood. The rest of the circles can represent a friend, teacher, or family member. In the center, have children write something they’d like to pray for themselves. After a week, erase those requests and fill in new ones.
• Rewind and Fast Forward—Practice a prayer routine by having kids think back to the beginning of their day. Say: “Pantomime in fast motion all the things you did to get ready this morning.
|When I say ‘freeze,’ stand still and think about what was on your mind then.” Repeat the game, asking kids to act out what they’ll do to get ready for bed tonight. Say: “This time when I call ‘freeze,’ pray about something that happened today.” Encourage family members to talk to God about their day every morning and night.
• Still Waters—Have family members spread out and silently read Psalm 23. (Assist younger children.) Say: “Choose one verse to talk to God about. Then ask God a question and wait silently for him to speak. He may speak just one word or give you an image in your mind.” After five minutes, share what you each heard. Remind everyone that listening to God isn’t magical and takes practice.
|How Often Do You Pray?|
|In a recent survey, American adults reported praying:
• More than once a day—24%
(Lutheran Brotherhood/USA Today)
|“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”
|1. Mix It Up—Prayer is never inappropriate, so encourage children to pray whenever and wherever they want to. Try praying together in a variety of ways, including kneeling, standing, lying down, lifting your hands, and so on.
2. Echo Each Other—With young children, pray aloud one brief phrase at a time and teach them to echo you. As kids gain confidence, you can switch roles and they can lead.
3. Lighten Up—Show children it’s fun to talk to God. Allow prayer to be goofy at times. Try shouting or whispering a prayer. Use rhymes and motions to capture children’s attention. Let kids thank God for whatever is important to them—even if it’s a stuffed animal or video.