“It’s circle time!” I shouted. Our children met me at the front door and we held hands to form a circle. I prayed for the requests they had given me the night before. A quick hug and our 8th grade son and 6th grade daughter were out the door, prepared for another day in the public school system. But when did the teaching start?
We began circle time when our oldest started school because he was so nervous. It’s easy to start one with your own child, just choose a consistent time and place to pray each day.
The prayers and needs change daily. It may be for a high test score, to find a lost item, a relationship to be repaired, or a physical need.
Parents have such influence on their children! When they see us pray, receiving comfort and strength, they’ll soon realize they can have the same thing from the Lord when they pray. It also creates compassion and family unity.
It’s never too late to teach your child how to pray. After talking about their day and concerns, sit or kneel with them by their bedside and pray for your children. If they’re young, suggest they take a turn; children love to imitate their parents. If they’re older, when the time is right, ask them to pray also.
Children learn to depend on Christ through prayer. Knowing He cares for them (see 1 Peter 5:7), what they’re going through, and that we desire to pray for them leaves a lasting impression. Hopefully they’ll pass on the tradition to their own child someday.
Prince and Princess
Become involved in a Moms In Touch International prayer group (see MomsInTouch.org for more information or to find a group). When our elementary school-aged daughter began having bad dreams, I taught her to follow the same format we pray in Moms In Touch.
We begin with praising God for Who He is, teaching your child some names for God; Father, All-Powerful, Ever-Present, Protector, Friend. We silently confess sin, a great opportunity to teach how our loving God always forgives. Next comes thanksgiving; thank God for what He’s done. And then intercession, make the requests.
I used the first letters of those four words and wrote “Princess Can Talk Inside” on a card, or Prince for a boy, and included the prayer sections. Our daughter is an adult now but remembers when she was young how she usually fell asleep before getting to the “Inside”, intercession, part.
What comfort your child receives knowing he can go from fear to faith when he prays!
No matter how big or small, write down the prayer requests and record when God answers. This will serve as a visual of His faithfulness and love for them. Celebrate God’s goodness together!
Teaching your child to pray does take some planning, but the results are eternal! They can pray wherever they are. It assures them, and us, of God’s presence in their life. Prayer leads them into a deeper relationship with Christ and He promises, “No one can snatch them out of My Hand” (John 10:28).
Gail Veale and her husband, John, pray for their adult children from New Hill, North Carolina. Their children pray in Montana and North Carolina.