A few years ago, I said something to one of my children about praying for them and my oldest son reacted with surprise. “You pray for us?”
And I realized my error right in that moment. You see – I pray for my children all the time. But they don’t know it. And for so many reasons I want my kids to know they are prayed for daily. The biggest reason? I want them to pray too.
How can you encourage your children to pray if they never see you praying, never hear you praying, and never know that you have prayed?
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live. Psalm 116:2
So here’s the thing — right away I started letting my kids know that I was praying for them. Especially when I knew they were struggling with something. I started praying out loud for my children at night before bed. And I started asking them to pray less generic prayers at meal time, teaching them to be specific with their prayers. I want the legacy of prayer I leave for my children to be a rich and strong example of a faithful prayer life. And I also want to make sure they know how to pray for themselves.
This beautiful prayer board (not exactly like mine since mine is discontinued, but very similar!) is one perfect way to start encouraging prayer in your home. Hang the prayer board in a prominent place where it cannot be missed. Mine is the kitchen – which is the most trafficked room in our home. Invite your children to add prayer notes and pray for the ones posted.
Here are some other ideas to encourage your children to pray:
- Take a prayer walk around your neighborhood. Pray for the occupants of each home as you walk.
- Take turns praying at meal time, and encourage prayers that are unique and thoughtful – not recited. One of the ways I practice this is by making sure I take turns myself and pray thoughtfully about our day and lives myself.
- Keep a prayer journal, and have your children keep a prayer journal.
- Pray for your children by name out loud at least once a day. This can be at meals, at bed time, or at any time that works with your family’s ebb and flow.
- Talk about prayer. Read books about prayer. Find out what the Bible has to say about prayer. Basically – just study prayer.
- Try some of these fun activities to learn about prayer together.
- Watch War Room together. Discuss the movie and the power of prayer.
I am very excited to begin a short series on encouraging prayer in your home. To get you started, I made these very simple prayer cards and prayer journaling pages with a pretty floral design. Use the prayer cards on a prayer board of your own or keep them on the refrigerator and keep the prayer journaling pages in a binder you use as a family. Let’s create an atmosphere of prayer in our homes!