Prayer can be hard! It seems like it should come naturally but many people will admit they have a difficult time figuring it out. They don't know how to get started and feel foolish asking for help. Praying can also be hard to explain to someone else, especially your kids. Follow these six simple steps to make prayer easy and fun. Get your kids praying! If you want to ignite your prayer life, you can try them too.
#1. Find The Place
Where you pray is important. You can’t have a meaningful conversation with a friend if you are in a crowded room surrounded by noise and distractions. The same is true for a conversation with Jesus. Help your child find a place that is quiet, comfortable, and free of distractions. Some kids like to create their own special place for prayer. It doesn’t need to be fancy. It should include things that are special to your child. Here is one example from a friend of mine. This is where her daughter loves to pray.
#2. Be An Inspiration
Children tend to imitate the important people in their lives. As a parent, you have more influence on your child than any other single person. This can be a daunting realization, but in this case, you can use it to your advantage. Make prayer a priority in your day. Let your kids see you pray and spend time with them together in prayer. Also, explain that everyone needs time alone with Jesus. You can even have your private prayer time at the same time, but in separate locations, and then come together and talk about your time spent with the Lord.
#3. Schedule It In
We all know how easily the day can get away from us. We begin with the best of intentions but become sidetracked by those unexpected events of the day. When we aren’t intentional, the day flies by, and it’s already time for bed before we have made time for prayer. Rather than hastily trying to fit it in when you and your child are exhausted and irritable, put your prayer time on the schedule and make it a priority earlier in the day. Think of it as an important appointment with Jesus. We write other things on the calendar that are important to us, like sports games and play dates. Do the same for your good friend Jesus and schedule Him in.
#4. Find A Visual That Works
I think you will agree that staying focused has become a very difficult thing for many people. Our children are no exception. In our fast paced world of technology, kids have become accustomed to moving images and switching from one activity to the next at lightning speed. They expect to be entertained constantly. This can be a very real problem. Unfortunately, the act of sitting quietly for any length of time has become a difficult thing for most children to do. A simple way to help your child stay focused is to give them something tangible to focus on. Help your child find a picture of Jesus that speaks to them. Looking into His face is a wonderful way to be reminded that Jesus is there. Having a picture of Jesus will help your child to think of prayer as spending time with a friend. Here is one example of a picture that I like to use for myself.
#5. Get Them Started
Now the praying begins. What do I say in my prayer time? Here is a simple formula that really works for prayer. It's called the FAITH message. Each letter of the word FAITH stands for a different step. You can see the steps clearly on these prayer cards that come with the Give Him 5 prayer bag. The prayer bag is a great tool because it includes the 5 minute sand timer and a few other items to help with prayer, but it certainly isn't required.
If you would like an example of how the FAITH message is used in prayer, listen to these free audios that lead you through your five minutes of prayer time. They are a wonderful way to get started and work well for kids and adults.
#6. Write It Down- The Final Step
If your child is old enough to write or draw a picture, gather together a notebook or journal and a pencil or pen before praying. Encourage your child to take the extra step to keep a record of what happened during their time with Jesus. Have your child pray first and then take a few minutes to write down their thoughts or draw a picture. What was important to them today? What did they tell Jesus about? What were they thankful for? Did they ask Him anything? What was the response they heard in their heart?
This step is important in building a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you don’t journal, you have missed an opportunity to hold onto those times spent together in prayer. Too often, we think that we will remember our experience, but time passes and it fades from our mind. Tell your child that if they keep a journal, then they will be able to look back and remember the things that touched their heart and how much they enjoyed their time with Jesus.
Here is one example from the book To KNOW the Savior Prayer Guide & Journal of what a journal page might look like.
Remind your child how much Jesus loves them and how He wants to spend time with them every day. Friends make time for each other. Take these steps to help your child begin a lifelong friendship with Jesus.
This blog post is part of the Catholic Women Blog Network’s monthly blog hop.
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