Last week our theme during Moppets was My Hands Belong to Jesus. We heard the story of how Jesus taught us to pray the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11 and learned the verse “Never stop praying”- 1st Thessalonians 5:17.
So, how can you keep this focus at home? With the invention of Pinterest, there is a multitude of amazing ideas right at your fingertips. You could spend hours browsing and pinning, but in the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody go time for that!”
So here are some quick and simple things that you can pull together at nap time. Try one or two!
Teach your children an easy way to pray. One option is the 5 finger method. It is a great visual way to remember to pray the different types of prayers (praise, thanksgiving, request for someone else, confession, and request for self). Go here to learn more.
You can also print out these prayer prompt cards to help teach your children different things they can pray about. These can be cut apart, laminated, and put on a ring so that they are easy to keep track of. There is a boy version and a girl version and they are super cute!
Make a prayer jar. I literally looked in my pantry for some type of container to use and ended up emptying out one of those “cookie-in-a-jar” thingys that a student gave me like 7 years ago. A mason jar is great, but a cup or small bucket will work as well. Add some stickers or write on the outside with a marker, and you are good to go. I then sat down with my preschooler and a handful of popsicle sticks, and we decided who/what she would like to pray for. We made a stick for Mommy, Daddy, brother, teachers, friends, etc. Each night at bedtime we pull out 2-3 sticks and pray for what it says. Below is a picture of our Prayer Jar.
Funny story about this picture… my sweet, but strong willed red-headed 5 year old was in her room serving a time out and when I went to release her she had my name pulled from the jar. When I questioned her about it she told me that she chose my name and got it out because she was praying that I would change my mind about a consequence that she had earned. Wow! What a thinker. Sure made it hard to stick to my earlier parenting decision (but I did!).
Talk about when/where we can pray. So many times we get into the rut of just praying before meals and at bedtime. Teach your children that they can pray whenever and wherever they choose. It’s one of the great things about living in the Land of the Free! You can make this fun craft with them for a good visual.
Keep your child’s prayers in vision. You can print out this template, pop it in a frame, and then write your child’s prayers on the glass with a dry erase marker. It can be easily changed and can be used as a whole family or just for 1 child.
Let your kids see and hear you praying. Children are imitators. They mimic what they see, good (or bad!). When my son was around 18 months old, he would hold out both hands as soon as we sat down for dinner. He had seen us hold hands to pray and he wanted to be included. So sweet! Now he is the first to remind us at every meal. His little voice saying, “Hands. Pray. Amen!” make me want to pray more. When prayer is a part of our day, a constant conversation with our Lord and Savior, our kids will notice.
Teach your kids to pray. Make it a part of every day, all day. Model prayer for your children. Help them build the habit at a young age so that it is a constant in their life.
Never stop praying. 1 Thessalonians 5:17