Praying out loud can be an intimidating thing, regardless of whether you’re a kid or an adult. Even the most outgoing child can feel self-conscious about it.
Kids need a space where they can feel safe and loved, and not vulnerable, as we encourage them to open up to God in prayer.
So how can we encourage our kids to pray, and to pray out loud with us, and with others?
As we nurture them in their growing walk with God, we want them to know they can talk to God anywhere, anytime, about anything they want to, and that with God they are safe, loved and protected.
Which leads us to prayer prompts for kids.
WHAT ARE THEY
Prayer prompts are, as they sound, prompts for prayer.
Sometimes not knowing what to pray for can be the thing that holds them back.
Prayer prompts are visual queues to help children with ideas of what to pray for.
It could be a list of prayer points, a calendar with different prayer points for each day, older kids may like to start a prayer journal, or it could be a collection of prayer ideas printed on paper or discs that they can choose from a box.
Whichever form you want to use, depending on the children’s ages, get them involved in making the prayer prompts and choosing the topics, that way they will feel more ownership of the project and more likely to pray for the things they have nominated.
HOW DO THEY WORK
Prayer prompts will encourage children to pray and to know what they can pray for, without feeling any pressure to think of something on the spot.
If you are using a calendar idea, you may have one or two suggested prayer topics on any given day. It could be that you have a different category to pray for depending on the day, or the week of the month. For example, Monday could be for missionaries, Tuesday could be for family, Wednesday could be for worship, Thursday could be things to thank God for, and so on.
If you are using printed squares, or discs which they can choose from a box you may have categories mixed together, or you may choose to separate out the categories. Each child will get to choose one or two things to pray for.
You can write them as a single word, such as ‘thanksgiving’ and the children can make up their own prayer, or, a phrase such as ‘thank you God for…my comfy bed’, or, especially for younger children, you may want to write out a prayer in full for them.
You can also use scripture verses as prayers, especially for thanksgiving and worship. The Psalms are full of wonderful verses of praise.
You can also break the prompts into categories using the 5 Types of Prayer.
This is a great way to teach them that prayer isn’t just about asking God for things for themselves (petition) but prayer is also about confession, adoration, thanksgiving and intercession for other people. You could have five boxes with a different category in each box and the children can pray a prompt from each one, developing a more comprehensive approach to prayer.
HOW TO MAKE PRAYER PROMPTS FOR KIDS
You can design and make your prayer prompts using paper, cardboard, tokens, or, using a calendar. Write out your prayers and prompts and decorate them using, pencils, highlighters and stickers, and anything else you can use to make them look attractive and fun.
Or, you can download these free printable prayer prompts.
SOME SUGGESTED PRAYER PROMPTS
- I’m sorry for…
- Help me to…
- I confess…
- Loving me
- Saving me
- Helping me
The World (or a specific country)
- My Country
Praying together will not only strengthen you as a family but it will grow your faith and spiritual relationship with each other and create deeper bonds of trust and intimacy amongst you.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the middle of them.” Matthew 18:20