How to teach your child to pray

How To Teach Your Child to Pray- 9 Easy Tips

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Why Should I Teach My Child to Pray?

Prayer is an essential part of raising Christian kids. You see, prayer is a part of the two-way communication between us and God. 

We “hear” from God by reading his word, the Bible. We talk to God by praying and voicing our praise and needs. 

Teaching our kids to pray at a young age is vital. It’s a basic principle of faith that each child needs to know about, even before they become saved.

So how do you teach your child to pray? Focus on the 9 following steps and you will get off to a great start! 

How Do I Teach My Child to Pray?

Mom teaching her child to pay

1. Teach Your Child to Pray When They Are Young

It doesn’t matter how young or how old your child is. They can learn to pray.

Teaching your child to pray at an early age will help your child build a strong foundation in their faith.

Another great way to build a strong foundation of faith is to teach your family the Bible. You can find my post about starting family devotions here.

2. Be a godly Example

Children are like little sponges, they will soak up whatever is around them.

Use this to your advantage! When teaching your child to pray, most likely, you will be doing the majority of the praying.

So pray out loud and pray consistently.

Having consistent times of prayer with your child will show them that prayer is important to both your family and God.

3. Mealtime Prayers

We pray together as a family at every meal.

I found that praying at mealtimes is one of the best ways to introduce prayer into your child’s life.

But it can get repetitive with “bless this food” type prayers.

To add substance to our prayers during mealtimes, we like to add something else that we are thankful for.

Check out an example of this below.

Dear Lord, we thank you for the food today and ask that you bless it in nourishment to our bodies. We also thank you for the special family time we had together today. In Jesus name, amen.” 

4. Bedtime Prayers

Right next to mealtime prayers, praying at bedtime is a great way to introduce prayer into your child’s life.

Introducing prayer into your child’s bedtime routine is the perfect time to teach them about prayer.

I have found that the perfect time for our family to pray at bedtime is right after I read my daughter her bedtime story.

After reading her book, she is usually calm enough to sit and listen to the prayer. Now that she is two, she will often pray some herself!

We also have an adorable book, filled with children’s prayers that is very useful when introducing prayer into a child’s bedtime routine.

5. Lead Them to Pray

We started asking our daughter what she wanted to pray for even before she understood what we were asking her!

Why did we do this?

Simple, we wanted to lay the foundation for her to begin praying on her own.

We knew that one day she would understand what it meant to pray for the things on her heart. By asking her if she would like to pray, we enabled her to take responsibility for her own prayers. 

Teach Your Child to pray- 9 Easy Steps

6. Offer Examples of Prayer

While you do want your child to begin praying on their own, in the beginning you will have to help them with finding the words to say.

For young children and toddlers, you may need to give them a specific thing or person to pray for. 

Our two-year-old daughter may not understand the “meaning” of prayer, but she does understand how to repeat after us. 

Ministry to Children uses a 5 finger prayer for children as an easy prayer prompt.

  • Thumb- Those closest to you.
  • Pointer- Those that point you in the right direction.
  • Index- Those that lead us.
  • Ring- Those that are weak, in trouble, or in pain.
  • Pinkie- Prayers for ourself and our own needs.

7. Be Consistent

As with everything, consistency is key!

If your family does not already pray together at mealtimes, then choose to start there.

Once you are consistently praying at mealtimes, introduce prayer to your child’s bedtime routine.

You can continue to build on this foundation and add times of prayer to your day until you find what works for your family and your spiritual needs. 

8. Pray for Others and Needs

It’s necessary that our children learn to pray for others’ needs and not just their own. 

Sometimes, children can get stuck in only praying for what they want. Toys, games, extra play time, etc. 

It seems we adults can get stuck in that cycle of prayer as well. 

Guide your child in praying for specific people and the needs that those people may have.

This will teach them that prayer is not only focused on themselves, but others as well.

An example of this would be to have your child pray for the healing of a sick family member or friend.  

How to Teach Your Child to Pray

9. Teach You Child to Pray Everywhere

Once you have established those consistent family prayer times, teach your child that they can pray anywhere and at any time!

You can be the example by stopping to pray while you are stuck in traffic or when you are working around the house. Pray out loud so that your child can hear you. 

Don’t forget to ask them if they would like to add anything to the prayer. 

Teach your child that they can come boldly before God’s throne in prayer.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16 KJV

Bonus: Easy Prayers for a Child

  • Thank you God for my family and home.
  • Thank you God for my church. Please bless the pastor this week.
  • Thank you Jesus for the food you gave me today.
  • Thank you Lord for keeping me safe today.
  • Thank you God for always being faithful and keeping your promises.

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  1. I may not be a mom yet, but to be honest this is what I actually planned to do whenever I’m going to have kids. Prayer is the most powerful thing you can teach to your kids. This content is so great and every Christian parent should read this.?

    1. Oh thank you so much! That means the absolute world to me! I hope others find it useful in their child rearing (or future child rearing) as well!

  2. Love this! This is something that we need to work on. We go to church and are active in church as well as in our community but we really don’t pray as often as we should with our children.

    1. Praying can be such a hard habit to start but once you’ve started it gets easier! Start out small and gradually increase your prayer time! I promise you will see a difference in the closeness you feel with God.

  3. I absolutely love this. We have been working with our daughter on her prayers and this will definitely help us.

    1. I am so glad that it will help you and your family! You are doing a great job teaching your daughter the importance of prayer!

  4. Beautiful post and I agree with this, it is so important to teach kids to pray in an early age so that they will never forget it when get old Prov 22:6.

  5. This is such a great post. It’s so essential to teach our children how to pray and about God early on. Mealtime and bedtime prayer is how I got my son started but these days sometimes randomly my little guy will tell me that he is talking to God. It feels so good to know that he has God in his heart.

    Maureen |

  6. I think modeling and consistency are the two most important things in teaching kids anything. We can choose to model and consistently demonstrate what we want them to do or we can choose to model and demonstrate what we don’t. It is up to us.

      1. This was definitely something needed. I would like to raise my future children in a spiritual house. Appreciate your work.

  7. great, I’m very regular with this, bedtime prayer and meal time prayers especially, I would add a car time prayer, we pray for safety with every car ride.

    1. That is a great idea! We also pray when we go on our road trips. We will have to start praying more often in the car.

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