getting kids to pray by jamieivey | Mar 29, 2009 | My Story | 9 comments We have not always been the best at praying with our kids. 9 Comments prayers4bfamily on March 29, 2009 at 9:22 pm Sometimes nighttime prayers become a stall tactic with our 4yo son, Will. He has such sweet little prayers, but sometimes it’s just, “And thank you for my fan…and my clock…and my ummm… red walls…and…” You get the idea. I read somewhere to say one thing you are thankful for, one thing you are sorry for, and one thing you want God to help you with. We started doing that together, and he loves it. He’ll ask to pray that way in fact. So I usually start. I love for him to hear me repent. In fact, tonight, I told God I was sorry for my bad attitude, and Will said, “But you didn’t have a bad attitude, Mommy!” It was a great teaching time about how even Mommy gets frustrated and needs God to help me have a good attitude. When it was his turn, he thanked God for his trains, his mommy, daddy, and “baby brother,” and various other family members. Then he said, “I’m sorry for not taking a nap today. Please help me have a good day tomorrow. Help me not get frustrated. Help me have a good attitude and not a bad attitude. Amen.” I love to hear that come from his mouth. Love the index card idea! Stephanie on March 29, 2009 at 9:40 pm I kid you not, I just wrote down this idea on a scrap of paper during the sermon tonight at church (shame on me! I often drift off on tangents that way.) I’m thinking about having the kids decorate the cards with rubber stamping or something so they feel like they’ve contributed to the project. I also love the idea that the other commenter left. I’ve tried it with the kids, although not as consistently as I should. What I’ve discovered is that my kids really need work on repentance, lol! They often can’t think of “anything” they need to say sorry for (but I sure can!) It’s always an adventure, isn’t it? Stephanie on March 29, 2009 at 9:40 pm What I was trying to say was, GMTA (Great Minds Think Alike), ha! Kristen on March 30, 2009 at 1:35 am I love all these ideas! We started the mealtime prayer about 6 months ago. Jafta’s usual prayer is “thanks for everything amen let’s eat’. So yeah, we could use some help, too! Cynthia on March 30, 2009 at 10:04 am We also have one who loves to pray and one who is more reluctant. Something that is working for us, is to ask the more reluctant one who he would like to help him say the prayer. For a while he had someone help him and then the whole “I’m a Big Boy and can do it by myself!” mentality kicked in and so now often once the question is asked he lets us know he can do it and all the balking stops and he offers beautiful prayers on his own. I like your file box system and may need to incorporate something like that as my boys prayers are more limited to their immediate concerns. Thanks for sharing! shawnah on March 30, 2009 at 11:06 am I think the box is a great idea!! If it helps any, Jared never seemed to get into the prayers either. He always wanted me to pray though. Maci on the other hand, would pray for her corn, potatoes, the forks that we ate them with and everything else she saw on the table. LONGGGGGG. Sweet though. But…Jared, after listening and participating the least, will pray no matter where he is and no matter who is listening! He spills his heart out to God. So…just keep praying, they are getting it! I wish I had thought of that idea when mine were little! bleachusd on March 30, 2009 at 4:26 pm I don’t have kids yet, but I *love* the box idea. I used to have a bulletin board in my room that I would put up pieces of paper with names, events, etc that I wanted to pray for (I always worried I’d forget to pray for someone or something that I’d said I would). Kayla on April 3, 2009 at 7:39 pm I too hated mealtime prayers for their forced nature. But once Kenson came home, we knew we needed to get that in. So meal time prayers are generally thank you prayers. We haven’t started bedtime prayers yet because he’s so little and everything has been so new to him that we decided to wait but hopefully by the start of summer we’ll be up and going. But I love the idea of a prayer box similar to what you were thinking. I’m planning to start it by just having my husband and myself write down prayers and pulling them out at night out of a big special prayer box. The goal would be that as my kids got older, they would add to the box. I’m reading When Children Pray by Cheri Fuller right now. I haven’t gotten very far in it but something that has struck me already is that prayer should be our first reaction to a problem. I think teaching my kids to pray about problems as they happen is a powerful thing and I hope I’ll be able to do that. I also want to be able to teach my kids to pray a prayer of repentence for misbehavior. (Not in a punitive, wanna punish you and make you feel bad kind of way.) Just using prayer as a part of the teaching/learning process of parenting. Kenson is too little to really “get it” but I have found myself praying that kind of a prayer for him when he misbehaves and I’m feeling like nothing I’m doing is working. It seem slike I then pray that God would give me the wisdom to know what to do when he misbehaves so maybe that prayer ends up being more about me, I don’t know. Sorry so long…it’s a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot myself. Amy on April 7, 2009 at 8:55 am Great idea Jamie! I too have laxed on praying before meals, but I want to incorporate your idea into our mealtimes – I think it will work well!. We do get our 4 year old son to pray at bedtime – he says, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” then at the end he says, “I’m thankful for God making you” (meaning me). It is so cute…then we go through a long list of names that we ask God to bless (include our pets and our friend’s pets). We are always out of breath at the end! My son is very ornery about going to church – he wants to be a farmer when he grows up, and says that when he has his farm he’ll be too busy plowing the fields to go to church! Uffda…he exasperates me sometimes! He’s too smart for his own good! Anyway, thanks again for the idea! ~Amy in Wisconsin Submit a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment * Name * Email * Website Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.