Prayer is incredibly important—way too important to not do it. So we have to talk about it as a key component to a thriving kids’ ministry. The need for prayer and intercession is mentioned throughout Scripture.

Take a look at Romans 8—the Holy Spirit prays for us (verse 26) and Jesus, the one who died for us, intercedes for you and me (verse 34).

We can talk to the God of the universe about anything and everything, because He cares for us.

But sometimes this critical practice is all too easily forgotten.

4 Things to Remember When Teaching Kids to Pray

1. Tell Kids Who Jesus Is and Remind Them How Much He Loves Them

First thing first, kids need to know how much Jesus loves them. Sometimes we expect children to immediately want to pray, after we’ve told them their whole lives not to talk to strangers.

It’s important that we teach children who God is and just how much He loves them. He is their Lord and Friend and He cares for them so much. If you need language for this, this article from Ministry Spark is a great place to start.

You can also lean into the Heart of Wonder Ink found on page 10 of this download.

It’s important that we teach children who God is and just how much He loves them.

2. Assure Them That God Wants to Hear from Them as Children

Prayer isn’t only for adults! Kids need to know how much God loves to hear from them. We see this well on display when Jesus says to ‘let the children come’ to Him (Luke 18).

Children may feel that they are too young or insignificant for God’s attention, or that God is only interested in grownups. Assure children that God cares and wants to hear from them at any time (see Matthew 7:7-8). They are important to Him!

And let children know that God hears, even if they don’t feel like anything happened! They can talk to Him about anything and everything.

Wonder Ink’s 3-year, 52-week children’s ministry curriculum offers kids space to fully find their place in God’s Big Story. Children discover they are Known by God, Loved by Jesus, and Led by the Holy Spirit.

3. When Teaching Kids to Pray, Teach Them Prayer Can Take Place Anywhere, Anytime

The idea of supplication—humbly making our requests to God—is certainly biblical. Our kids should know this is a legitimate aspect of prayer and being humble before God is important.

But they also need to know that it’s not about eyes closed, kneeled before God 24/7 (although this is a great aspect of prayer time regarding humility in posture). God hears them when they are at home, at school, on the go, in bed, eyes open, eyes shut.

They can be reminded that God is with them always, therefore, they can take anything to Him in prayer at any time. Kids should know that they can pray while doing anything! And God will hear them.

And although sometimes His answer is no (just like their parents sometimes say no), He loves to hear from them and supply their needs.

God knows what’s best for us, and He’s always working for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

4. Encourage Them to Build Relationship with God Through Prayer

We want to teach kids that prayer isn’t just asking God for things—it’s talking to Him about everything.

This is true in all of our relationships. Remind them how much their moms and dads love to hear from them and play with them. Remind them that it’s not just about what they want or need, but spending time together!

When they do want to talk to God about something they want, we can steer them toward verses like 1 John 5:14. Assure kids that we can approach God confidently because He hears us when we pray.

God may not always answer our prayers the way we’d like. But, we can be sure that He always hears them. He knows what’s best for us, and He’s always working for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

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