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What could be more challenging for a parent than trying to teach the concept of God to a small child? How about finding easy prayers for children to learn? Because life is challenging enough, this article is dedicated to helping parents find short, easy prayers for children to learn. But before we dive into those prayers, let’s take a look at prayer by itself. What is Prayer and what are the different types of prayer? Just in case those inquisitive young minds start asking challenging questions we have some answers for you.
What is Prayer?
Prayer is a conversation. An open dialogue between yourself and God. There’s really no right or wrong way to pray. Still, prayer is something people struggle with every day. How do you talk to Him? What do you say? The answer: Say anything. Say everything. If Gathering, a ministry that publishes a number of Bible studies, suggested in their book, Enjoying Jesus: 12 Experiences That Will Draw You Closer, that everyone who struggles with prayer should think of it as having a conversation with a close friend. It’s that simple.
The Health Benefits of Praying
Did you know that there are psychological benefits to prayer? Forbes wrote an article in 2018 on this very topic. Their research revealed that children who pray on a regular basis are overall happier people. They are more forgiving and less self-centered. Prayer can help ease symptoms of depression. Children who pray are less likely to use drugs, engage in sexual activities at young ages, and are more likely to participate in volunteer activities. If prayer isn’t right for you or your family, keep in mind these benefits also apply to daily meditation.
Read More: Relax With Akasha Meditation
The Four Types of Prayer
There are a ton of articles on the internet that list different types of prayer when trying to teach easy prayers for children to learn. Seedbed, a platform dedicated to providing free resources for any individual who wants to develop a relationship with God, has listed the four types of prayers below.
- Prayers of praise are an acknowledgment of God’s greatness. All that He has provided for an individual or family. They are a way of saying, “I’m in a wonderful place right now and it’s because of God. I achieved this by His good grace.” This is when we sing praises to God.
- Prayers of confession are probably the most difficult prayers. They are a way for people to confess that they did something wrong, either as a sin against God or sin against someone in their life.
- This is probably the most common prayer expressed. The request is typically made during times of struggle. When tragedy strikes, when there are financial struggles, when a severe storm is about to make landfall, we pray for a positive outcome.
- Prayers of thanksgiving are just that. We give thanks for all that God has given us. We give thanks that our loved ones returned home from overseas travel, for someone who survived a horrific accident, for a speedy recovery after a frightening illness. We give thanks because the worst-case scenario didn’t happen.
Teaching Children How to Pray
Now that we know more about what it means to pray, let’s talk about the real challenge – teaching children how to pray. Learn Religions has a few tips on just how to do that.
First, lead by example. A friend of mine who leads a weekly Bible study has often commented that when her children see her pray, they know momma’s patience is maxed. Let your kids see you pray. Let them see you pray when you’re happy and when you’re sad. Say a prayer to help you keep your cool and also to send a message to your children that it’s time for them to simmer down. Praying in front of your children will help build a path for them to follow.
Second, use everyday conversations with your kids for ideas on what they can pray for. Help them build their prayers around things they like, problems they’re having at school, even difficulties they’re having at home. The goal of teaching young children how to pray isn’t about the content of the prayer. It’s about opening a dialogue between God and your children. So if your kids want to pray to God that the next time they have to eat broccoli it will taste like chocolate, that’s okay. Open the door to God now, fine-tune the actual prayers later.
One other suggestion Learn Religions had was directed toward shy children. Parents can help their kids overcome their insecurities by praying to God by having parents pray out loud first and then having the children repeat those prayers. And for children who are shy about praying in front of their parents, another option for older kids is giving them a journal to write their prayers in.
Need more help teaching your children how to pray? Check out these books on Amazon.
Read More: 25 Inspirational Bible Verses
Short and Easy Prayers for Children to Learn
The trick to picking easy prayers for children is to find prayers that are short and also rhyme. Here are four easy prayers for children to learn, one for each category of prayer.
Thanksgiving – from FirstCry.com
“Thank you God for the world so sweet,
Thank you God for the food we eat,
Thank you, God for the birds that sing,
Thank you, God, for everything!”
Request – from Life in West Tennessee
God Hear My Prayer
God in heaven hear my prayer,
keep me in thy loving care.
Be my guide in all I do,
Bless all those who love me too.
Praise – from Learn Religions
He wakes me up; He makes me sleep.
Provides for me the food I eat.
When I cry, I call on him,
Because I know with him I win.
Even through the hardest day,
I trust in him in every way.
He’s the One who sees me through,
Jesus lives, I know it’s true.
With loving kindness, he smiles on me.
Because he died, I am free.
Lord, for all, I thank you so,
I know you’ll never let me go
Confession – While there weren’t many easy prayers for children to learn that fell under this category since prayer is simply a conversation with God and confession is admitting wrongdoing, a confession prayer for children could look like this:
Dear God, today I told Mommy I didn’t like dinner, I yelled at my sister, and I hurt Daddy’s feelings when I asked him how many gray hairs he had. Please forgive me, please help me to behave better, and please help Mommy, Daddy and Sister know that I love them very much. – Amen
Read More: Teaching Children the History of Easter
The internet is a vast resource when it comes to finding easy prayers for children to learn. And as always, remember that prayer is nothing more than having a casual conversation with a friend. A very special friend. Also, there’s no right or wrong time to pray. So tonight, when you’re sitting around the dinner table, giving the kids a bath, or tucking them into bed, use the opportunity to teach your children about prayer.
WANT TO READ MORE?
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Sources: IF Gathering │ Forbes │ Seedbed│ Learn Religions │ FirstCry.com │ Life in West Tennessee │ Learn Religions