By Sarah Humphrey
Life is better with a friend. It’s even better when that friend is God! Who doesn’t want to have someone they can talk to, confide in, share thoughts and ideas with, and live life with every single day? For most of us, we have family members, friends, and colleagues that we can share our daily lives with. But for a lot of kids this day and age, that may not be the case.
No matter what home life a child comes from, whether healthy and vibrant or distant and challenging, teaching a child how to pray can make a long-lasting impression on them and can help them create a lifestyle of relationship with God from an early age.
As parents or ministers, we all need to have some space from one another so that we can gather ourselves. It can be a lot to hear children’s questions all the time or help them navigate the waters of life with every tide or turn. That’s why teaching them to pray on their own is one of the most loving and beautiful points of connection they may ever learn. And it’s one of the most significant skills that we may ever teach. It’s a win/win for everyone!
God never tires of hearing from us (thank goodness!), and He is always available when we need a friend. So if you come across an extra chatty kiddo or one that seems to be struggling, here are a few points that can help them develop relationship and conversation with the One who always wants to spend time with them!
- Ask God how He’s doing! Have you ever realized that when we put our thoughts on God, that it always makes us think more clearly, hear better, and feel more alive? He just loves that! Take a few minutes to say “Hello” to Jesus and then spend a few more minutes in silence–listening and waiting for Him. Sometimes it’s the silence that actually makes our heart feel most peaceful, and God’s favorite thing to do is share is perfect love with us!
- Tell God about your day! You can tell Him out loud, or write it down. You can draw a picture for Him, or even call Him on a pretend phone. It’s good to let out feelings, happenings, and thoughts so they don’t get cluttered up on the inside!
- Speak out a special Bible verse that means a lot to you! Praying a Bible verse out loud or simply speaking it back to God is a great way to talk to Him. You can even sing it like a song, or draw it on paper. God loves to see what you make!
- Practice listening. When you have a conversation with a friend, it’s good to listen just as much as it’s good to talk. When you take time to simply open your ears, especially after you share something with God, many times your thoughts and ideas become more clear. If you chat a little bit, then wait a little bit, you might even start thinking of something new or start feeling a positive emotion, instead of a sad one. Practicing back and forth also helps form good manners, and it gives you a chance to learn how to pray a little bit longer each time!
- Say thank you often. Every good gift comes from our Father. He gives us nature, sunshine, life, family, and friends. When we say thank you every day, we learn happiness in a whole new way. It helps us have good attitudes about challenges, and it gives us the energy to love others well, too. Look around your surroundings, and practice saying thank you for what you see!
A few tips can go a long way for little ones! Kids love to connect, and teaching them to pray is a life-changing way to do so.
Sarah is a wife and homeschool mom to three kids while also working as an artist, author, and voice actor. Her writing and doodling can be found in her devotional, “40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood” and her voice in several commercials, children’s books, and audiobooks. She loves encouraging women and kids to embrace self-care, utilize their gifts, and become leaders in the community around them.