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How to Talk to Your Kids About Prayer




There is nothing sweeter than the prayers of a child—eyes scrunched closed, little hands pressed tightly together, and words that make every adult in the room smile.

“God, you are the awesomest. Amen.” 

“Jesus, please help mom remember to get pudding at the store. I ask every day and she always forgets.” 

“Dear Lord, I really don’t like third grade. The boy next to me has bad breath. Please fix it so I don’t have to go. Thank you.”


Innocent, uncomplicated, and brutally honest. 

As a young mom, I was still learning about prayer for myself (honestly, I still am)! How was I supposed to teach my children to grow their prayer lives when I was still working on my own? Two decades later, I now realize that I was way overthinking it. My kids, with their unfiltered, heartfelt brain dumps, were off to a great start! 

At its core, prayer is simply talking to God. This seems to come naturally to most children. As parents, we just need to encourage and guide these God conversations so that prayer becomes a trusted and integral part of their day-to-day lives. 

Use the Word

The most effective and powerful way to develop your prayer life is to use Scripture. Praying God’s Word ensures that our prayers align with His will and that we will receive what is asked within the correct context (James 4:3, 1 John 5:14-15). Praying Scripture also draws us closer to God’s heart and renews our minds to be more like Christ’s (Romans 12:2).

If your child is anxious, teach them 1 Peter 5:7 and pray, “Lord, I cast all my fears onto you because you care for me.” Or if a friend is sick they could pray Matthew 14:14, “Thank you Jesus that you feel compassion for them and You heal those that are sick.” You can also encourage your child to pray for things they want to see begin to happen in themselves or the world around them- freedom from sin (Romans 6:18), humility (1 Peter 5:5), discernment (Psalm 119:66) or servanthood (Mark 10:45). 

Get Creative

Kids are endless sources of creativity. They just love to make up stories, sing songs at the top of their lungs, and cover everything with glitter and glue. Using our creative gifts is a fun and immersive way to practice prayer. When you and your child are singing a worship song, encourage them to wrap their heart around praying the words as they sing them. Pray the lyrics of “Waymaker” over a challenging situation or “Glorious Day” when you’re having a tough one. Drawing as you pray is a great way to get out thoughts and feelings that may be difficult to put into words. And incorporating our imaginations can be a powerful tool. When my children would have nightmares, I would have them imagine Jesus on the throne in heaven. I’d ask them to use their hand to pull the nightmare from their brain and then give it to Jesus. It always gave them so much peace to have a visual of Jesus taking away the source of their fear. 


Establish a Routine 

Did you grow up praying at bedtime or before each of your meals? There is nothing magical about praying at these set times. They are just examples of establishing a prayer routine. Research shows there are numerous benefits to a predictable daily routine and that scheduling an item greatly increases the likelihood of that action being completed. Sit down with your kids and talk about making a family prayer routine. What consistent times work well for you? In the Robinson home, we pray before meals and we take extra time to pray with each child as we put them to bed at the end of the day. It doesn’t happen every single meal or every single night but, thanks to our routine, we are pretty close. 

The most important thing you can teach your child about prayer is just to do it and do it all the time. There is literally never a moment that we cannot pray. Prayers can be serious or funny, short or long, aloud or silent. Prayers can be for yourself or someone else. Prayers can be filled with gratitude or heavy with frustration. You can pray while driving, walking, or taking a bath. You can tell God you really like that tree He made in your front yard or you can ask Him to heal your grandmother. Nothing is too big or too small to pray. Prayer can and should be a lifestyle, a way of living every day, a continual conversation with the One who knows you best. 

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Scripture References

  • James 4:3
  • James 5:14-15
  • Romans 12:2
  • 1 Peter 5:7
  • Matthew 4:14
  • Romans 6:18
  • 1 Peter 5:5
  • Psalm 119:66
  • Mark 10:45
Susan Robinson Susan Robinson is a DoorHolder at Passion City Church and part of The Grove Leadership Team. She guides The Grove’s Prayer Team and also trained and led the Intercessors for Passion Conferences for many years. She is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Hope Heals and serves as the co-host of The Race and Redemption podcast, an inner healing facilitator, and mother to three teenagers. Susan and her husband Josh live with their family in Atlanta, GA.