Church prayers and Sunday school can be a great help with teaching prayer but children will have a different understanding of the importance of prayer when their family prays.
This page will outline some ways to do regular family prayers and the book itself will include some popular set prayers for families.
When and where to pray:
Find some set times and places that are part of your daily life. Mornings are a possibility but tend to be a rush for many families. Dinnertime is also an option if you don’t have people going out afterwards. Bedtime is a third option and one that tends to suit most families as there may already be a routine for bedtime in place and prayer is a simple addition to this. Where to pray should be part of a routine were you have your prayer time in the same place as much as possible. Suggestions include round a table, in a spare room or living room or on a bed. You don’t need a routine to pray –it just helps.
A sample prayer time:
The following structure (or parts of it) can be used:
Help children to calm down and settle for prayer by gathering them in an attentive position (where it is not easy to run around) and perhaps reading a story. It should also be clear that, as this is prayer time with God, good behaviour is expected.
About what was good and bad about the day, hearing their stories and then applying this to the prayers. For example the ‘teaspoon’ (tsp) prayer:
Thank you: What could they thank God for?
Sorry: What do they need to say sorry for?
Please: What could they ask God for?
Praying: They could close their eyes and put their hands together for prayer (it helps them not to be distracted) and could pray either sitting, lying down or kneeling. As a suggestion each person could begin their prayer with ‘Dear God’, ‘Heavenly Father’ or ‘Dear Lord’ and finish with ‘Amen’. The prayer could include a ‘thank you’, ‘sorry’ and ‘please’ as a sample structure. You could also encourage them to ask for prayer requests for you to pray and also offer prayer requests that they could pray for you.