3 Tips to Help Your Kids Create a Rhythm of Prayer
August 22, 2022 | Jen Kenerly
Parents, we know kids operate at their best when they have healthy rhythms! Proverbs 22:6 tells us to train up our kids. When your kids needed to learn to tie their shoe or how to sound out words…you taught them. Likewise, one of the most important things we can do as parents is take an active role in our child’s faith formation. As busy parents we need to leverage the time we have…and this usually looks like morning time, drive time, and bedtime. With these times in mind, I’ve put together three ways you can leverage the time you do have while helping your child develop rhythms of prayer during their school day.
Romans 10:17 says, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word. Our kids need to know the Word to navigate the situations they’ll face. Hebrews 4:12 tells us the Word is alive and active. Therefore, our spirit responds, and our mind is renewed the more we hear the Word out loud. One of the best things we can do is teach our kids to pray Scripture. We can teach them this rhythm by praying Scripture over them (with them) – in the morning. To help you get started, check out this back-to-school Scripture based prayer resource for parents to use. You can also find a second Scripture based prayer for kids to pray as well. Both downloadable resources can be found in our Parent Resource Hub. Here’s a fantastic tip: Record your Scripture based prayers on your phone app. When you are driving and can't read, simply turn it on and pray along with it. You’ll find that when you begin to pray these Scriptures over and over, you’ll soon be able to recall them from memory. My mom prayed Scripture over me and my siblings on the way to school every day, and I am living proof that when your kids are grown, they will be able to recall it. The Word will take root in their heart.
Kids face so many things during their school day. There are often relational tensions, educational pressures, and subtle unbiblical ideology which is thrown their way. As much as we want to be there to gently remind them who and Who’s they are; this isn’t the case. Let’s equip them so that when they are feeling tense or their mind begins to race, they have centering prayer in their toolbox. Our Pastor, Jeff Coleman, began his August 7th sermon by asking those listening to participate in this kind of prayer. It’s a fantastic message! If you missed it, you can CLICK HERE to view it.
With centering prayer, you’ll teach your kids to pause and quiet themselves and sit silently for a moment. They’ll simply rest in the presence of God remembering they are in the arms of the One who loves them more than they can comprehend. It’s that simple.
I believe in those still moments we can do what 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us, take captive the thoughts that tell us we are ‘not enough,’ or perhaps, ‘I can’t’. As we shift from anxious thoughts, to focusing on the unconditional love of God, we remember He is FOR us. He created us. He loves us no matter what. We let the peace of God settle our mind and emotions.
Equipping kids with this centering prayer is an important lifelong rhythm of intentionally reaching out to our Father and receiving His peace that passes all understanding. One of the best things about this kind of prayer is that your kids can take just a couple minutes to do this no matter where they are.
Bedtime is a fantastic opportunity to connect with your kids and learn about what is going on in their heart through prayer journaling. We can begin this rhythm even with our little ones by sitting down and prayer journaling together. As preschoolers share their hearts, we can do the writing. As our children mature, they will begin writing these ‘Dear God’ letters themselves. Start by choosing a special notebook to keep by their bed. Explain that a prayer journal is not a diary, but a way to lay at the feet of Jesus the things that weigh on their heart. It’s also the time to invite God’s help into those situations. Sometimes kids have a difficult time getting to the root of the things that trouble them. Prayer journaling can be a healthy way for them to physically let go of their burdens. They will also be able to see God’s faithfulness as they look back and find answered prayer, deepening their faith!
I hope these tips and resources encourage you to begin leveraging the moments you do have while developing rhythms of prayer in your family.