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    Creative Ways to Pray with your Kids

    7 Min Read

    12 May 2023

    Want to pray with your kids but not sure where to start? Just as every child is different, no two families are the same, and the rhythms of prayer that work in one family won’t always be the best thing for the next. These tips and creative ideas will help you find ways to pray that work for you.

    Things to keep in mind

    Before we get into some practical ways to pray with your kids, let’s zoom out for a moment. There are a few things to keep in mind that will help you as you explore faith with your family:

    Trust that God is speaking to your kids. When you start praying with them and encouraging them to listen for His voice, don’t be afraid to go with it, even when they surprise you with what they come with. Your kids’ spirituality is already there, so encourage it, affirm it, and don’t judge it.

    You don’t have to have all the answers. It’s okay to say ‘I don’t know’ or to suggest that you look for the answer together. Prayer, faith, and the big questions that these topics give rise to can still be fun and light – you don’t have to be a teacher to engage with your kids in their questions.

    Think ‘little and often’. The goal here is to create a culture of prayer and reflection in your family that permeates throughout your life. You don’t have to aim to dedicate significant portions of your day to prayer or to carve out big habits – though if that works for your family, go for it! – instead, think about turning towards prayer throughout the day. Encourage curiosity and moments of reflection, and don’t hesitate to bring up Jesus in your casual conversations.

    Work prayer into your normal rhythm. Think about when in the day or week your family is naturally already together, and start there. You don’t need to overhaul your routine to introduce more prayer into your life – think about the recurring points in your day that can act as prompts for reflection.

    Ways to Pray with Kids

    We’ve divided these suggestions into four sections:

    1. Get into a rhythm
    2. Get creative
    3. Get active
    4. Get outdoors

    1. Get into a rhythm

    Repetition is a great tool to help kids engage with spirituality. Adding meaningful habits into your daily, weekly, and yearly routine builds the muscle of prayer and incorporates into your daily life. Here are a few ideas for doing that:

    Weekly ‘Thank You’ Jar

    You could create a weekly rhythm where each member of your family writes down one thing they want to say ‘thank you’ for on a scrap of paper and puts it in the ‘Thank you’ Jar. Every few months – or at the end of the year – turn the jar over and spend some time going through all the ‘thank you’s. You’ll find that this activity jogs your memories of all kinds of fun memories and blessings from the past year!

    Lectio for Families

    Lectio for Families is a free daily devotional for families to do together. It features daily Bible readings, a weekly memory verse, engaging questions to pause and talk about, and prompts for reflection and prayer. You can listen to the content as audio or read it yourself.

    The devotions are about 10 minutes long, which is perfect for tucking into your daily routine. Some families use Lectio for Families in the car together, at lunchtime, or before bed, but you can try a few different times in the day to see what works best for you. It’s a great way to dip into the Bible and to open up big conversations.

    Read and discuss with a family Bible

    Another great way to pray with your kids is to use a family Bible like the Bible Society’s Good News Bible – Family Edition. It’s formatted with over 400 interactions – places to draw and write in it, questions to think about, and pictures to look at. There’s something for kids of all ages here, so get the whole family involved.

    Have open conversations with your kids

    One of the biggest ways to craft a culture of prayer with your kids is to simply have honest conversations. Be open about your own spiritual life and practises. Answer their questions as honestly as possible. The Kitchen Table Project has some amazing tips and resources for cultivating spirituality in your family – check it out.

    2. Get creative

    Prayer is about more than just closing your eyes, and there are loads of different ways to engage with God. When you show your kids ways to pray that engage their imagination and their senses, you’re not just making faith fun – you’re also helping kids with all kind of different learning styles and personalities find their favourite way to talk to God.

    Here are a few creative ways to pray with your kids:

    Use a household object as a prompt for prayer

    Tell your children to find an object in house that is interesting to them and bring it to you. Encourage them to ask God what he might be using the object to say to others in the family – the prompt is a way to practise hearing God’s voice!

    Write and draw on stones

    You and your kids can use sharpies to write and draw prayers onto stones. You can put these pebbles or stones in the garden as reminders to pray or even throw them into the sea as symbols of the worries you want to let go of. There’s something about giving prayers a tangible, physical shape that can be really helpful.

    Prayer activities to do at home

    Prayer Spaces in Schools has a huge resource library of prayer activities for kids – and while, as the name suggests, their main focus is helping kids encounter prayer in schools, they have a whole section of prayer activities designed to do at home. Check it out for more creative prayer ideas!

    Paint your prayers as a family

    Grab a big sheet of lining paper and unroll it across a table. As a family, sit round with markers and pens and write and draw and paint your prayers. You might want to do this at the turn of the year or significant points in the school year and have an emphasis on prayers for the season to come.

    Once you’ve written or drawn to your heart’s content, go round give each person a chance to share about their prayers and hopes. This is a great way to connect as a family, and if you keep your sheet of paper each year, it becomes an incredible snapshot of where you’ve been.

    3. Get active

    You don’t have to sit still to meet with God! Here are some ways to pray with your kids that involve getting active and using our bodies.

    Movement prayers

    Prayers that involve movement and repetition are great for kids – easy to remember and fun to do.

    • You could create actions to go along with memory verses and then go through them each night before bed. The armour of God as set out in Ephesians 6:10-18 is a great option for this.
    • You might try breath prayers, where you repeat one short phrase (often from the Bible) on the inhale and a different one on the exhale
    • The five fingers prayer is a great tool to introduce your kids to intercession. It helps you pray for different people in your life and the world.

    Song and dance

    For kids who love music and dancing, check out Becky and Nick Drake’s Worship for Everyone – a marvellous source of worship songs that aren’t simply kids’ songs, but are truly written for the whole family.

    Creating a physical space

    If you can, help your child create a physical space for their own personal prayer. This might be as simple as a roll of paper on the back of their bedroom door for them to write prayers on. It might be a strand of fairy lights in a corner of their room, or a special chair. Some kids find that having a dedicated space for prayer is a great motivator.

    4. Get outdoors

    The natural world has always been an amazing way to connect with God!

    Lolly stick blessings

    Gather lolly sticks and use markers to write a word or draw a picture on the stick, and then together decide where you’re going to ‘plant’ it. For example, you might decide to plant the word ‘joy’ in your neighbour’s garden, or ‘friendship’ in the grass near school.

    Prayer walking

    The next time you go for a walk, encourage your kids to notice what’s around them. What catches their attention, and what might God be saying through it?

    You can also use walking as a way to pray for your community, encouraging your kids to pray for the places you pass and the people who live and work around you.

    A ‘thank you’ game

    As you walk, play ‘I spy’ – but instead of saying ‘I spy something beginning with ___’ flip it to be ‘I’m thankful for something beginning with ___’.

    Telling the story of a place

    If there are any places with spiritual history near you, explore them! Churches, charities, ancient sites, cemeteries, chapels – look into the legacy of faith around you, and then tell the stories to your kids. The combination of a physical place and the stories of people who’ve responded to God there are a great way to show kids how God makes a difference in every day life.

    Praying with your family

    Remember that cultivating prayer in your family is an ongoing journey. We hope that these ideas and resources for praying with your family have been helpful and encouraging along the way!

    For a deeper dive, you might enjoy the book How to Pray: A Guide for Young Explorers by Pete Greig. And if you haven’t tried Lectio for Families yet, what are you waiting for?

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