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As a Christian Mom, you know in your heart it is important to encourage your child to pray. But how to do it can be another story!
We have 5 kids all with different personalities and gifts and all have grasped prayer at different ages and stages. We have found it best if possible to start young. If they begin to see that prayer is something valued or important in your family, it helps to make that head to heart connection.
But please don’t worry, it’s never too late to start! The same can be done if you are starting at any age!
Today I want to share with you some thoughts on How to Encourage Your Tween Child to Pray.
Please note, this post was partially outsourced to my own tweens by asking their input 🙂
I honestly had a hard time thinking of what I did exactly to encourage and teach them to pray – #mombrain. I didn’t come from a background of praying as A tween so yes I was “winging it” with our first ones. But God is gracious! If I can do this. So can you!
I asked our pre-teens the following: “Based on what you learned from me, how would you encourage a friend who said they didn’t know how to pray?”
This is what they came up with 🙂
Explain the Basics
They described prayer as both “talking to God with respect but still with all the details like you would a friend” and as having a “special secret conversation with just you and God”. We taught that it’s best to show God respect by folding our hands and bowing our heads BUT He wants to hear from us all the time! While we are walking around, playing outside, asking for help in the middle of a conversation even while Mom is driving the car! Don’t not pray because you can’t bow your head. Pray anywhere! They also all knew this basic format that I taught when they were little and they said they still use some modification of it.
- Praise God for who He is or thank Him for something.
- Ask for forgiveness for your sins.
- Pray for someone else’s needs.
- Pray for yourself.
That is just a basic customizable format to help keep focus in prayer. It also helps take away the nervousness or uncertainty of what to say especially if they haven’t prayed much or if they are a younger tween.
Yes, I know we have to do the hard stuff as parents! They want to see us lead by example and that includes in prayer. By praying out-loud they said they got to see and hear what prayer was like, know that it was a super important part of life and it helped to make it not as awkward when it came to praying for others out-loud who weren’t family.
Remember that God Already Knows
Being reminded that God already knows their feelings, thoughts, and struggles but still wants to hear from them helped them to not be afraid to confess sin. This also made asking Him for help a good thing – even when it seemed like “something silly” they said. They knew it was all important to God!
I do remember this one 🙂 We try to teach from little on up that we pray always not just when things are wrong or when we want something. We start with practical reminders to pray. Our 2-year-old even knows now to stop wherever we are when we hear an ambulance or sirens. We pray for the people involved and the emergency workers. And yes meals, thanking Him for provisions and other practical things. We also make sure to just stop and give thanks. I wish we were all better at it, but it does happen so I am grateful.
Keep it Simple
Start simple and keep it simple until you notice they are ready for more in depth prayer. God will lead on this! He has graciously grown their prayer life in different ages and stages. You can also have them take one simple verse that pertains to something they are dealing with and pray it back to God! It is SO awesome to see this growing in their hearts!
Help for Your Tween – a FREE Printable 31 Day Prayer Calendar!
I created a FREE Printable 31 Day Prayer Calendar for your Tween to Teen! It has one verse (it is great to have them look it up or you look it up together) to read and a simple prayer to pray based on that verse. These are 31 verses that pertain to struggles that many preteens are facing at this stage in life. Sign up here and get access to our FREEBIES Hub to download yours today!
For more help on Encouraging Your Tween to Develop a Quiet Time Read this!
If you want a more in depth guide to Praying for Your Tween to Teen Girl You will want to check out this post!
Let me know in the comments below, how do you encourage your children to pray?
Talk to you soon!
O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life. Lamentations 3:56