Praying with your children

Many people find it hard to pray with their children but wish they did more.  There are so many distractions and it’s easy not to get round to doing it.  But why not just take the plunge and keep things very simple, especially if your children are very young.

At the end of the day, maybe in the bath or when they are in bed perhaps thank God for one thing – it can be as simple as:

Dear God
Thank you for my toys . . . . for my pets . . . . my mum . . . . . [whatever it is they suggest]

If your child is worried about something you could pray:

Dear God
Thank you that you love us and that you want to help us when we are worried.  Help us to trust you all the time .  . . .  or you could say out loud the problem and ask God to help.

Perhaps you could pray as a family or with the children together (if you have more than one).  The same applies – it needn’t be long or use special language.  A grace at mealtimes is a good start – thanking God for the food, for those who are sharing the food together and remembering those who don’t have enough food.

Traditionally we think of closing our eyes and putting our hands together when we pray.  There’s nothing that says it has to be like that.  It can help children to concentrate if they are still . . but a prayer while you are out for a walk – for a beautiful flower or an ice cream or anything else which they are enjoying can be a great way of reminding a child (and yourself) that God is involved in all of our lives, all the time.

Praying with your children, even when they are really little, creates a valuable opportunity to talk to your children as well as to God and starts a habit which, we hope and pray, will sustain and nurture your child for life.

There are lots of lovely children’s prayer books and Bibles which you can buy but be confident that simple prayers which you make up together are often the best.