Part of dedicating your children to God is helping them make the switch from following your lead to having their own personal relationship with God. One of the easiest areas to begin helping your children develop a personal spiritual life is in teh area of prayer.
The two concepts you want them to incorporate in their prayer lives are constant, consistent prayers and the idea of taking everything to God in prayer. Yesterday, we had the kids make two crafts which hopefully will help them with these concepts.
The first was the “prayer rock”. This idea has been around for years. We purchased large stones from the craft store. You can find them several to a pack, rather cheaply, in the floral area. I pre-wrote the word “Pray” on them, then let the children color in the letters and decorate the stones. Although I sent home the normal poem that usually goes with a prayer rock, we talked about other ways to use it.
We encouraged them to get their whole family used to praying more by making the prayer rock a moving rock. Most of our kids regularly pray at meals and bedtime, but don’t necessarily pray the rest of the day unless there is a scary storm or something similar.
We told them to help get their entire family accustomed to praying throughout the day and telling God everything. They can make it fun by hiding the prayer rock somewhere in the house where someone is sure to find it (the refrigerator?!). Whoever finds it, should stop and pray right then. After they pray, they can move the rock somewhere else in the house. We tied the idea to the concept of being able to tell God everything, so just like our best friends or our family, we should always have something to say to God.
We also made prayer journals to re-inforce the idea that God answers prayers. We encouraged the children to record their prayer requests or those of their family. We asked them to write a date by the request when God said “Yes”, “No” or “Wait”. We used pre-made prayer journals the kids could decorate, but I have also used plain spiral or composition notebooks for the same purpose.
Have you found other creative ways to help transition your children to independent prayer lives? I would love for you to share them in a comment below. Your ideas will inspire other parents in their efforts to teach their children prayer.