Teach Your Children to Pray

by Emily on July 29, 2016 in Faithfulness, Home Culture, Inspiration in Child Rearing

Praying Child and Dog, 1941

It was a few years ago that I read J. C. Ryle’s book, Duties of Parents.  In it, J. C. Ryle admonished parents to teach their children to pray.  Through my years of being a mother, I had always prayed with my children, and for my children.  But I had not really made it a point to teach my young children to pray!

As my children grew older, we started having a family prayer time during our Bible time together.  And with my littlest one, I began teaching her to say her prayers before she went to bed.  I had her kneel beside her bed, fold her hands, and bow her head, and I did the same right next to her.  She was only 2 or less when we started.  We would also include her in our family prayer time, and allow her to have a turn.  In the beginning, either I or one of her big sisters, would simply give her some words of thanks to the Lord to repeat, and then maybe a humble request or two.  Now, she has all sorts of things that she will pray on her own, and sometimes she even sings her prayers.  I always have her pray before bed in the evening, but most days, she tells me she wants to pray at nap time too.

Do we have any problems?  Yes!  Some nights she is grumpy and says she doesn’t know what to pray.  Then I just help her with some words of thanks and ask the Lord to help her be good, and she will repeat these things after me.  Sometimes then she gets over her mood and says her own prayers.  And another thing–she is often wiggly, and I haven’t quite figured out how to get her past that yet (I’m sure mores stillness will come with age).  If she does get up, I do have her kneel back down again though.

I am so glad that I have been able to teach her how to pray at a young age.  This is practice for all of life–for our children to communicate with and praise their Creator.

What about you?

Have you taught your children, even your little ones, to pray, or will you start now?





Emily and her wonderful husband are raising several children to the glory of God. Emily enjoys homemaking, homeschooling, arts & crafts, cross-stitching, reading, sewing, and playing piano, just to name a few. She is interested in healing the body through the food God has given us, along with other God-given means such as herbs and essential oils. You can find her blogging about all things homemaking at Blessed Homemaking. Emily also has a God-given gift for art and sometimes posts her creations at Emily's Fine Art.

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Ana Sullivan July 29, 2016

I call this bedtime prayer time the Goodnight Ritual. When children are young consistency is the key. Children learn to pray when they know about answers to prayers. Explain to them how God answered their prayers. Share about how God has answered prayers in your own life: http://www.thelostapron.com/2012/10/share-answered-prayers-with-your-children.html Then continue as they grow older: http://www.thelostapron.com/2013/10/raising-teens-say-goodnight.html

Emily July 29, 2016

Yes, talking to them about answered prayers is important too. Thanks for the reminder!

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