One of the most profound aspects of helping shape the spiritual lives of children is guiding them in talking to God.
A few years ago I realised that I was not giving proper attention to prayer in my Bible classes. I found myself sometimes tagging a prayer on at the end instead of taking the time to facilitate an actual connection between the children and the Creator of the Universe. He has, after all, invited these children into his presence and that is no insignificant thing to be passed quickly over!
Since that time I have used a number of different methods to encourage active prayer. You can read more at Prayer in Bible Class but I thought I’d just share a few of my favourites here.
Prayer requests written on craft sticks encourage children to pray in this activity.
- At prayer time guide the children in drawing out the prayer sticks. Each child prays for the request that is written on the stick he or she has drawn.
- Use this prayer method over a number of weeks. As prayers are answered move the sticks to a different container.
- From time to time pull the sticks out of the “prayers answered” container and praise God for how he has heard and answered our prayers.
- Thumb (As it point back at us. Praying for people who are close to us)
- Pointer Finger (Praying for those who point the way and lead us)
- Tall Finger (Praying for people in authority)
- Ring Finger (The weakest finger. Praying for people who are weak or vulnerable)
- Little Finger (Lastly, I will pray for myself)
Children write prayer requests on the links of paper chains and then use the chains as prayer reminders.
- Guide the children in writing specific prayer requests on the slips of paper. One prayer request on each piece of paper.
- Staple or tape the ends of the papers together to form links of a chain.
Connect the links to from a chain of prayer requests.
- Children can hang the chains in the room in the classroom and bring them down at prayer time. The leader of the prayer prays for the requests listed on each link.
- Or send the chains home with children so that they can use them at home and invite their families to pray with them.