Teaching Kids to Pray in Sunday School

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by Avery Foley on July 26, 2019
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Many children don’t know how to pray beyond just asking God for the things they need or want.

Many children don’t know how to pray beyond just asking God for the things they need or want. And while that’s certainly a big part of prayer (we see those kinds of prayers throughout Psalms, the epistles, and even the Lord’s prayer), there’s so much more to it than that.

That’s why we start young grades (Pre-K–Grade 1) with a Flip Chart page that teaches four types of prayer (Adoration, Confession, Supplication, and Thanksgiving), which are simplified as “I love you” prayers, “I’m sorry” prayers, “Please” prayers, and “Thank you” prayers. Older grades benefit from learning these types of prayer and how to incorporate all of them into their prayer time.

To encourage younger children to pray, consider bringing a special prayer time object, such as a stuffed animal, that is passed around as you pray. Whoever is holding the object gets a turn to pray. If someone does not want to pray, they can quietly pass the object along to the next person.

For older students, ask for a volunteer, or a couple of volunteers, to open your classroom time with prayer. Encourage them to incorporate adoration, supplication, thanksgiving, and even general confession into their prayer time. We include Group Prayer Points in each lesson to give you or your students a starting point for prayers.

Each week, take a short time to ask for prayer requests. This time not only allows the children to pray for one another that morning, but also gives you insight into the lives of your students, perhaps giving you something to follow up on or pray about throughout the week. Consider calling your student or writing them a message through the week to let them know you remember their request and you are praying for them. And, of course, encourage students to share praises about what God is doing in their lives so everyone can rejoice together.

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