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Prayer is important for any family and one of the best things you can do for your children is teach them how to pray. Many parents either do not think about teaching their children to pray, or else they do not know how to go about it. It is never too early to teach your child to pray and here are some tips to help you do just that.
1. Determine what prayer means to you
The first step in teaching your child to pray is to know just what prayer means to you. What is your attitude to prayer? Is this something you do when you have needs? Or is it your way of forming a relationship with God? Do you pray just because you are supposed to pray or because you want to connect with the Higher Being? It is important to be clear about what prayer means to you because this is what your child will pick up from you.
2. Pray in front of your children
Many of us neglect to pray in front of our children and this does not do much in helping them learn how to pray. If you want them to get in the habit of praying, let them see you pray. Once they realize that it is a part of who you are, they are more likely to adopt the habit.
3. Pray with your children
It is important to pray with your children. Pray with them during meal times. Pray with them in the morning before you all go out. Pray with them last thing before bed. Pray and let them say ‘Amen’ so that they feel part of the process. Even if your child is still a toddler (2 years old) and can’t speak very well, he or she can still learn what it means to pray and how to respond to prayers.
4. Teach them short and simple prayers
Your child does not have to say a complicated and lengthy prayer. Short prayers are a good way to get them into the habit of praying. If your child easily gets the concept of prayer, she will most likely form her own short prayers. But even if she does not, you can always teach her a few prayers until she begins to form hers. Some prayers you can teach your child are:
God bless Mummy and Daddy
Thank you, God for everything
Thank God for my food and for my drink and bless everyone.
Prayer is an important way for a family to bond and also key to helping your child grow spiritually. Start early teaching your child how to pray. Don’t wait for the perfect time.