“All your children will be taught by Yahweh and great will be your children's prosperity.” Isaiah 54:13
Before the Lord can teach your child, you must first introduce her to prayer. So, have you done this yet?
Teach your child these 6 concepts about prayer to help her understand it better:
1. Praying is NOT only talking to God. Anything you do, as long as it is offered up to God, is a prayer. Whether you sing, dance, draw, play sports or paint, if it comes from your heart, God will acknowledge it as praying.
Encourage your child to listen to religious songs (there are a lot of catchy ones made for kids), and even play a soccer game for God. These activities will help him understand that prayer goes beyond talking.
2. God will listen to anything. Tell your child that praying is like talking to a parent or a friend. She can recount the day’s events and even pour out her emotions, whether they are good or bad.
Example: Dear God, I got upset with my friend because she did not let me borrow her Bratz doll.
3. Not all prayer requests are answered. While adults already know this, children do not. Explain to your child that just because she prays for something doesn’t mean she will receive it. God knows what is best for us, therefore He decides what blessings He will shower upon us.
4. Pray anytime, anywhere. While it’s always best to pray in the Church or an adoration chapel, teach your child that she can communicate with God at any time and place.
Whether she is on the classroom or playground she can always say a quick prayer. Example: Thank you for giving my classroom the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom book, it’s my favorite.
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5. Call on God when anxious or scared. If your child is worried about something, teach her to pray about it. Eventually you can encourage her to ask strength from God so she can feel better.
Example: God I am worried because my pet Sparky has not come home yet. Please let us find him already so I can play with him again. Help me not to be sad.
If this concept confuses your child, you can compare praying to a hug. Remind her how when she is sad or frightened, she runs to you for a squeeze. A prayer can be as comforting and soothing as your hug, too.
6. Reading about God is also praying. Needless to say, if your child cannot read yet, you will be doing this for her.
Just as reading the bible is a form of prayer for adults, learning about God through children’s books is also praying. There are many children’s bibles or religious themed story books that narrate Jesus’ story. Use them to form the habit of reading with your child.
Teaching your child to form a meaningful personal relationship with God is your duty as parent. You can do this by encouraging her to pray more either through words or other actions offered to God, and by helping her understand what she needs to know about praying.