When teaching children to pray during a special children’s prayer meeting, or to teach them to pray in your weekly service, an important key is to keep kids’ interest by being goal oriented. Each prayer time should have a theme. If you meet weekly, you may want to keep a theme for a month at a time, depending on the theme. Some theme examples would be:
Ø –missionaries in a particular country
Ø –specific foreign or home missionaries
Ø –specific missions works such as orphanages, Sidewalk Sunday Schools, etc.
Ø –the children of your town
Ø –the children of a particular country
Ø –the children of a particular school
Ø –terminally ill children
Ø –abused children
Ø –broken homes
Ø –parents who are having difficulty getting along
Ø –the poor.
Obviously, the list is endless since the world is full of so many needy people.
Here’s an example of being goal oriented in your prayers, helping the kids to feel personally involved, and giving them a visual reference. If your theme for the month is going to be to pray for all the children of a specific country, or all the missionaries of a specific country, bring in a globe. Each week of that month, let a different child come up in front of the class to the globe and pick the country to pray for that night.
It is also good to have an object lesson or some other brief visual illustration, about 5 minutes in length, on some aspect of prayer: perseverance, praying with thanksgiving, praying in the Spirit, praying fervently, praying powerfully, repenting before prayer, daily prayer, praying in faith (believing God to answer), increasing faith through Scriptural promises, etc. Use one specific verse to reinforce this topic. It is better for the children to be able to focus and remember one verse related to your point, than attempt to follow several and not remember any one verse. If you are focusing on a particular missions group, be sure to have some good background information to share, even pictures.
The Full-Life Study Bible, a Bible in which all the study notes were done by a missionary, has a great list in the footnotes of Acts 10 that is good for doing a study on one’s daily prayer life. The list includes various things to include in our daily prayers. You could focus on one a week to help the children develop a healthier private devotional time. The list includes: praise, singing to the Lord, thanksgiving, waiting on God, reading Scripture, praying words from Scripture, confessing sins, interceding for others, praying for one’s own needs, praying in the Spirit, listening to the Holy Spirit’s voice.
Also, Gospel Publishing House has a great aid for kids in praying for missionaries. They are Missionary All-star Cards, similar to baseball cards with a photo on the front and the missionaries stats on the back. We use them as prizes through the year for the kids to collect, but you can also let the kids pull a card out of a stack, read about the missionary to the group, and then have that child lead the group in prayer for that missionary. Or, if you are proficient with the computer, you could scan in missionary photos of your church’s own missionaries, type in the stats, and create something similar.
If you are into high tech, a friend of ours used the Netmeeting, which comes free with Windows, to talk live to a missionary during a prayer meeting so that the missionary could personally share about himself and his needs with the kids. You would need a regular multimedia computer with speakers and a microphone. The missionary would also need a multimedia computer with Internet access. (You can also find many other similar programs by doing a search for Internet phones. With these programs, the missionary wouldn’t need a multimedia computer system, just the phone.) You just set up the time of day well in advance with the missionary, as both parties have to be online at the same time. Then your children can hear the conversation with the missionary “live” over your sound system for only the price of a local phone call.
These ideas are by no means a complete list, but are for the purpose of giving you some general guidelines and spurring your creativity. God is the author of all creativity! As you seek His guidance, He will show you what adaptations of these ideas will be most effective for your children, as well as give you new, creative teaching ideas beyond what you could hope for!
© by Alisa Linn
Children’s Ministry Today