How Do You Pray with Your Children?


Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:10)

Mary and The Holy Baby Jesus. Stephen B. Whatley

Mary and The Holy Baby Jesus. Stephen B. Whatley

I noticed that when my boys prayed they were repeating my words when we pray together: “Thank you for this day.” “Bless us with good health and keep us safe.” “Surround us with people who bring us joy and want the best for us.” Etc. etc.

So, I thought, what if I let them in on my actual prayers — what I say when I pray on my own? Why not pray my specific prayers, so they truly hear what’s important to me?

When I did this the look on their faces was different. They were really thinking about what I said and sometimes smiling with love.

For example, “Lord, I pray that these boys know how proud we are of them, that we will always help them, love them, and be here for them when they need us. I pray that they love each other and speak kindly and show love to others. I pray that they remember the good in their hearts and how special you’ve created them. They are VALUABLE and IMPORTANT to this family.”

In this prayer they hear me telling God the great things about them, what I want them to remember. I think it sounds different to them.

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14)

Some kids think if they’re not being told “good job” and are having a hard day fighting with their parents or siblings that they’re not good or loved at those times. I hope we can find ways to help them believe in themselves even on those harder days when things aren’t all smiles. It’s especially important in families where things are stressful from a loss or other heart-heavy things.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Life can be a perfectly messed up story, but that doesn’t mean the good parts disappear. Teaching our kids this idea may help them in the tougher adult aspects of life as they grow up.

Thanks to Lisa LaFortune at “Families! Change the World”.