Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Teaching Our Children to Pray
"Through prayer we can talk with our Heavenly Father. We tell Him we love Him, we thank Him for blessings, and we ask for help for ourselves and for others in need. We end our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. Prayer is one of the greatest blessings we have while we are here on earth. (See Matthew 6:9–13; Alma 34:18–27; 3 Nephi 18:19–21.)" - Behold Your Little Ones: Nursery Manual
Teaching our kids to pray is something very important to us. I feel strongly that if more people in this world knew that we had a loving, caring Father in Heaven who watches out for us and is waiting to bless us, and that we can talk to him daily, our world would be a better place. We would treat each other better, make better decisions, generally just be better.
We've been having our kids pray since they were old enough to fold their arms. But I think teaching kids to not be repetitive, but to ask and thank for things specifically is harder to teach.
I found this, which I think is great:
"I begin by saying “Dear Heavenly Father”; (raise one finger—keep fingers raised throughout the activity verse)
I thank him for blessings he sends; (raise second finger)
Then humbly I ask him for things that I need, (raise third finger)
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. (raise fourth finger)"
[“I Pray in Faith,” Children’s Songbook, 14]
So I've come up with a little set of cards. I made them on the computer. I thought I'd post them here so you can download and save them if you'd like. I am printing them off and coloring and laminating them. Then putting them onto a ring. Then before prayer the kids can pick out what they would like to pray for. I left two blank so you can put a picture of your family or have them draw something or fill it in yourself.
You don't have to use them all, if you are another religion and want to teach your little ones to pray to God, you still can. Just use the cards that work for you!