Religious parents typically feel very strongly, and are utterly devoted to, their faith. Naturally, parents want their children to feel as passionately and invigorated by their religion. One of the primary ways that religious devotion is expressed is through prayer. If your child is old enough to understand the concept of prayer, there are several ways you can begin to incorporate prayer into his daily life.
Pray daily with your child. While many families pray at the dinner table, try praying at other times during the day. Before your child leaves for school, take a few minutes to pray together. Keep the prayer brief, meaningful, and poignant. When you get into the car to drive somewhere, offer up a brief prayer again. Other potential prayer opportunities include bedtime, before going to a friend’s house, before or after watching television, and when your child wakes up in the morning.
Make it Interesting
Find ways to add creativity to your child’s prayer experience. Hold hands while you pray, or stand in a circle as a family. If you have an older child, encourage your child to keep a prayer journal. Select a simple notebook where he can write down a brief prayer each day. If you feel open and want to share with your child, ask each family member to record a prayer in the same journal, which will enable you to share the thoughts and hopes of one another.
Pray for One Another
Create a prayer jar and keep it in a shared are of the house, such as the living room or kitchen. Place a stack of index cards next to the jar. Encourage each family member to write down prayer requests and place them in the jar. Once or twice a week, have family members draw a card and pray for the person and their request. Help younger children read their cards.
Find Things to Pray About
Instead of praying only for health or finances, encourage your child to find other things to pray about. If someone feels sad, ask your child to say a prayer for them. If someone is excited, offer a prayer of thanksgiving.
Regardless of your religion, there are many ways to encourage your child to pray. Eventually, your child will begin to pray without your urging. Remember not to force your child to pray if he displays a lack of interest, but rather to gently encourage with love and by example.