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Teaching Our Children to Pray Continually

Teaching Our Children to Pray Continually

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians says that joy, prayer, and thanksgiving should mark the life of a Christian. And not just any kind of prayer, continual prayer or as the King James Bible states prayer “without ceasing”.

At first glance you may think, “Sure I could do that, if I was a pastor or ministry leader, but I am not. I have a full time job, and a family to take care of.”

Thankfully, this scripture does not suggest that we are to pray without stopping, which would be impossible. But rather, it says that we should establish a rhythm of prayer, one that includes praying on all occasions. It also encourages us that prayer is not to be confined to a particular time of day or location. We can be in constant communication with our Heavenly Father just by talking with Him throughout our day.

God is ready and willing to have a conversation with us anytime of day or night.

When I was a young mom, with three kids under the age of five, I was overwhelmed. I wasn’t getting enough sleep and the thought of getting up early in the morning to read the Bible and pray felt daunting. On top of that, I felt guilty for not having a consistent devotional time like others said I needed. I realized if I wanted to connect with God I had to release the unrealistic expectations that I had set for myself and find others way to nurture my relationship with Him. So, I started to carry scripture cards in my back pocket. Written on each card was a scripture on the front and a prayer on the back. Throughout the day, on different occasions, even when I had just a moment to myself, I would pull one out, read the scripture a few times, and pray the prayer. As I consistently did this I established a rhythm of connecting with God. He no longer felt like someone I talked to only on Sundays or on the rare early mornings I managed to get out of bed before my kids woke up.

I was a grown-up before I learned the lesson that God is just as easy and accessible to talk to as a good friend. A habit of talking to Him in the cracks of my day cultivated our relationship. Now I am teaching my kids that they don’t have to wait until they’re older to establish a rhythm of prayer. They can talk to God any time of day, not just at meals and bedtime.

If you’d like to do the same, there is a great tool to help your daughters to create a rhythm of prayer — Princess Prayers by Jeanna Young and Jacqueline Kinney Johnson. If your princess has enjoyed other books in The Princess Parables series she will love this one too! It contains fifteen rhyming prayers, based on the Word of God, which will guide her though praying to her Heavenly Father. The book includes prayers for every occasion such as My Morning Prayer, God’s Beauty, When I’m Afraid, I’m Sorry, and Near to God.

As your child prays these prayers over and over they will memorize them and will eventually they will become the basis for their prayer life in the future. And as they get older, praying to God throughout the day, continually, on all occasions, at any time or in any place, will be as natural as spending with a close friend.


Your Turn

We’re all busy. How do you find time throughout your day to pray? When do you find it easiest to pray? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Want to learn more about how to prayer powerfully? Sign up for our new online Bible study on The Daniel Prayer from Anne Graham Lotz!