from Miss Jacki

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your being, and all your strength. These words that I am commanding you today must always be on your minds. Recite them to your children. Talk about them when you are sitting around your house and when you are out and about, when you are lying down and when you are getting up.  (Deuteronomy 6:5-7 CEB) 

It is never too early to teach children to pray. 

TEACH-US-TO-PRAY-BANNER-2-REV“Bible stories and prayer are the two greatest gifts we can give to children,” said the Rev. Leanne Hadley, minister to children and their families at First UMC in Colorado Springs, Colo. “Prayer is that anchor that is going to hold them when life’s storms hit.”  Even the youngest “children have very real experiences with God in very simple ways,” she contin-ued. “We help children knock on the door and God opens it.”

Prayers can be in pictures, songs, art, movement and dance, said the Rev. Melanie Gordon, director of children’s ministries for the General Board of Discipleship in Nashville, Tenn. “We have to make sure that we honor that there are other ways (than words) to show God how thankful we are.”

No child is too young to experience prayer, Gordon said. Parents can say prayers or recite Scripture in rhythm as they walk an infant. “I encourage nursery workers, when they are cradling or soothing children, to say prayers with them and to let them know that they are a blessing,” Gordon said.

Even though our children’s lives are filled with many activities and commitments, parents can teach them ways to soak in the peacefulness of God’s presence.

Model and encourage prayer each day.

At bedtime, in a completely darkened room, light a single candle. Sit together in the light of the can-dle and ask God to be present with you in that moment and through the night.    Wait in silence for 10 seconds.  Then ask if anyone felt God’s presence.  Increase the silent time by five seconds each night.  Finish by praying aloud together, thanking God for being present with us always.

Use “prayer tools” such as prayer beads or prayer stones.  Hold the bead or stone, slowly breathe in and out three times.  On the next inhale say, “Dear Jesus Christ,” On  the exhale say, “bring peace to my life.”  Repeat breathing and praying three times.  Add one repetition each day.

Modeling prayer tells children that prayer is essential. The relationship with God is important, not the form of the prayer.
(Excerpts from

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