One of the main Christian parenting goals for my family has been to ensure that our kids are learning about Jesus in a way that makes Him part of every piece of our day. We’re teaching our kids to talk to God conversationally, as we would with a friend who is always with us, a friend we enjoy spending time with. Here’s how we do it.
- Good Morning Prayer
We begin each day with family devotionals and morning prayer. We read from a selection of kids’ Bible stories that focus on teaching kids Bible truths about Jesus in easily relatable terms. We finish out our morning devotional time with our good morning prayer that gives us a chance to ask Jesus to bless our day, keep us safe, and help us accomplish whatever goals and tasks we have planned for the day.
An example of our Good Morning Prayer:
“Thank you Jesus for this awesome day. Please bless today and surprise us in ways that only You can. Give us eyes to see all the goodness you have in store for us, keep us safe as we tackle all the things we want to do, and help us to love others with our words and actions as often as we can. Amen.”
- Gratitude Prayer
Mid-morning, as we are in the midst of tackling our daily to-dos, we pause to say a quick prayer of thanks to God for how the day is going. This prayer time is only focused on gratitude because we believe that every single good thing we have comes from Jesus. Finding ways to be thankful for even the smallest parts of our day helps our kids stay centered and keeps us always mindful for things that may spark a “Thanks, God!” from our hearts.
- The Worry Prayer
At our house, there isn’t a day that goes by when one of our kids isn’t worried about something. They worry about certain school projects, upcoming family gatherings or playdates, something they observed in the grocery store line on a magazine cover, and the list could go on. There are things in the world that we simply cannot shield them from and that bring their tiny hearts feelings of worry.
While we can’t keep them living in a bubble, we can offer our children the comfort of knowing that they are loved and cared for by a very big God who sees them in all things. My daughter in particular is very sensitive and can often feel extremely anxious about seeing people who are sick or hurt, to the point of getting a stomach ache. We call it “Worry Tummy” and whenever she starts to feel the symptoms, we say a prayer to give her worries to the Lord, bring peace, and calm her heart.
This prayer varies in content each time we pray it, but the general message is the same each time:
“God, I know you love us and that you have good plans for us. I trust you to keep us safe and to give us courage to move through what is challenging us. Help us to always act in love and kindness in every situation, especially when we are feeling overwhelmed and worried.”
- Friendship Prayer
We use this prayer for any time we are about to visit with a friend for a playdate or go out on an adventure where we might make new friends, such as a zoo or playground visit where lots of other kids will also be playing.
An example of our Friendship Prayer:
“Jesus, thank you for the chance to play with friends both old and new. Help us to keep our hearts open to share our hearts and toys, and to share our kindness as much as possible. Thank you for helping us be great friends and for being able to enjoy this amazing adventure!”
- Mealtime Prayer
This is our mealtime “thanks for this food” prayer. At our house, we say grace before every meal. Oftentimes during the work week our family is not all present together during lunchtime, so our evening meal is a time for every member of the family to come together to share in very special quality time. We all take turns saying a version of the prayer, so everyone gets to participate throughout the week. We also keep this one super simple and quick because it’s hard to wait to eat when you’re 5 years old and hungry! Prayer before meals is an important way to acknowledge how the Lord provides each meal and cares for us so faithfully.
An example of our Mealtime Prayer:
“Thank you Lord, for this food, and for all your many blessings. Please use this meal to make us strong. Amen”
- Bedtime Prayer
This is the classic bedtime prayer to tuck our babies safely into bed – and it’s how we like to end our day. Before we pray, we talk with the kids about what was good during the day and how we want to ask God for help with tomorrow. We always begin our prayers by thanking God for the amazing day we just enjoyed. If either of our children are feeling apprehensive about being left alone in their beds for the night or feel afraid of the dark, we also address their fears by praying protection over them while they sleep.
Making prayer time more of a conversation with Jesus throughout the day is a helpful way to give Jesus a real place in our family. It also helps us be mindful of His love throughout each day. Do you have a favorite prayer you say as a family? Visit us on Facebook and Instagram and tell us about it.