When kids express a desire to learn how to pray, it is time for a prayer meeting! During a prayer meeting or even a mini lesson, you can teach kids how to pray for themselves, their families, communities and the world around them. Powerful, effective prayer isn’t too regimented but it’s still a good idea to provide children with leadership and teaching in regards to prayer. Jesus, the Great Pastor (Shepherd) offered his disciples an example and instructions. We can do no less, children’s ministers!
Types of Prayer Meetings
Like their adult counterparts, children have access to different types of prayer. Some you should talk about and put into practice are:
Repentance prayers: This is asking God to forgive you for your sins and transgressions. Kids should understand that sin hinders their prayer access and makes prayers less effective. Repentance praying should not cause you to become fearful about their salvation status but they should be sensitive to what the Spirit says about their personal walk.
Praying for others: You could invite a missionary to talk about the specifics his ministry has or allow other children to talk about their needs. Teach kids how to pray for others. Some common needs are for healing, strength, provision etc.
Praying the scriptures: The Word of God has prayer power for any situation. Teach kids how to read the Bible prayerfully and lead them to passages that are especially suitable for prayer like Psalm 23, 50 or 51.
Praying in the Spirit: According to your denomination, you should consider allowing children to pray in the Spirit, that is using a heavenly language. During times of prayer in the Spirit, children become complete prayer vessels for God, who knows better than anyone, what the answer to prayer are.
Prayer Meeting Guidelines
- Keep the talk to a minimum. Give clear instruction then move to the prayer time.
- Set a special room or area of the classroom aside for prayer time. God likes to meet in the same spot. (Prayer closets were His idea!)
- Play instrumental music so kids don’t distracted by the words of a song.
- Change the lighting slightly to indicate a reverential attitude. This could be simply lighting a candle, or dimming the overhead light.
- Provide everything a child needs like tissues, prayer cloths, Bibles and flags.
- Follow the Minute Rule at first. The Minute Rule means give one minute per year of the child. For example, a 13-year old could be expected to have a comfortable prayer time of 13 minutes. Have patience with kids who may have attention disorders, allow them to quietly leave the group when their prayer is complete.
Teaching kids to pray will revolutionize your church and your child. Follow the leading of the Spirit and watch your ministry grow giants for God!