Lifting one another in prayer follows the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I always want prayer! Serving others in prayer helps our Christian friends through the tough times and sows prayer seeds for our own battles. Children who pray set a holy example to others but praying for others does not come naturally to everyone.
As the teacher or kids’ pastor, it is our responsibility to help kids learn how to pray for others. In my own experience, there is a three-cord solution: setting an example, providing instruction and integrating children into prayer.
Set the Example
Let kids see you pray for others. Don’t push them away when you pray, unless the prayer request is of a private, adult nature. Be aware of how you pray, where you lay your hands and be sensitive to your role as teacher. If appropriate ask the person you are praying for if the child can watch you prayer — he’s a prayer warrior in training.
The Bible is loaded with solid examples of prayer warriors like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Esther, Hannah and Samuel, and Jesus himself. Always add a mini lesson to your larger lessons to help illustrate a special facet of prayer. Reinforce your church’s prayer practices by providing the appropriate biblical examples. You’ll create a solid foundation for up and coming prayer warriors. If possible, use visual examples too. Kids like learning by watching and seeing.
Activate a Child’s Prayer Life
Once kids have a good understanding of what the Bible says about prayer and watching you do it, it’s time to activate a child’s prayer life. This involves allowing him to pray for others, as your prayer apprentice! When prayer requests arrive during your ministry class or at the altar service, include the young person in the administration of prayer. Even if he does not get the words correct or quote the right scripture, God will honor his prayer. Step out of the way but be close enough that you can support the child’s prayers if needed. Provide him or her with assurance after the prayer session and answer any questions they may have.
The world needs prayer warriors and God is no respecter of age. Put those child prayer teams to work and watch God honor the desires of their hearts.