How can we teach children to pray without ceasing?
“Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples’ “ (Luke 11:1).
“Teach us to pray.” Even the grown men who followed Jesus needed instruction in prayer. How much more must we teach our kids to pray! And to pray constantly! First Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Never stop praying.” That can seem like a daunting task for a child (or for an adult).
PRAYER IS AN ATTITUDE
Praying constantly is an attitude. It’s an awareness that God is here.
“[God] is ever in my thoughts. I am ever talking to him in my mind as I go about my day,” says Annie Meier, who leads behind-the-scenes prayer for various ministries at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
Renee Gray-Wilburn, author of the PrayKids! prayer card, “Praying for My Brothers and Sisters,” says, “It means to never go long without making a mental connection with God and by doing our best to be aware of his presence.”
It’s “a constant God-consciousness,” says Arlyn Lawrence, co-author of the book Prayer-Saturated Kids and former contributing editor of Pray! Magazine.
This doesn’t mean we’re solely focused on God and nothing else throughout the day. But much like breathing occurs even as we go about our lives, we can also sense God’s presence with us regardless of our circumstances.