Teaching kids the importance of prayer is one of the greatest privileges I have as The Scripture Lady. Over the years, I have created several ways to teach kids how to pray through the use of Bible songs, Bible object lessons and Bible games. So, if you find yourself asking, “How do I teach my kids to pray?” the following ideas my be just what you are looking for.
This article will give you ten creative ways to teach your kids how to pray. These ideas have been tested, and have been found to be tried and true with hundreds and hundreds of kids over many years of teaching.
So, get ready to learn a little bit more about each of these fun and creative ways to motivate your kids to pray to the one and only true living God!
1. Share Psalm 40:1 to introduce praying to God.
Introducing prayer to kids does not have to be difficult. In fact, here is the following dialogue that I often include when teaching about prayer in my musical Bible programs:
Today we are going to learn about praying to God.
I’d like you to do something for me. Raise your hand if you have at least one friend in this great big world. (Wait for children to respond.) Good! Put your hands down.
Now raise your hand if you talk to that friend. (Wait for children to respond.) Great! Put your hands down.
Finally raise your hand if you listen to that friend. (Wait for children to respond.) Awesome!
Of course you talk and listen to your friends because that is part of what makes a good friendship – talking and listening to each other.
Well, never forget that Jesus wants to be your friend. He wants to be your very best friend. But a relationship takes two people who are willing to talk and listen to each other. That’s what Jesus wants from you – a relationship. And simply put, prayer is talking and listening to God.
I find that this introduction really brings prayer down to a level where every child can understand the simplicity of prayer.
I like what Ray Stedman says in his article on prayer:
The Bible is full of prayers to God. People who are talking to God and sharing the deepest part of their hearts with Him and waiting for His answers.
Psalm 40:1 is a great verse on prayer for kids, which says this: “I waited patiently for the Lord and He turned to me and heard my cry.” (NIV)
This verse comes from a psalm of David. David knew a thing or two about crying out to God and waiting for Him to answer his prayers.
I especially love how David said that he waited patiently on God. While patience is usually not a virtue of the young, it should be a character trait that we teach our kids as early as possible, especially when it comes to prayer.
The other great point to this verse is how Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe, turned to David and heard his cry.
Your children need to know that God loves them very much. He wants to have a vibrant relationship with them both now on earth and throughout eternity. What a wonderful God we serve!
Here are two fun ways to teach Psalm 40:1 to your kids.
1. Rebus Puzzle for Psalm 40:1
A rebus puzzle uses simple pictures to illustrate each of the words of a phrase or a quote or, in this case, a Bible verse. This activity will be perfect for your elementary readers.
This rebus puzzle for Psalm 40:1 has two pages to it. Just click on each of the pictures below and print them off for your kids.
2. “I Waited” – A Bible Verse Song for Psalm 40:1
Here is a video of a song I wrote for Psalm 40:1 called “I Waited.” Share this with your kids to help them memorize this great verse.
2. Sing the “ACTS of Prayer” song for preschoolers.
Have you ever taught your kids the “ACTS of Prayer?” If not, your children are in for a real treat as they are introduced to four ways to pray to God.
But what are the four acts of prayer?
One of the simplest ways to teach your kids how to pray, is to share with them the “ACTS” of prayer acrostic. Each of the letters in the word “ACTS” gives a way to pray to God.
Your kids need to know that prayer is not just about praying for the things they need or even praying for the needs of others. Prayer should also include a time of telling God how much they love Him. They need to thank God for all that He does in their lives. And they need to take time to acknowledge and confess their sins and pray for God’s help to repent and not sin.
Several years ago, I wanted to write a song that reflected the famous acrostic of the “ACTS” of prayer for both preschoolers and elementary kids. The result was the creation of two different songs.
The song I wrote for preschoolers is called the “ACTS of Prayer” and can be found in the following video. The second song that I wrote for elementary kids is called “Let Us PRAY” and can be found in the next section of this article.
Here is the “ACTS of Prayer” song for preschoolers and young children. Share this with your little ones to help introduce prayer to their young hearts.
3. Sing the “Let Us PRAY” song for elementary kids.
One of my favorite musical Bible programs that I share with elementary kids is called “Let Us PRAY.”
In this program, I took the idea of the “ACTS” of prayer acrostic and revamped it a bit for the older child. I actually take the word “PRAY” and create an acrostic with it to delve a bit deeper into the wonderful world of praying to God.
The acrostic for “PRAY” goes as follows:
Your kids need to learn that God deserves to receive their praise. Psalm 106:1 says this: “Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”
Praise and Adoration: You can teach them early on that their prayer times will be a big blessing when they include a hefty portion of praise and adoration.
Remember to Confess: Your children also need learn the importance of confession during their prayer time. In fact, here is the dialogue that I use in my program “Let Us PRAY” to help teach them about confession in a simple manner:
A Simple Dialogue that Helps Teach Kids About Confession:
Having a relationship with Jesus Christ means having a relationship with God Almighty. As Christians, we believe that God loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sin.
If you’ve forgotten what sin is, let me refresh your memory.
Sin is anything you think, anything you say, or anything you do that displeases God.
A person who does not believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior can never be forgiven by God for the wrong things they do.
But a Christian, a person who does believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, needs only to go to Jesus and confess their sin. In other words, they need to tell God that they know they have done what is wrong in His eyes.
For example, let’s say you’re at school and someone gives you a mean look and you give a mean look right back at them. That is wrong. That is a sin. Stop and pray and ask God to forgive you for that mean look.
Or let’s say you are nice and comfortable on your couch at home and Dad asks you to go clean your room. But instead of getting up and obeying, you pretend like you didn’t hear him. That is wrong. That is a sin. Stop and pray and ask God to forgive you for disobeying your dad.
1 John 1:9 is a great Bible verse about how God will always cleanse us and forgive us when we pray to Him and ask Him to forgive us. It says this: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
So, remember, as a Christian, make it a habit to confess your sins to Jesus right away. He loves you very much and is always ready to forgive you and help you turn away from sin.
Always Give Thanks: Your children’s prayer time should also include a time of thanksgiving to their great and wonderful Savior. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says this: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Even on our difficult days, we have much to be thankful for.
Yield Yourself to God: Finally, your children’s prayers should be an act of worship where they are yielding or giving themselves over to the will of God for their lives.
As your children get older, they will begin to understand that life has its ups and downs, good days and bad days, and triumphs and trials. Jesus wants them to know that He is by their side through it all if only they would yield their lives to Him and acknowledge Him as their Savior who knows what is best for them.
Their prayer time should reflect supplication that is not only for themselves but also for the world around them.
Here is “Let Us PRAY” song to help your kids learn more about praying to God.
4. Play the fun “Let’s Hear a Prayer” Bible game.
After teaching your kids the fun Bible theme song “Let Us PRAY” as shared in the last section of this article, you might want to play the following Bible game called “Let’s Hear a Prayer.”
This Bible game will be great for your elementary kids to solidify each of the ways to pray using the “ACTS” of prayer acrostic. This game is a card game loosely based on the classic TV game show, “Let’s Make a Deal.” The directions for the game are as follows:
What you will need for the “Let’s Hear a Prayer” Bible game
The 40 “ACTS” of prayer cards which you can print below.
The page of “Door” fronts which you can print below. Print 10 copies of this page.
The 4 “Door” labels which you can print below. Cut out the 4 labels on the lines.
The 2 “team” cards which you can print below.
The “ACTS of Prayer” Poster
Two large buckets, one for each team. Each bucket will contain a different assortment of 10 objects found around the house or in a classroom. For example, you might include a necklace, a toothbrush, a measuring cup, a stapler, a hat, a photograph, a shoe, a flashlight, perfume, and a sponge. These are just suggestions. The contents of the buckets do not have to be identical. But you will want to make a list of all 20 items on a piece of paper for you to reference as you go through the game.
Finally, I suggest that you use a pocket chart to display your cards on. If you don’t already use one in your classroom or home, I greatly encourage you to do so. They are great for presenting games and other activities. NOTE: Pocket charts are flimsy and therefore should be mounted onto a firm board. Once it is mounted, you can set it on an easel for all to see.
Here is a link to a site on Amazon to purchase a pocket chart if you are interested:
(This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.)
How to prepare the “Let’s Hear a Prayer” Bible game
You will need to print off the following 40 cards found below. There are 10 cards for each of the four points of the “ACTS” acrostic.
You will also need to print off the “fronts” of the cards that have different colors of doors. Attach the “fronts” to the “backs” of the 40 cards. The color of the door can go on any card.
Shuffle all 40 cards to mix them up.
Next, print off the labels for “Door #1, #2, #3 and #4. Place the “door” labels on your pocket chart. Under each “door” label, place an “ACTS of Prayer” card.
Finally, print off the “team” cards found below. Place these cards under the row of “door” cards. Leave space under the “team” cards to “keep score” of the cards each team collects.
Put 10 of the objects you gathered in one bucket and the remaining 10 objects in the other bucket.
How to play the “Let’s Hear a Prayer” Bible game
Divide your class into two teams. Give each team their own bucket of objects.
Say the following:
Today, we are going to play a game that will help us learn four ways that we can pray to God. These four ways of praying to God come from the acrostic of the word “ACTS.” (At this point, show your kids the “ACTS of Prayer” poster and go over what each letter represents.)
On our pocket chart, you will see 4 different door cards. Each of these cards represents one of the ways that you can pray to God. In order to get the chance to pick one of these cards, your team must first find the object in your bucket that I ask for.
For example, if I ask you to find a necklace, your team may look in your bucket to find a necklace. The first team to pull out the necklace gets to be the first to pick one of the “door” cards. FYI, your bucket may or may not have a necklace. Each bucket does not necessarily have duplicate items.
The team with the correct object, will come to the pocket chart and choose one of the “door” cards. I will read the card and your team will have to decide if the card gives and example of a prayer of adoration, a prayer of confession, a prayer of thanksgiving or a prayer of supplication.
If your team guesses the correct form of prayer, I will place that card under your team’s section. If you do not guess the correct form of prayer, the card will go to the other team.
We will continue to play in this same manner until one team is the first to gather 4 of one type of prayer.
A couple of notes for playing the game:
Just keep replenishing the “prayer” cards under the door labels as the game progresses until all cards have been used.
You can have the teams collect as many cards of one type as you would like. I just chose the number 4 as a suggestion.
Downloadable Links for the Cards
10 Pages of “Prayer” Cards – Make one copy of each page
5. Share “Into the Prayer Closet” Bible object lesson.
I LOVE sharing Bible object lessons for the simple reason that I LOVE props. As The Scripture Lady, I perform with lots of props. Each one of my musical Bible programs is filled with eye-catching objects, goodies and gadgets that draw my audience into the message that I believe God has called me to share.
One of my favorite ways to share a Bible object lesson is by using items that magicians often use. These might be as simple as a “Change Bag” or as elaborate as a “Magic Cabby” as seen in the following object lesson on prayer.
The “Magic Cabby” is a type of production box that has a concealed compartment. Because of this hidden area, I am able to hide some different colored silks to help teach a lesson on what it means to enter into a “prayer closet.”
A “prayer closet” is an old fashioned term. But even “outdated” ideas can be brought into your classrooms and homes when they are properly explained and updated a bit for the children you serve.
Here is a video that shares my “Into the Prayer Closet” Bible object lesson. Share it with your kids to help them learn that prayer can and should be a time where they enter into a conversation with Jesus that brings about changes in their hearts.
6. Play the “Lord’s Prayer” game with preschoolers.
Teaching preschoolers to pray is one of my greatest joys as The Scripture Lady. Your little ones are learning how to talk and listen to their friends. So, in my opinion, it is never too early to teach young children that they can talk and listen to Jesus.
One of the best truths that you can share with your preschoolers is that Jesus, Himself, prayed to the Father. We know that Jesus prayed many prayers to God, but one of the most famous prayers that Jesus prayed is known as “The Lord’s Prayer.”
The Lord’s Prayer is a beautiful prayer that is both simplistic and full of depth. Because of its simplicity, it’s a great prayer to introduce to your little ones. And sharing my “Flip and Find the Lord’s Prayer” game with them will get them off to a good start.
Here is a video that shares the “Flip and Find the Lord’s Prayer” game. If you are interested in learning how you can have your own set of visuals for this game, just click on the link below the video.
7. Give the “Lord’s Prayer Quiz” to elementary kids.
As your kids are growing in their relationship with God, hopefully they are also growing in their prayer life in the following ways:
Jesus prayed many prayers to the Father, but one of the most famous prayers He prayed was the Lord’s Prayer. If your kids haven’t done so already, I highly encourage you to motivate them to memorize the Lord’s Prayer. It will be a great blessing to them throughout their lives.
After you share the Lord’s Prayer with your kids, you might give them the “Lord’s Prayer Quiz.” This quiz is a multiple choice test. But don’t let the word “test” scare you. This quiz is low key and even comical at points. It is a fun way to help introduce or even solidify the main points of this great prayer with your kids.
The Lord’s Prayer Quiz by Kathy Vincent, The Scripture Lady
(The correct answer is in bold type.)
Quiz Lesson 1:
In Matthew, chapter 6, Jesus taught us how to pray by praying a prayer that many of us know as the Lord’s Prayer. Let’s look at the different parts of this prayer and see what we can learn.
The Lord’s Prayer begins by saying, “Our Father.” How wonderful it is to know that God wants to be our Father. He’s not only majestic and holy, but He desires to love us even better than the best Dad ever could.
Quiz Question 1:
The Lord’s Prayer shows us that God wants to be…
A. our President.
B. our Father.
C. our Uncle.
Quiz Lesson 2:
The next part of the Lord’s Prayer says, “who art in Heaven.” The Bible says that God lives in Heaven and is preparing a wonderfully beautiful place for all His children to live. Heaven is a Christian’s future home. We can’t even imagine how fantastic it will be.
Quiz Question 2:
A. what I think it will be.
C. a Christian’s future home.
Quiz Lesson 3:
The next part of the Lord’s Prayer says, “Hallowed be thy name.” To hallow the name of God means to give it honor and praise. Have you ever heard someone say God’s name in a bad way? The Bible says that God’s name is above all names. So, we need to take extra special care when speaking His name.
Quiz Question 3:
The Bible says that the name of God should be…
A. honored and praised.
B. made fun of.
C. only mentioned at church.
Quiz Lesson 4:
The next part of the Lord’s Prayer says, “thy kingdom come.” God is the King of all kings. He wants to be the ruler of our lives now while still on earth and forever and ever in Heaven.
Quiz Question 4:
God is the King of kings and He wants to be…
A. the owner of Burger King.
B. fired from His job.
C. the ruler of your life.
Quiz Lesson 5:
The next part of the Lord’s Prayer says, “thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” Heaven is a perfect place where there is no wrong at all. God’s ultimate will for our lives is that we do no wrong and obey Him in everything. So, while we are here on earth, we need to live our lives according to the way God wants us to live.
Quiz Question 5:
God’s ultimate will for our lives is…
A. to have fun.
B. that we do no wrong and obey Him in everything.
C. that we make sure to eat sour gummy worms everyday of our life.
Quiz Lesson 6:
The next part of the Lord’s Prayer says, “Give us this day our daily bread.” God wants to provide us everything – our food, our clothing, our homes – all of our needs.
Quiz Question 6:
God wants to…
A. give us everything we need AND desire.
B. give us all tickets to Hawaii.
C. give us everything we need.
Quiz Lesson 7:
The next part of the Lord’s Prayer says, “and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” The kind of debts that God is talking about here are the debts we owe when we do something wrong. For example, if you took your best friend’s bike without asking, you would need to say you’re sorry or in other words you would owe a debt of apology. This verse also shows how we must forgive others when they do wrong to us.
Quiz Question 7:
This verse talks about…
A. debts we owe when we do something wrong.
B. debts we owe to the bank.
C. only forgiving when we want to.
Quiz Lesson 8:
The next part of the Lord’s Prayer says, “and lead us not into temptation.” All Christians are tempted to do the wrong thing sometimes. When we are tempted, thinking about doing something wrong, we need to ask God for the strength to say, “No”, to doing bad.
Quiz Question 8:
When we are tempted to do wrong, we should…
A. do it anyway because doing wrong is really not a big deal.
B. rely on our own strength to do right.
C. ask God to give us the strength and courage to do what is right.
Quiz Lesson 9:
The next part of the Lord’s Prayer says, “but deliver us from evil.” Unfortunately there is evil in this world and there is only one person who can deliver us from evil. His name is Jesus Christ. Call on Him for help when evil comes your way.
Quiz Question 9:
The only person who can deliver us from evil is…
A. my pastor.
B. Jesus Christ.
Quiz Lesson 10:
The next part of the Lord’s Prayer says, “for thine is the kingdom and power.” God is all powerful and all knowing. You can trust Him to be the perfect King and Ruler of your life.
Quiz Question 10:
A. not as smart as everyone thinks.
B. the All-American Yo-Yo Champion.
C. the perfect, all powerful ruler for my life.
Quiz Lesson 11:
The next part of the Lord’s Prayer says, “and the glory.” The glory of God is amazing! One Bible dictionary describes the glory of God as His splendor, brightness and majesty. His glory is brighter than our beautiful sun. May we be beautiful reflections of God in our own lives as we serve Him.
Quiz Question 11:
The glory of God is…
B. brighter than the sun.
C. not a big deal.
Quiz Lesson 12:
The last part of the Lord’s Prayer says, “forever and ever, AMEN.” Right now we cannot see God with our eyes and so when we pray to Him we may feel awkward talking to someone we can’t see. But God says that He is with us and when we become a child of God He promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. His love for us and all His power and glory will be with us forever and ever.
Quiz Question 12:
The last part of the Lord’s Prayer ends with…
A. and they lived happily ever after.
B. THE END.
8. Play the “Ask, Seek, Knock” Bible game.
Do your kids know that the Bible has a LOT to say about praying to God? God loves to hear His children pray and He loves for them to depend upon Him for all their needs. If Jesus depended on the Father for all He needed while here on earth, how much more should we trust in God?
Two of the greatest passages on prayer to teach your kids can be found in Matthew 7:7-11:
1. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” and…
2. The rhetorical question: “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” The ending comment is of course, “…your Father in Heaven give(s) good gifts to those who ask Him.”
Several years ago, I wanted to include this passage in one of my programs all about the Lord’s Prayer. But I wanted to teach these scriptures in a fun and creative way. Therefore, I ended up writing the “Ask, Seek, Knock” Bible game.
This is a fun card game that your kids will enjoy. It will introduce Matthew 7:7-11 as well as teach some of the main points of the Lord’s Prayer. In this article, I have provided you with the downloadable cards for this game so that you can “host” your own Bible game. Have fun!
Just click on each of the links to download and print all the necessary cards you need to play the game.
If are interested in more Bible review games that I have created, check out my product “10 Bible Review Games.”
This package deal is only $10 and will be a fun addition to any Christian classroom.
Click on the picture below to learn more.
9. Print the “Adoration” posters for your classroom.
Teaching your children to pray should be one of the most important tasks of every Christian parent and teacher. Your children should know that God delights to hear their prayers. As your children grow in their relationship with Jesus, they will grow in their prayers. Your children may be at the beginning stages of learning about prayer and may ask. “How do you start a prayer?”
The Lord’s Prayer teaches us to start our prayers by acknowledging that God is our Father who abides in Heaven and that His name should be hallowed or honored. By beginning our prayers in this way, we are humbling ourselves before the Lord our God and Maker. We are affirming that He alone can provide all we need from our daily bread to the forgiveness of our sins. God is indeed our good and faithful Father and will answer all our prayers according to His good purposes for our life and the lives of those around us.
When I am teaching kids about prayer in my “Let Us PRAY” Bible program, I begin telling them that they should include a time of praise and adoration to their Lord and Savior. To praise God means to declare how amazing and stupendous and awesome He is.
I actually pull out 10 “Adoration” posters that I created that are all connected into one long line with c-rings. I invite 2 kids to come up to the stage and put one child on each end. They are holding up the posters while I encourage the rest of the audience to yell out each of the adjectives that describe how wonderful God is. It’s pretty awesome to hear a bunch of kids praising God for who He is.
Try sharing these “Adoration” posters with your own kids to encourage them to include a hefty dose of praise to Jesus during their own prayer times.
Just click on the link below of each picture to download and print off.
10. Share the “Power of Prayer” Bible object lesson.
Bible object lessons can be a pretty powerful tool in the hands of a parent or teacher who wants to really drive home a spiritual message. And the following Bible object lesson is especially dynamic because it teaches about the power of prayer.
“Power of Prayer” is an “explosive” lesson on how God sometimes answers our prayers in very powerful ways.
“Power of Prayer” uses the very engaging chemical reaction commonly referred to as “Elephant’s Toothpaste.” The kids love this effect. When you put it with a great lesson on prayer, you have a winning combination.
Share the following video with your kids to help them learn that their prayers can be powerful.
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