Teaching Kids How to Pray and Fast
6 Steps About Intercession
Children pick up on concepts more easily than we often give them credit. So when it comes to teaching our children about prayer and fasting, it is equally important for us to share with them their importance in their faith. In Deuteronomy we are charged as adults to teach and pass on the things of God to our children, and if we omit prayer and fasting then we are not following through to the fullest of this charge.
But how can we effectively teach this to our children? Here are my favorite ways, tried and tested, in teaching kids about prayer and fasting:
This list is far from complete. Are there any other things you would include on this list? If you have not taught your children about prayer and fasting, let me encourage you to do so, and you will be amazed at what God will do and say in the lives of the children in your church.
- Set time aside time in your service each week to talk about prayer. Then after teaching about an aspect of prayer, give the kids an opportunity immediately to put into practice what they just learned.
- Teach children to be still and listen for God. Prayer is a two-way street, yet often our teaching of it communicates that talking to God is all on us. But there’s more to it! We need to teach children to be still and listen to the voice of God. I’ve had first graders in my room fully grasp this concept and have without a doubt in their mind heard from God!
- Give children time to share what God is speaking to them in their prayer lives. One of the best ways you can celebrate a child’s spiritual growth and prayer life is by allowing him or her to share what God is saying to him/her. God speaks to everyone including children! Let them share what God is saying as an encouragement to the other children and adults in the room.
- Fasting can be an even trickier topic with children. The first step I take in teaching fasting to children is making sure they know what it is and what it isn’t. How can a child do something if they are confused what it is?
- Get parents involved and include them in these conversations. In today’s world I advise on making sure parents know the same things you are teaching their children, so when they have the conversation at home their parents and you are all on the same page. Not every parent would agree fasting food is something they want their child to do. So help parents and children learn to build this habit by giving up time with something else in order to spend that time with God. Once that habit grows it can more easily be translated to the concept of fasting.
- Share your own testimonies of how God has helped, guided, and spoke to you in your own prayer and fasting life. I don’t doubt that God has done something incredible in your life. Share those things with your children to encourage them as they grow.