How important is prayer to you? If you can answer that now, then you can also determine how vital prayer will be for your child or children. While young, introduce your child to prayer and take advantage of their quick memorizing skills. This will help them build their own personal relationship with God and understand that they can talk to God whenever they want to. Here are a few prayers you can teach your child.
1. Morning Prayer
Encourage your child to always start the day with a prayer. This is a good one:
Jesus, you are good and wise
I will praise you when I rise.
Jesus, hear this prayer I send
Bless my family and my friends.
Jesus, help my eyes to see
All the good you send to me.
Jesus, help my ears to hear
Calls for help from far and near.
Jesus, help my feet to go
In the way that You will show.
Jesus, help my hands to do
All things loving, kind, and true.
Jesus, guard me through this day
In all I do and all I say.
Amen. (Author unknown)
2. Bedtime Prayer
As important as praying in the morning, your child should develop the habit of praying at bedtime as well. This is a great prayer to say:
Father, We Thank Thee by Rebecca Weston
Father, we thank thee for the night,
And for the pleasant morning light;
For rest and food and loving care,
And all that makes the day so fair.
Help us to do the things we should,
To be to others kind and good;
In all we do, in work or play,
To grow more loving every day.
3. Prayer Before Meals
It's always good to teach children that the food on the table are blessings from the Lord and that we should always be thankful for it. Here's a prayer to say with your child before meals:
For Happy Hearts (Author unknown)
We thank Thee Lord, for happy hearts,
For rain and sunny weather.
We thank Thee, Lord, for this our food,
And that we are together.
4. Protection Prayer
Now this one is a classic and one of the most popular children prayers. This prayer will teach your child that God is always there to protect him/her.
Child's Prayer for Protection (Catholic traditional prayer)
Angel of God, my Guardian dear,
To whom God's love commits me here;
Ever this day, be at my side
To light and guard
To rule and guide.
5. Prayer of Thankfulness
There's so much to be thankful for everyday! Teach this prayer to your child so that he/she can be more appreciative of the beautiful things around them.
Thankful Prayer (by Meg Bucher)
God, thank You for this day! Thank You for the birds and the animals, the flowers and the trees, the lakes and the streams, and the sun that rises and sets over them each day. Thank You for creating everything we see! Thank You for the life we live, and for making each person different. Thank You for Jesus, who died for us so that we can go to heaven one day just for believing in Him. What an amazing God You are! In Jesus' Name, Amen.
At the core of getting to know God is the personal relationship with the Lord. It doesn't harm to teach your child to pray to God at a young age. It introduces the concept of faith, which is quite complex for kids to really understand. Nonetheless, if they start young and believe in God even if they don't see Him, their faith will only continue to strengthen through the years. What's important is that they know that God is always listening to their prayers and He is always by their side.