One of the most fun things I do as a church worker is to go through and carry out people's prayer requests. It helps me also realize values that are taught not just in our church, but in the homes of our members as well.
I particularly love reading through the prayer requests of the kids in our church. While adults are busy praying for more money, more time and more convenience, the kids of our church are busy praying for excellence in their studies, reconciliation with their siblings, blessing for their parents and sometimes even things like world peace and end of world hunger (I'm not kidding!).
Sure I still get the usual "Lord, I want an iPad, 'Adventure Time' backpack and a hoverboard," but overall it amazes me what faith these children have and how flexible their values are. In Matthew 18:3, Jesus teaches, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Your children are in the years where their faith is best formed and molded. Here are some things that you can teach your children to pray for.
Intimacy with God
As parents, we can help our children chase after greater intimacy with God, which will then lead to the right attitude and the right practices. This is probably the most important thing that kids today should pray for because everything stems from the relationship they have with their heavenly Father.
Living God-honoring lives
More than just having the right heart, let us also teach our children to have the courage and boldness to live lives that honor God even when other people around them do not. Our children don't need external change over heart change, but they need the grace to carry out actions and works that will bless God.
The greatest earthly value will always be family, and when we don't pray with our kids for the family, then they will not see it as most important. Yes, praying for provision is important, but let us pray with our children for unity and love to flourish in our families.
Love and compassion
A child with a heart of compassion for others who do not have what he or she has will form their character more than a few worship songs and bedtime stories do. Teach your children to pray for the sick, the needy and the hurt, especially those whom you know personally.
Provision for others
Yes, it's important to teach children to pray for their needs, but we must also teach them to pray for the needs of others as well. This way they will slowly understand that prayer is not about God revolving around their needs, but about coming to prayer and petition to give honor to God and to love others through our intercession.