Teaching Children to Pray Aloud

Every week, I ask for volunteers in our GA group to lead prayer time. I often give GAs a topic to pray about—missionaries having a birthday, a request from a missionary kid (MK), or something happening in our church. I’ve realized that the same girls are volunteering to pray each week while many are avoiding prayer time.

While I understand that praying aloud isn’t for everyone, I’ve realized that most girls in my class are avoiding praying aloud because they may not understand the purpose of prayer. And, if it’s happening in my GA group, this problem could be happening in your children’s missions group, also.

Here are a few ideas I’ve found to help some children feel more comfortable praying aloud:

  1. Explain prayer. Frequently talk about prayer with children, explain why we pray, and explain to Whom we pray. Some of my GAs only come to church on Wednesdays for our missions class and may not see prayer modeled any other time.
  2. Group prayers: Lead a group prayer time by reading a missionary prayer request and then modeling a sentence prayer. Ask children to repeat your sentence prayer aloud together.
  3. Stick it on a note: Give every child a sticky note or index card. Encourage children to write their prayer or draw a simple picture of what they want to pray about. When it’s time to pray, allow children to read their prayer from their note.
  4. Share some of your personal prayers. Let children know how much you enjoy talking to God, why you pray, and how God has answered your prayers.
  5. While I cannot expect all of the girls in my GA group to volunteer to pray aloud next week, my desire is that they will each gradually understand the necessity of prayer and will want to lead our prayer times soon.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all 17 of them volunteered to pray next week?

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