We have been talking about teaching kids to pray through the acronym ACTS: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. Today we focus on supplication. Most kids have no problem asking for things they want or need. Believe it or not, there is great value in teaching your kids some specifics about supplication…
Supplication Teaches the Art of Continual Prayer
It is human nature to be reminded of things we want or need throughout the day. Perhaps it was God’s design so that we remember we need Him. When your children mention something they want, encourage them to go to God and ask for it.
Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV
As we get older, it gets harder to ask for things. Teach your kids that God genuinely cares about what is on their heart. He wants to hear those requests. When we are comfortable with someone, we don’t mind asking them for something. If we help our kids learn it’s okay to ask God for something now, they will hopefully, continue to do so when the going really gets tough.
Ask With the Right Motives
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”James 4:3 ESV
This goes back to teaching our kids that God is first, others are second, and they are third. Our prayers should not be selfish, but be something that will glorify God and help others. It is okay to ask God for something we want, but we need to put others first. That’s why the ACTS acronym is so important as a whole. Don’t forget to pray for others!
Here are a few practical ways to help your kids pray for others:
- Start a prayer journal for your children. Use simple pictures if they are too young to read.
- Flip through photos of people you want to pray for. One idea is to keep Christmas card photos and pray through them.
- Write names of people you wish to pray for on popsicle sticks. Let your kids take turns drawing from the sticks.
Check out my Prayer Pinterest Board for lots of other ideas.
Teach About God’s Answers to PrayerGod tends to answer prayers in 3 ways: yes, no, or wait. Click To Tweet
It’s healthy to teach our kids that God is not a genie. We can’t just rub the magic lamp of prayer and expect Him to grant our every wish. He loves us and chooses the answer that is best for us. God tends to answer prayers in 3 ways: yes, no, or wait.
Children already understand that yes is a great answer. Who doesn’t love a yes?!Teach your kids that God’s “no” answer is given out of just as much love as His “yes.” Click To Tweet
“No” is much more difficult to accept. It is crucial to teach our kids that God’s “no” answer is given out of just as much love as His “yes.” He knows what is best. He is in the business of giving us good gifts. His “no” answers always have a good reason behind them. Similarly, teaching our kids to accept our “no” answers as parents helps them accept this same concept about God.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11 ESV
“Wait” is just as difficult to accept as a “no.” In this microwave, fast food, high-speed internet era, waiting is practically non-existent. It is a hard lesson that most adults are still learning. This is where we have to wiggle on our big girl britches and be a good example. That’s pretty much the only way to teach patience in waiting.
Supplication really can be a good thing to teach our kids. Just make sure that it’s not your family’s default when they begin to pray. Stop and remember the other aspects of prayer as well.
How do you help your kids learn to pray for others? Which aspects of the ACTS acronym do you feel your kids need to work on the most?