Raising Godly boys is a topic that I care deeply about because I have three sons of my own. My boys are 9, 6, and 5 years old and they are 100% boy—active, dirty, and loud!
My husband and I feel under a lot of pressure to raise our boys up right in the Lord so they can become strong men of God.
We also know that a big part of becoming Godly men is to develop a heart for prayer.
If you’re like me, then you learned that you were supposed to pray a certain way–with your head bowed and your hands crossed. You were probably also told to be quiet.
As the mom of three active young boys, I can tell you that it is pretty much impossible to get them to do any of those three things—especially all at the same time!
I want my boys to love prayer and spending time with the Lord–but they won’t do it willingly if it comes with too many rules and regulations.
Whoever said that prayer had to be done in ONLY one way, anyway?
As an adult, I have fallen in love with keeping a prayer journal, which means that most of my prayers are actually written. Would you believe that my eyes are almost never closed and my hands aren’t crossed either!
If I’m not living up to the standard of how many people think prayer is supposed to be done then how can I hold my kids to it? My husband and I have used these three simple methods of prayer with our own children and have seen their feelings about prayer improve more and more.
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These three methods are simple–and can be adapted for any age.
Three Simple Ways to Teach Your Boys to Pray
I thought that since I love keeping a prayer journal, then maybe my kids would too. My middle son who is 6, especially loves this. We follow the basic ASKS method of prayer (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, & supplication). I keep it simple and easy to understand. I use a notebook and box of crayons and I allow him to either write sentences or draw pictures—I do my best to let him take the lead but still keeping the focus on the Lord.
If one of your children has is artistic, they will probably love this method!
We have a big glass jar on the kitchen counter that the kids put prayer requests in. Whenever they seem upset about a friend or circumstance or maybe they are having a behavior problem—we get a slip of paper and draw or write a prayer request on it and stick it in the jar.
I stress to them that it’s not about how we are praying, it’s about the posture of our heart.
My husband and I are committed to praying over that jar regularly and the kids also frequently mention the prayer jar in their nightly prayers.
Pray Out Loud With Your Kids
While praying out loud with your kids might seem like an obvious way to pray, I feel like it might be overlooked a lot too.
There was a time when I spent the whole prayer time with one eye peeked open while I whisper-yelled at my kids to be quiet or sit still.
Now I really try to pray and be In the spirit during our prayer time. I try to maintain and model the posture and respect that I think is appropriate—no matter what my kids are doing.
With that being said, if they are screaming and fighting and displaying behavior that is never acceptable, then I’m going to speak up.
But if they are spinning in circles or tapping their foot or they want to stand instead of kneel—I’m going to just let that pesky behavior go. From experience, I will tell you that eventually the kids will fall in line, quiet down, and focus—especially if they see that you—as the parent—are maintaining your posture.
I will also tell you that this is the most difficult method for me, but doing it has helped me realize the power of setting a positive example and modeling good behavior.
Now that we have been implementing these three methods of prayer, my kids have come to enjoy praying in a way that I didn’t expect. I feel like they are truly learning to have a genuine heart for the Lord—a relationship—which is ultimately what we want as a parent.
If you are experiencing frustration over your child’s prayer life then I would recommend any of these three methods as a starting place.
What ways do you use to encourage your boys to have a heart for prayer?
Resource for Boys:
Heroes of the Bible Lego Challenge & Character Study by Tauna Meyer of Proverbial Homemaker!
Ally blogs at The Modern Mary. She loves to read, write, pray, study the Bible, doodle, and watch TV—sometimes all at the same time! She has a passion for helping and encouraging others to find their identity in Christ through focused prayer and by keeping a Prayer Journal. Ally is on a journey to be more like Mary and less like Martha—to keep life simple!