Back to News Five Ways to Help Your Child Develop a Prayer Life Our children are capable of knowing God in a deep way. By spending 25 minutes a week, 5 minutes a day of focused prayer, we can help children develop a life long thirst and hunger to pray. We must teach our children principles of enjoyable prayer that assist them in developing an on going dialogue with God and a thirst for communion with Him. Consistency is vital for most anything to be successful. I have spent over 30 years helping parents, leaders, and children understand God’s desire for them to grow in Prayer, Praise, Power and the Prophetic. This simple game plan if done each week, will help our children and our family grow to having a life long thirst and hunger for prayer. 1. Having a Heart of Thanksgiving – Monday Each Monday, help your child to make a list of everything he/she is thankful for. Make a new list every Monday. Encourage your child to recognize all he/she has to be thankful for, including God’s provision for all his/her needs, salvation, existence, and things God may have done for your family in the past. Using the list, spend 5 minutes together thanking the Lord together for Who He is and what He has done. Take turns, and pray out loud. By consistently doing this exercise each week, your child’s heart will grow in understanding God’s goodness and love and be trained to recognize God’s personal involvement in his/her life. 2. Have a Heart of Worship – Tuesday On Tuesdays, spend five minutes in worship. Children are born with the ability to worship, so encourage your child to worship the Lord with freedom. Encourage your child that Jesus hears, sees, and loves his/her worship. Allow your child to see you enjoying worship and putting all of your attention on Jesus. Read Scriptures together that reveal the beauty of Jesus and worship in Heaven, such as Revelation chapters 4 and 5. Find out your child’s favorite worship song – many have one that they already know and love. Sing this song together for 5 minutes. 3. Having a Heart for His Word – Wednesday Spend five minutes reading God’s Word each Wednesday. Each time, start by teaching your child to ask Holy Spirit for help in understanding God’s Word. You might choose to read your child’s Bible together or choose the Bible verses you have been studying yourself, which can build unity as you study the verses together. After you are finished reading, it is helpful to explain Bible verses to your children in words they understand. An easy exercise for helping your child grow in understanding of Scriptures can be summarized as read it, say it, write it, sing it, pray it. You can even make up hand motions, songs, or dances together that will help you and your child easily remember Bible verses. 4. Having a Heart for the Lost – Thursday Together, make a list of people in his/her life who do not know Jesus. Start with family members, and also include people like your child’s doctor, dentist, teachers, peers, etc. Depending on the age and maturity of your child, talk about salvation through Jesus alone and the consequences of not believing in Jesus. Each Thursday, spend five minutes praying together out loud from the Scriptures, such as Ephesians 1:17, for the people on the list to encounter Jesus and be saved. Take turns praying out loud, allowing yourself to be vulnerable before the Lord and your child, as you model heartfelt, fervent prayers. As you pray each week, your child will develop a longing for the lost to be saved. 5. Having Heart for the Sick – Friday Help your child make a list of people in his/her life who need healing. Then spend five minutes praying from the Scriptures, such as Acts 4:29-30, that God would stretch out His hand with healing for them in the name of Jesus. Take turns praying out loud, allowing yourself to be vulnerable before the Lord and your child, as you model heartfelt, fervent prayers. Add new names or take names off the list each week, remembering to thank the Lord and acknowledge His answers to your prayers. Lenny La GuardiapositionVice President of Ministries, IHOPKCExecutive Director, Children's Equipping Center, IHOPKCFor over three decades, Lenny and Tracy La Guardia have devoted their lives locally and internationally to equipping, empowering, and mobilizing young people, parents, and leaders with biblical truths and relevant strategies for ministering to children and youth today. Lenny and Tracy are the executive directors of the Children’s Equipping Center (CEC) at the International House of Prayer of Kansas City, where they lead a missionary staff that equips children from all over the world. Currently, the CEC provides over 130 hours a week of children’s services. Lenny also serves as the senior vice president of IHOPKC’s Ministries and Justice Divisions, giving oversight to vital ministries that mobilize the values and priorities of the IHOPKC Missions Base in Kansas City and abroad. Lenny started the Grandview, Missouri, Police Chaplains in 2007 and currently serves as a police chaplain. Lenny and Tracy have been married for 38 years and have five children: Leonard, Leatha, Andrea, Adrienne, and Shontavion.