Teaching Children to Value Prayer | Popsicle Stick Prayers

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Prayer is an important part of our walk with the Lord. It something we can and should start teaching our children about when they are young. And the younger we start teaching them, the better.

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. ~Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)

My son is just under three years old. Before he gets tucked in bed at night, my husband and I pray with him. We ask him who he would like to pray for and he usually lists different people in our family. Sometimes he will ask to pray for things like the trash truck, because he’s connecting to what is a part of his world. So we will pray for the trash people who come to our neighborhood and thank God for the work the trash trucks do to help us. My husband and I usually do the praying, but within the last few months our son has started to show an interest in saying prayers too. He is good at the “Dear God” part, and with some guidance he will say a few additional words. He is learning how to pray and it is special to witness.

As I was thinking about how to further enrich my son’s learning about prayer, this Popsicle Stick Prayer activity came to mind. It is a simple, meaningful and tangible way to teach young children how to pray. The idea is to fill a container with prayers that are meaningful to your children and then choose a few of them to pray about with your children each day—bedtime would be a perfect time to fit this in.  Whether your children are just beginning to learn about prayer, or if your children already have some prayer routines in place, this activity will get your little ones excited about praying.

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You will need:

2 small containers

 jumbo size craft sticks

sticky back fun foam

a good marker

labels 

supplies

The metal pails I used were leftover from my son’s 2nd birthday. They are the perfect size for this activity and they can be found for about $1 a piece at places like the dollar store. Recycled plastic containers would work just fine too. Fun foam brightens things up a little bit, but you can keep it very simple and skip that part if you want.

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Directions:

1. Together with your children, come up with some prayers to add to the sticks. You can focus on praying for certain people or extend it to pray for your children’s school, your church and so on. I chose to start by just focusing on people (mainly our immediate family), so our sticks got filled with names. Either way, use a permanent marker and write a name or prayer request on each stick.

2. Add the fun foam to the sticks by removing the white labels and sandwiching together 2 pieces of fun foam per stick (sticky sides facing each other).

3. Add labels to the two containers using the wording “praying for” and “prayed for.” I used Avery oval labels.

4. Add all of the sticks to the “praying for” container.

5. At bedtime or a certain time each day, have you children pick a certain amount of sticks out of the “praying for” container. Then pray for those people/requests with your children. When done, move those sticks to the “prayed for” container.

6. Once the “praying for” container is empty, take the sticks from the “prayed for” container and add them back to the original container. Having two containers rather than just one, ensures that your children make their way through all of the prayers. You can easily change things up and add new prayers along the way.

pray

We have just started doing this activity with my son at bedtime. He picks two “prayers” each night and we pray together. It has been a fun way to see him get excited about praying!

hannah

(C) 2014 Pocketful of Motherhood and Hannah Bollinger

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Through the Eyes of a Child

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Through the eyes of a child,

there is value in simple things.

Through the eyes of a child,

creativity springs.

Through the eyes of a child, 

new discoveries are to be found.

Through the eyes of a child,

joy is all around.

Through the eyes of a child,

hope takes flight.

Through the eyes of a child,

wonder shines bright.

~~~

hannah

(C) 2014 Pocketful of Motherhood and Hannah Bollinger

Intentional Prayer: Part 1 {Praying For Your Children}

praying series blog

As I have reflected on what area of my life I desire to grow in the most this year, it’s my prayer life. I specifically want to be more intentional about praying for others this year. Since having a child 2 and 1/2 years ago, I have found it more difficult to be balanced in certain areas of my life—one area being my prayer life. So, I am seeking to get back on track this year with spending quality “quiet times” with God and growing deeper in my prayer walk.

 I have put in place a couple of tools to help me be more focused in my prayer life, and I’ll be sharing them with you in this 4-part series over the next 2 weeks. They are just my ideas, but hopefully they might help you too. Each plan provides simple, yet rich ways to guide you through a year of praying.

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Today’s Focus : Praying For Your Children

Our children need us, and they need us to pray for them. We should be covering them in prayer and it’s never too late to start! I have created a simple plan to help guide you {and me} through a year of praying for our children. I have chosen a “theme” for each month and I have taken 12 verses from the Bible as my inspiration. I have paired a one sentence prayer that ties along with each theme/verse. The “blanks” are to be filled in with your child’s name.

This prayer plan is designed to be used in such a way that you pray for your child/children by focusing on a different theme throughout each month. You can pray the verse, the prayer sentences I have included, do both or extend it in a way that works for you {e.g. also pray for God to help you as a parent to instill these virtues in your children}.

There is a printable version of this plan at the bottom of this page so that you can print it off, cut it out and post each months theme in a place where you will see it everyday—you could even use them as bookmarks in your Bible. Hopefully this helps you get started in a prayerful direction for you children!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series coming up later this week!

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A YEAR LONG GUIDE TO PRAYING FOR YOUR CHILDREN

January [Joy]

Verse: You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” ~Psalm 16:11

Prayer: Dear Lord, Lead ____________ to a place of experiencing the joy that comes from following the path you have laid out for his/her life.

February [Love]

Verse: “…and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” ~Ephesians 5:2

Prayer: Dear Lord, May your great love fill ____________’s life and overflow for others to see. 

March [Obedience]

Verse: “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” ~Colossians 3:20 

Prayer: Dear Lord, Help ____________to develop on obedient heart. 

April [Passion]

Verse: As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?” ~Psalm 42:1-2 

Prayer: Dear Lord, Stir a deep passion within _____________ to know You and make You known. 

May [Self-Image]

Verse: For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” ~Psalm 139:13-14 

Prayer: Dear Lord, Help ____________ to see himself/herself through your eyes and be firmly rooted in who you have made him/her to be.

June [Protection]

Verse: “God is our refuge and strength,

   an ever-present help in trouble.” ~Psalm 46:1 

Prayer: Dear Lord, Protect ____________ from the evil of this world and be the shield that defends him/her wherever he/she goes.

July [Servant Heart]

Verse: “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.” ~Ephesians 6:7 

Prayer: Dear Lord, Give ____________ a servant’s heart and a desire to live for You.

August [Purity]

Verse: “Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” ~Psalm 51:10 

Prayer: Dear Lord, Help ____________ to develop a passion for making pure choices, and strengthen him/her to stand up against the temptations of this world.

September [Respect]

Verse: “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” ~Romans 12:10 

Prayer: Dear Lord, Teach ____________ to respect others and to respect himself/herself.

October [Trust]

Verse: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.” ~Proverbs 3:5 

Prayer: Dear Lord, May ____________ learn to place his/her full trust in you and experience the peace that comes from following your lead.

November [Integrity]

Verse: “May integrity and uprightness protect me,
    because my hope, Lord, is in you.” ~Psalm 25:21 

Prayer: Dear Lord, Help ____________ to develop a character of integrity and honesty.

December [Witnessing]

Verse: He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” ~Mark 16:15 

Prayer: Dear Lord, Equip ____________ with the courage to share your love and good news with this world.

PRINTABLE VERSION: A YEAR LONG GUIDE TO PRAYING FOR YOUR CHILDREN

hannah

*All verses are from the NIV*

*top photo edited from here*

(C) 2014 Pocketful of Motherhood