How do you have your kids or grandkids practice prayer? Opportunities never fail to present themselves: at meal times, during Daily Time with God, at bed times, after someone gets injured, when needing help in school, while repenting. My favorite time to hear my kids pray is after family worship. How cute it is when my four-year-old lifts a prayer. He cracks us up because he always manages to incorporate his beloved stuffed animals in his conversation with the Lord.
To carve ten minutes out of a busy morning for family worship is well worth the effort to see my kids practice spiritual disciplines and grow in their relationship with God. What gets practiced at home gets executed outside the home. When they are worshipping well at home, they are worshipping well at church. How precious it is when children worship the Lord.
As busy as our scheduled days are, I like to keep it simple. We worship God with one or two songs and then sit down right there to pray for a moment. The problem, for the most part, was the kids didn’t have many prayer requests, and almost always forgot to pray for others. I “assigned” requests or people to pray for, but the prayer times turned flat with two littles interrupting and so many of us taking turns.
One day while cleaning, I found the “prayer sticks” I made for our family devotions many years ago. Bringing them out again spiced up our family worship! Each kid chooses a two or three and lifts up in prayer what their sticks are labeled with when it’s his turn to pray. (I’ve included directions on how to make them below.)
Why I Use Prayer Sticks
Kids like tangible items to hold, the mystery of what they will choose from the jar, and a chance for their turn—all fun reasons to use prayer sticks to spice up your family devotions. It is a blessing to motivate kids to participate in the spiritual discipline of prayer and teach them that they have access to approach God with any request.
I’m definitely imperfect when it comes to holding family worship. I’ve noticed it’s the first thing to go when life becomes extra full. That reminds me of the Parable of the Sower—the choked with the cares of this life to be exact.
And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. Luke 8:14 ESV
Finding this part of my life there, not thriving in all things related to family worship, doesn’t make me want to hang my head. Rather, I’m seeing it for what it is: a chance to grow. God knows my heart is to train my children in seeking God daily, that’s why I am excited to have reintroduced our prayer sticks to our family worship.
I am using these simple sticks to be intentional in training my kids to pray. I want them to know that prayer isn’t boring but exciting. Prayer gives us the opportunity to communicate with God and see Him move on our behalf. When kids see God answer their prayers they will see God’s love and care in action. He is glorified in that!When kids see God answer their prayers they will see God’s love and care in action. Click To Tweet
How to Make Prayer Sticks
- Make a list of the people and subjects you want to be covered in prayer. We listed family members (immediate and extended), pastors, president, friends, school, obedience, diligence, patience, etc.
- Collect or purchase craft sticks. Unless you want to polish off a few boxes of popsicles or ice cream on a stick, buy just-the-right-size-for-one-word craft sticks. You could splurge on colored craft sticks, but that could make the kids distracted with wanting to have their favorite color.
- Write the items and people from your list on different craft sticks, one per stick. Optionally, if you really wanted to have some fun, you could get the people shaped craft sticks to represent the people on your list.
- Find a jar or container to store the completed sticks. Choosing one that allows the kids to pull a couple of sticks out at a time works well.
My kids love using our prayer sticks. At this point, the toddler plays with the rest of the ones we aren’t holding but she’s still seeing the example of prayer. (Can I tell you a secret? I love using them, too!)It is a blessing to motivate kids to participate in the spiritual discipline of prayer. Click To Tweet
Teaching your kids to have a relationship with God through prayer is no small investment. It can yield an unlimited return. Gather your kids and ask them to help you make a set to incorporate into your family devotions. Your kids will enjoy using some of their own!
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The post “Use Prayer Sticks to Spice up Your Family Worship” first appeared on kellyrbaker.com.
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