From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, and the Bible instructs parents to teach their children about God. “These words which I commanded you … shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). In other words, help them understand that they can pray about everything at any time, day or night. Prayer will not be awkward to them if you are filling their little minds with the things of God.
Encourage your children to pray and teach them by example. When children see and hear their parents pray it can become a natural and important thing throughout their lives. But don’t force your children to pray. Perhaps a few minutes before bedtime you can read a story to them about Jesus and ask them if they understand what the story is about. There are so many wonderful passages in the Bible that stir a child’s curiosity.
When children see an adult excited about the Lord it often piques their interest. Let your children hear you pray. Use simple words they can understand. When you finish praying, ask them if there is something they want to thank God for. Teach them that thankfulness in prayer blesses the heart of God. Challenge them to give careful thought for what they ask. If they are reluctant, be patient with them and explain that they can pray to God in silence, but encourage them to pray. Parents can teach their children so much about prayer, and parents can learn much about prayer themselves by reading God’s Word.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)