Paul’s command for us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 is clear. As Christ-followers we are to “pray continually.” There is indeed power in prayer. It connects us with our Creator and allows us access to our Heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus Christ.
I remember fondly my early years of adolescence. As with many young children who were raised in a faith-filled home, prayer was present on a daily basis. As a young boy, my parents consistently modeled prayer in our home. They encouraged us to pray when we needed God’s guidance and wisdom. It was instilled into the makeup of our family. Before meals, before bed — we prayed together. At the time, I certainly didn’t realize the impact this was making. However, it was beginning to establish the foundation of my own prayer life.
My parents taught me how to speak with God. Just as children learn by example in other ways, the simple act of praying with them will teach them what it means to communicate with God: how to talk to Him, how to listen, and, most importantly, how to respond in obedience when the soft voice of the Spirit is speaking.
As a father of four, I realize the importance of praying with my own children and teaching them how and why we pray. Children learn by example. When we pray with them, we impress upon them the value of prayer. My wife and I enjoy observing our 3-year-old daughter begin to understand the art of talking to God. She likes to thank Him for anything and everything that comes to her mind. She is learning how to communicate and connect with her Heavenly Father.
In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus taught His disciples how to pray (6:9–13). And as overseers of our children, we are blessed with the responsibility to show them how to pray. Teach them early on there is power in prayer and that God is “near to all who call on Him” (Psalm 145:18). Encourage them to pray for whatever God lays on their heart or mind. Pray often with your children. Make it a habit. Make it routine.
Are you praying daily with your younger children? Are you praying with your older ones? I urge you not to let these opportunities pass by, because this tremendous privilege will be over before we know it.
Paul K. Castle is the pastor of discipleship at the Countryside Free Methodist Church in Sandusky, Michigan.
DISCUSSION: What are three ways you can be more intentional in your own prayer life?  Why is it important to teach your children the value of prayer?  In what ways are you modeling a prayer-filled home for your children?