I looked at my little blue-eyed boy as he buried his head into his pillows. He was angry and I was confused. Why was this such a big deal? Why didn't he understand that praying to his heavenly Father was a privilege? It was good! Toddler prayers are not as simple as just bowing your heads together and coming to our Father God. It should be, but often the experience can be confusing for little brains to comprehend.
These little toddler prayers and resources can be used to help your little one understands the power and importance of praying to their creator. It does not have to be pushed and it does not have to be a struggle. Use these simple prayers and strategies for your own little toddler prayers.
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How do I Start Praying with my Toddler?
How is a child to know how to pray if he does not see it modeled for himself? We see prayer modeled through the scripture. Priests prayed, Jesus prayed, mothers prayed, fathers prayed; the average and extraordinary alike bow their head and pray.
The first step in teaching your children to pray is to model it yourself.
- Pray at mealtimes
- Pray in the morning
- Read books about prayer
- Talk about prayer
Looking for some books about prayers that your toddler can follow. These books do not have to be a theology of prayer, they just need to give practical steps in how to come to the father in prayer.
A Very Thankful Prayer - Board Book. Simple Thanksgiving prayers.
Big Prayers for Little Kids - A very effective and powerful option.
When I Pray for You - Modeling how you pray for them. The illustrations are stunning.
The Foundation of Teaching Toddlers to Pray
What is the foundation of toddler prayers? Apart from modeling it to them in your daily life, the other most foundational piece is prompting them that they can pray at any time.
It can be in the midst of a tantrum.
When they feel angry or sad.
When they wake up at night with a bad dream.
After they have done something they knew was naughty.
Teach them that their Creator wants to hear from them. Just like you strive to have open communication with your child, teach them that their heavenly Father wants to hear from them all the time.
Popular Bedtime Prayers for Children
Of course, there are the classic rote prayers that certainly do work well to begin teaching your children to pray. Using rote prayers takes the guesswork out of what to pray each night, but it also can make it repetitive and ineffective depending on your child.
Some children learn the prayer and then just say it without it truly affecting their hearts. It's important that you know your child and can guide them through the importance of prayer.
Now I Lay me Down to Sleep
“Now I lay me down to sleep;
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
May God guard me through the night,
And wake me with the morning light.”
Lord in Heaven
“Lord in heaven, hear my prayer,
Keep me in your loving care.
Be my guide in all I do.
Bless all those who love me, too.”
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”
Tips for Effective Toddler Prayers
As you start praying with your child, here are a few tips for effective toddler prayer.
- Be consistent - Offer them consistency, so they can learn consistency themselves.
- Keep it simple - Simple prayers can be powerful!
- Let them speak from their own heart.
- You child understands more than you may think.
- Remind them that God hears them at any time.
5 Powerful Toddler Prayers
Although rote prayers can certainly be a nice way to offer consistency, they do not allow your child to become personal with their heavenly father.
Try these 5 powerful toddler prayers that are simple guides for teaching 'themed' prayers to your child. As your child grows they can begin to expand on their prayers. For children under the age of 5, these themed prayers can be helpful as they learn to concentrate on aspects of prayer.
A Toddler Prayer of Thanksgiving
Thank you for today and what you gave us.
Thank you for my toys and home.
A Toddler Prayer for Saftey
Sometimes I get scared.
Will you please help me when I'm afraid?
In Jesus' name amen.
A Toddler Prayer for Happiness
Dear Jesus, sometimes I'm not very happy.
I feel alone and sad.
Can you help me feel happier?
In Jesus' name amen.
A Toddler Prayer for Forgiveness
Today I made some mistakes.
I was not kind when I was supposed to be.
I did not listen to my mommy.
Will you forgive me when I have done the wrong thing?
Thank you Jesus.
A Toddler Prayer for Others
Thank you for my friends.
Help me to be kind.
Teaching our Children to Pray
Coming to the God of the universe is a privilege and an honor. It is not one that we should take lightly. We have been entrusted with these precious gifts and it is our job as missional mothers to effectively lead them to Christ.
These toddler prayers are simply guides to help you foster independent children who pray to their heavenly father.
You can print off the cards below and use them at bedtime or meal times to show them a physical representation of prayer examples. Click on the image below to access the vault. It does not require any signup.