For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him, as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
Why Is Prayer Important?
- Regular prayer was a critical part of Jesus’ earthly ministry (Matthew 14:23 [par Mark 6:46]; Mark 1:35 [par Luke 4:42]; Luke 5:16; 6:12; 11:1; Matthew 11:25–26 [par Luke 10:21]; 19:13; 21:13 [par Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46]; 26:30–46 [par Mark 14:26–41; Luke 22:39–46]; Luke 3:21; 9:18, 28–29; 22:32; John 17:1–26).
- Jesus and the Holy Spirit are continually praying (Isaiah 53:12; Romans 8:26–27, 34; Hebrews 7:25).
- Prayer is a privileged part of union with Christ (John 15:7–8; 16:23–24).
- Jesus taught his disciples to pray (Matthew 6:5–13 [par. Luke 11:1–4]; Luke 18:1; Matthew 5:43–45 [par. Luke 6:27–28]; 7:7–11 [par. Luke 11:9–13]; 9:38 [par. Luke 10:2]; 21:19–22 [par. Mark 11:20–25]; Mark 9:29; John 14:13–14; 15:16).
- The early Church followed Jesus’ example and teaching by praying regularly (Acts 1:13–14; 2:42; 4:24–25; 12:5, 12; 13:3; 16:13, 25; 20:36; 21:5).
- The apostle Paul set an example for us of unceasing prayer (Romans 1:9–10; Ephesians 1:15–16; Philippians 1:3–5; Colossians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 3:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:11; 2 Timothy 1:3; Philemon 1:4).
- God calls his people to commune with him in prayer (Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
- Prayer is critical for fighting sin (Matthew 26:41; Ephesians 6:17–20).
- Through prayer we may obtain mercy and grace to help in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
- Prayer brings peace (Philippians 4:6–7).
- Praying is God’s will for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).
- God works through our prayers to make our joy full (John 16:24).
- Set an example by praying with your children and for them.
- Set the tone by remembering God’s sovereignty and character.
- Start small.
- Keep it simple.
- Pray regularly about everyday life events.
- Make times of family prayer part of your daily routine.
- Discuss the meaning of prayer with your children.
- Pray the Bible.
- Encourage and affirm your children often.
- Be consistent.
- Remind yourself of the power of prayer.
Read expanded general suggestions here.
- Eliminate distractions as much as possible.
- Use a model, especially with younger children.
- A.C.T.S. Prayer Model
- Five Finger Prayer Model
- Keep a running family prayer journal.
- Take your children on a prayer walk.
- Encourage your children to write prayer letters to God.
- Make a photo collage of people you want to pray for.
- Make a prayer card box.
- Use technology.
Read expanded practical suggestions here.
What to Pray for?
- Praise God for his attributes.
- Ask God to reveal specific sin in your life and confess it to him.
- Thank God for a recently answered prayer.
- Thank God for something for which you’ve never previously thanked him.
- Pray for the spread of the gospel (Ephesians 6:19–20; Colossians 4:3–4; 2 Thessalonians 3:1).
- Pray for unreached peoples and/or missionaries.
- Pray for unsaved family, friends, and neighbors.
- Pray for leaders (1 Timothy 2:1–4).
- Pray for enemies (Matthew 5:44).
- Pray through a Bible text.
- Pray through the news.
- Pray for your neighborhood, city, state, and nation.
- Pray 6 “D’s” for yourself or others.
- Pray for what the early church prayed for.
Read expanded explanations of what to pray for here.
- Lord, Teach Us To Pray by Sally Michael
- The Inductive Bible Study Handbook by Sally Michael
- 52 Simple Ways To Teach Your Child To Pray by Roberta Hromas
- Teaching Children to Pray by Bible Study Fellowship
- A Few Suggestions for Encouraging Children in Prayer by Sally Michael
- 71 Ways to Pray
View descriptions of the above resources and even more resources here.
*If you discover any broken links, please email parentingnorth@hopeinGod.org so we can update them.
 The supreme parenting “resource” is the Bible. Therefore, all secondary resources—even at their finest—are subordinate to Scripture. The closer resources are to Scripture, the better they are. Though Bethlehem may not agree with or endorse 100% of the content of the following resources, we have found them to be generally drawn from or in line with Scripture and helpful to parents.