Quick ideas for praying with squirmy kids

praying with squirmy kids

My husband and I have 3 boys. Sometimes our house is a little bit crazy. I know, right? You would never have guessed. 😜

When it comes to prayer time, we have STRUGGLED to get them to sit still for just 5 seconds, never mind to pour out their hearts to God. Prayer time has a tendency to look more like insanity than pious praying.

We have had to get REAL creative when it comes to praying!

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BUT – Did you know that the Bible doesn’t say we have to pray sitting still, with our hands folded and our eyes closed?

One of my favourite ways to pray is to do it while standing up, laying down, or even pretending to be animals. We also like to use a talking stick. The purpose behind the talking stick is that whoever has the stick says a quick prayer, then passes it on to someone else.

Of course, since sticks are swords and lightsabers, I usually use a different object, like a pair of rolled up socks.

Yes, sometimes this becomes more of a game of hot potato, but more often it actually becomes deep and meaningful. This is a great way to pray with a group of kids, and can be done with any items you have on hand!

One thing I really want my boys to learn is that they can pray anywhere, not just with their mama. 

I really believe that one of the best ways to solidify abstract concepts like prayer is to use stories.  Why lecture a child about prayer when a story will stick in their head for a lifetime?

The other day I read Peter’s Perfect Prayer Place with my boys, which is an incredibly cute and fun way to show kids that they can pray anywhere. Peter tries to pray in the kitchen cupboards (prompting a discussion in our house about whether or not we could fit in the bathroom cupboards).

After he realizes the kitchen might be a smelly, noisy place to pray, he tries several others, including outside and in his bed. Nothing seems ideal, until he realizes that he doesn’t need ONE place to pray.

The authors write this excellent reminder:

God can see and hear you, son, No matter where you pray!

You can talk to Him from anywhere, at any time of day.

My favourite part of this book (aside from the excellent rhythm and rhyme and adorable illustrations!) is the sticker chart at the end, designed to help kids know what to pray for, and keep track of answers to prayer.

I would recommend this book for ages 2-6 because of its fantastic rhymes and the fun follow-up activities. Older kids might learn from it too, but the main character is clearly a preschooler so they might feel “too mature” for the book.

You can find this book, “Peter’s Perfect Prayer Place” on Amazon or maybe even at your local library!

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If you like the stories I’ve recommended, you’ll love the 3 stories that I have written especially to engage your child’s imagination and ignite their faith. You can download them for free RIGHT HERE:

Peter’s Perfect Prayer Place is written by Stephen and Alex Kendrick and illustrated by Daniel Fernandez. It was published by B&H Publishing Group in 2015.

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Photo by Vanessa Bumbeers on Unsplash


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There is nothing in the Bible that says your child has to sit still and fold his hands in order to pray.

5 ways to help your child pray…without making him sit still!

Praying with squirmy kids can be hard, but here are a few simple ideas to get you started!