Monday, April 12, 2010

National Day of Prayer

The theme for this year’s National Day of Prayer challenges us to pray for such a time as this. The National Day of Prayer will be held on Thursday, May 6. But you can do things to remind yourself and your kids to pray each day of the year. Whether you give your students “God Bless the USA” Wristbands to wear, decorate your classroom with patriotic décor, place a flag at the front of your room, or anything else you may think of—let’s PRAY!

“The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.“ — Nahum 1:7

Here are some ways to help even your youngest students learn to talk to their heavenly Father in prayer. Don’t let the prayer time turn into a giggle fest, and don’t encourage silliness. Instead, explain to the children that this is a time for each person to talk to God with respect and love. Do an action rhyme or sing a quiet song to prepare them for the time of prayer, calm them down, and help them get ready to focus on talking to God. Use this prayer rhyme to help your young students get ready to pray. Do the actions as you say the words:
            Little children, fold your hands (fold hands)
            And bow your heads this way (bow heads).
            Think of God and His great love (hug self)
            As quietly we pray (whisper, fold hands, and bow head).

Encourage each child to participate by sharing prayer requests and praying aloud, if they wish. (Do not force any child to pray aloud.) Let the children suggest things for which to ask or to thank God. Some children may wish to pray their own sentence prayers. Some of your toddlers and preschoolers may volunteer to pray but not be able to verbalize their prayers when it’s their turn. So pray a short sentence prayer and let them say it after you, such as, ‘Thank You, God, for Mommy and Daddy.” Allow plenty of time for the children to participate in praying.

Lead your students in prayer at the beginning of your class time, before snacks, and again at the end of the class. Use your own prayers to model various ways to talk to God. Your closing prayer can relate to the Bible story or memory verse you just taught. You may want to conclude your time of prayer with a quiet song such as GOD IS SO GOOD or FATHER, I ADORE YOU. Include Christian music in your quiet time through CDs, MP3 players, voices, and instruments.

Ask God to guide you as you prepare meaningful prayer times for your students. Then listen to the Holy Spirit and be willing to adapt your prepared plans as necessary to meet the needs of the children and make the most of each teachable moment.

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