How to Pray with Children
The current COVID-19 crisis can be overwhelming for us as adults, so how can we explain it to children in ways they can understand? And how can we pray with them in a time of crisis such as this?
Below are a few simple ideas what to pray for that can serve as guidance as you pray with your child. They are flexible and can be adjusted according to the age of the child.
1. Give Thanks to God
The Apostle Paul reminds us to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) It’s good to start the prayer by thanking God for His faithfulness and love towards us. Ask your child to think of a few specific things that he or she is thankful for today.
2. Pray for Your Family
In this difficult time when many people are getting sick, millions of families around the world are confined to their homes to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Being together all day in a confined space can be challenging, while at the same time we cannot visit other relatives. Pray together for your family at home and also your relatives in other neighborhoods, cities or countries. “Live in harmony with one another.” (Romans 12:16a)
3. Pray for Your Friends
It can be hard for kids not to be able to meet their friends, go outside and play together. You can share with your child that he or she will meet with friends again in a little while. You could refer to Ecclesiastes 3:1+5b: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: […] a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.“ Ask your child to pray for his or her friends by name.
4. Pray for the Elderly
Not everyone has a family around them at this time. Especially elderly people can feel even more isolated and alone. Maybe there are specific people you know – in your own family or in your neighborhood – who don’t have someone with them. Ask your child to pray for them by name. “For I am convinced that [nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39
5. Pray for the Sick
The number of people that have fallen sick around the world is beyond the comprehension of a child and we shouldn’t frighten them. But we can let them know that right now, there are many people who are not well and we should pray for their healing. If you personally know anyone who is sick, ask your child to pray for them by name. “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
– James 5:16b
6. Pray for Doctors & Nurses
Doctors and nurses are at the forefront of caring for the sick. But because of the rising numbers of patients, many of them are overwhelmed, tired and emotionally exhausted. They also risk their own health and even their own lives. Ask your child to pray for them, and if you know any doctors or nurses personally, pray for them by name. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13
7. Pray for a Vaccine
The greatest challenge in this pandemic is that there is currently no protection and no cure. Therefore, scientists around the world are racing to develop a vaccine and make it available around the world as soon as possible. If your child is younger, you can simply explain that many doctors are working hard to find the best medicine. “They will turn to the Lord, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them.” – Isaiah 19:22b
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