Prayer Activities for Children

Teach your children to pray with these fun prayer activities and games

Prayer Activities for Kid Prayer Games
FatCamera / Getty Images

Young children learn best through play. These fun prayer activities will teach your kids how to pray and why praying is an important part of their relationship with God. All of the methods can be developed at home or incorporated as prayer games for Sunday school classes.

Before and After Prayer Activity

Starting and ending each day with prayer is a great way to get children tuned into their special relationship with God without distractions. To use this method as a group activity in Sunday school, do the "before" prayer at the start of class, and the "after" prayer close to the time class ends.

At home, you can pray before dropping your kids off at day care, before school, or before leaving your children with a babysitter for the day. This prayer activity will help children of all ages start the day off right. This is a great time to pray for teachers, friends, and for help with classes or peer relationships.

If your children are stressed or anxious about the day ahead, pray with them to give their cares over to God and to let go of their concerns so they can better focus on what the day will bring.

Younger children sometimes have difficulty coming up with things to pray for, so having a good prayer time as a part of their bedtime ritual is helpful because they can easily remember and pray about what happened during that day. Children can thank God for fun times or new friends and ask for help with correcting a poor choice they may have made during the day. Praying at the close of the day can be comforting and restful at any age.

Five-Finger Prayer Game

This game and the following ACTS prayer were recommended by children's pastor Julie Scheibe, who says that young children learn best through games that help them remember facts and concepts. To do the Five-Finger Prayer Game, have the kids hold their hands together in a posture of prayer, using each finger as a prayer guide. You can reinforce the prayer concepts by explaining how each finger works as a reminder: the thumb is positioned closest to us, the pointer finger gives direction, the middle finger stands above the others, the ring finger is weaker than most of the others, and the pinky is the smallest.

  • Thumb: Say a prayer for those closest to you.
  • Pointer: Say a prayer for school teachers and Sunday school teachers.
  • Middle: Say a prayer for the president and the country.
  • Ring: Say a prayer for a sick person or someone with a serious need.
  • Pinky: Say a prayer for yourself.

ACTS Prayer for Children

The ACTS method of prayer involves four steps: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. When used by adults, this method results in a lengthier prayer time, as several moments are spent in reflection on Bible verses that support each part of the prayer.

Most young children won't fully understand what each letter of the ACTS acronym means, so use it as a teaching opportunity and a guide to take them through the prayer time as follows, pausing after each step for a minute or so to allow time for the kids to pray. This is another prayer activity that is easy to use at home or in a Sunday school setting.

  • Adoration: First, tell God how much you love and adore him.
  • Confession: Next, tell God about what you have done wrong and tell him you are sorry. He will forgive you, but he asks that you don't do this thing again.
  • Thanksgiving: Think about all the positive things in your life and thank God for these blessings.
  • Supplication: Pray for something you need help with, and for other people who need God's help.

Worship Music and Prayer

This fun activity combines music and prayer and is often used as a bridge for moving kids from one activity to another. Use worship music with prayer regularly as an activity near the end of Sunday school to help children prepare to leave the classroom with their parents or other caregivers.

Because music is poetic and has repetition, it's a great way for children to learn about prayer. Children love the energy in Christian pop contemporary and gospel music, and this excitement helps them to remember the lyrics. After children listen and sing along with a song, discuss the theme of the song and how it is relevant to God's word. Use this activity as a springboard to pray about the concepts in the song lyrics.