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Teach Children the ACTS of Prayer

Jul 11, 2024 | Sunday School Solutions

by Debra Hane

As a parent, I love when my children want to spend time with me. I enjoy when they share what is on their minds or ask for help. And it warms my heart when they say thank you. Good communication pours the foundation for healthy relationships. That is also true in our relationship with God. Good communication with God centers on reading the Bible to hear God speak to you and you talking to God through prayer. Boys and girls will grow in their relationship with God as they develop these two habits.

How can you help boys and girls develop a good prayer habit
 so they can grow in their relationship with God?

You can develop a good prayer habit in boys and girls as you teach them to talk to God by using ACTS as a simple acrostic:

A – Adoration

C – Confession

T – Thanksgiving

S – Supplication

Each aspect reveals important truths about our relationship with God that can be summarized in these two sentences:

God is great and I am not. He provides all things, and I need Him to care for me.

The teachings and activities below will equip you to help children understand the ACTS of prayer.

Teach children to adore God for who He is.

A-Adoration. Teach children to adore God for who He is. God is holy, perfect in every way. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, faithful, true, and the Creator of all things. He is worthy of our greatest love and respect. Remember to include adoration as a part of your prayer time in class or at home.

ACTIVITY: Make slips of paper with God’s attributes on them. Allow children to pick a slip and pray, “God, I love You because You are . . .” and name the attribute.

C-Confession. Explain to children that when you love someone, you should not let anything get in the way of keeping a close relationship with them. That means, when you do something wrong, you admit it and make it right. That is the idea of confession. And it is important for your relationship with God too. When you realize you have disobeyed God’s Word, tell Him about it. First John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God loves you so much that Jesus took your punishment for sin when He died on the cross. When you believe in Jesus, your sins are forgiven, and you become God’s child. But, to keep close to Him, you need to confess your wrongs and ask God to help you do what is right.

ACTIVITY: When you pray with children, give them a specific time to tell God about their sin and ask Him to help them do what is right.

Help boys and girls understand that God wants them to pray for what they need and also for the needs of others.

S-Supplication. Supplication means asking in a humble way. Everything we have comes from God so it makes sense to ask Him for anything we need. Help boys and girls understand that God wants them to pray for what they need and also for the needs of others. Things may happen that cause them to worry, but they can look to God to care for them.

ACTIVITY: Create a poster with Philippians 4:6-7 written on it: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Explain the verse to the children. Before your prayer time, encourage them to write a name on the poster of someone they want to pray for. It could be a member of their family, a friend, or someone else in need of prayer. You can give ideas of what they can pray: God’s help and healing for someone who is sick or hurt, an unsaved friend to accept Jesus as Savior and become members of God’s family, help for a Christian friend to live God’s way every day, or maybe they need to pray for God’s help. During your prayer time, have the children take turns praying. After your prayer time, encourage them that God knows how to answer our prayers and He’s promised to share His peace—His calm assurance on the inside.

Take time to explain the ACTS of prayer to the boys and girls you teach and use the prayer activities to help them develop good prayer habits.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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