“Teaching Children Purposeful Prayer,” Ensign, Apr. 2005, 72
When our five children were young, my husband and I felt we had done a good job teaching them the format of prayer. They knew to begin by addressing Heavenly Father and to close in the name of Jesus Christ. Additionally, they knew to include thanks for their blessings. Yet something was missing. Prayers were offered on a routine basis, but that’s what they were—routine. How could we help our children sincerely communicate with Heavenly Father without a crisis to pray about? The answer came when a family friend asked us to pray that her husband might find better employment. The children loved this friend and wanted to help. Because they had something specific to pray about, their petitions became sweet and sincere.
Since that experience, we often discuss beforehand specific things our children might include in their prayers. Some of the things we’ve prayed for include the recovery of a sick cousin, help on a test, and the ability to make friends. By helping our children to pray for specific needs, our prayers as parents have become more meaningful too.
Lisa H. Fernelius, Chambersburg First Ward, York Pennsylvania Stake