I remember in elementary Christian school a chapel speaker who told us about the A.C.T.S. method of praying. I remember getting lost a little bit in those big words.
While A.C.T.S. as an acronym was nice and short, those were big words for a kid. I’m pretty sure I left chapel that with not a clue what to do with what I had just learned. Not to mention, was I any closer to really learning how to pray? I appreciate effort he gave, he just missed something along the way.
Prayer is communication. Prayer is part of a relationship. Prayer is something we should do like breathing. We don’t need to teach big words and theology to kids. We simply need to model prayer to our kids as we teach them to pray.
Here’s a quick idea. Take the A.C.T.S. model and make a bedtime prayer. Have your kids fill in the blank as you pray with your kids. You can even fill in the blanks too. Maybe something like this:
Dear God, you are so great because _________________.
And also because _______________.
Sometimes I don’t do what’s right. Tonight I really need to say I’m sorry for ______________.
So many great things happened today. Thank you for ________________.
And also for ________________.
I know some people who could use some help. Please help_________________.
Tomorrow I can’t wait to ____________________.
Please help me _________________.
Thank you. Amen.
Just allow them to say what’s on their hearts and minds. You’ll be surprised by joy hearing what comes out. Also, silence is not necessarily a bad thing; don’t be afraid to give them time to think.
This will not only give them a frame-work to pray on their own, but this will also serve as a bonding experience with your kids. As you pray aloud together, you’ll also be sharing your faith together. This will help open a line of communication between you and your kids as you share your hearts with your Heavenly Father. Your family really will be doing faith together!
Try it tonight… I’d love to hear how it went!