Sharon Blair believes that teaching her children to pray was one of the most important things she did for them and urges all parents to the same


I have been a parent for many years and have a huge passion for children and family life. I have read books and articles, listened to talks and been on a few courses. Over the years I have certainly made some mistakes, but overall, family life has been full of laughter. Now they’re grown, my husband and I miss our children dreadfully.

I am convinced that good parenting is not about adopting certain techniques. It’s about living as part of God’s story and letting God’s good news shape your values, attitudes and behaviour.

Below are eight tips for Christian parents on praying with and for your children from my years of learning and experience. I firmly believe that teaching our children to pray is not about imparting a procedure but teaching them the character of God and His Gospel with the help of the Holy Spirit.

These tips are certainly not exhaustive, but I hope give you some encouragement for the journey.

1. Everyday

Praying creatively at bedtimes and mealtimes can be a great way of encouraging prayer. For example, ‘You can only pray if you have dived down to the bottom of your bed under the covers!’ Or, ‘the next person to eat a mouthful is the one to pray!’

2. In the moment

As problems arise, pray about them with your children. ‘Let’s talk to God about that’. Bring God into your chat as you walk to school or go to sports clubs. Make it as natural as talking on your phone. Repeat testimonies in a way they can understand and relate to. Communicate your excitement in an amazing God and show and tell how He has answered your prayers.

3. Write them down

Make note of how God has answered your prayers as a family. Or have a ‘jar of thanks’ filled with stones with answered prayers written on them in permanent ink.

4. Pray Scripture

For example, Ephesians 1:17 ’I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

5. Listening Together

In my experience, children hear from God so much more easily than adults. I’d encourage you to create family prayer times and help them to learn to listen to God’s voice. Remind them that God wants to talk to them and prayer is a two-way conversation so leaving space for God to speak is very important. Share what you hear!

6. World Events

Pray for church mission partners and for other children throughout the world. Be creative; use photos, stories, what they’re watching on TV or social media.

7. Bless your children

Blessing your child is a great way of declaring and affirming who they are. Use the power of words in scripture, the gifts you see in your child and what you sense God has for them as a springboard to speak powerful words of blessing over them.

 8. Release them into Gods hands

As a parent, this is one of the most powerful things you can do. There can be so much fear in the complete responsibility of parenting. We can worry about them wherever and whatever they are doing and it can spoil our relationship with them as they get older. It’s so important to ‘cast our cares upon Him’ (1 Peter 5:7), and remember that He is parenting with us. Let’s trust Him – He’s in charge.

Sharon Blair is a mother, grandmother, CEO of the National Parenting Initiative and part of the Senior Leadership team of Holy Trinity Combe Down in Bath. Sharon, who taught for many years, regularly runs parenting courses and oversees the Families Support Scheme which helps families in her community. 

On 12th July, the National Parenting Initiative will run a free online event for those who are passionate about seeing families strengthened and empowered in their church and wider community.

With Who Let The Dads Out?, Parenting for Faith, Connected Lives and Kids Matter speaking at the event it promises to be full of encouragement and inspiration. Free registration can be found here