let’s face it, praying can be hard. then, when we are faced with trials, storms, circumstances, and struggles we don’t really know how or what we should pray. if it is hard for us adults, it can be equally hard for kids. that is why when i teach a prayer series to kids, i always end with teaching them how to pray God’s character back to Him in their tough situations. this can be quite an abstract concept so that is why i make it as concrete as possible so they see it in black and white, literally.

we begin with children spread out around black (or dark) butcher paper with colored chalk. i tell them to take some time to think of some struggles in their lives and in other’s lives that need prayer. then i give them time to draw. they are encouraged to use symbols or words, but only enough that they feel conformable sharing and that also gives them a little privacy. i try to encourage them to fill up their space. many are slow to start, but sadly have quite a few drawings when time is up.

as we sit and look at their prayers drawn before them, we talk about how many times it can be hard to know exactly what to pray. that’s when i give them a sheet of the names of God. (my examples below) i tell them to quietly read through these names and allow God reveal which of His names speaks to their situation. we discuss how while praying the names of God doesn’t remind God of who He is, He has not forgotten, praying His name reminds us of who He is.

after they have found some names, i then have them switch their color chalk to white chalk. i instruct them to write the names of God boldly over their symbols and situations. (again, i encourage them to fill up their space.) sometimes i play a song like “praise you in this storm” or “come to Jesus” during this time. after they are finished, we look back at the dark butcher paper. what was once full drawings representing needs is now covered in the names of God. we discuss how sometimes we get so fixated on our situations, we can’t see anything but them. that is when we need to be reminded who our mighty God is and see all our prayers through the mighty lens of who He is.

i know for me it is always a reminder that there is nothing i can carry, draw, mourn or worry about that the God of our universe can’t handle. my hope and prayer is that these kids begin to understand this as well and are constantly encouraged to bring whatever they have, big or small, to His feet in prayer and leave it in His capable hands.

below are downloads to two different names sheets i have used. i found these online many years ago.
100 names of Jesus
names of God – source: christianity.about.com by mary fairchild

confidentinChristdawson kids is on a mission to help equip children and families to be confident in Christ.  i am hoping this new category on dWELL will serve as a venue of encouragement and education for families and kid min leaders.  i am excited to share with you a post from my dear friend, nancy youree duggin. 

Years ago I was introduced to the five (5) Ps for successful living: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. A short time later, I developed my own five (5) Ps for successful and joyful living in Christ: Prayer, Practice, Perseverance, Patience, and Praise.

The beginning of a new school year provides the perfect opportunity to implement and focus on the 5 P’s of a life well lived in Jesus Christ. As the parent you will want/need to take the lead, with your elementary age children, in understanding and practicing each of the Ps.

Prayer: “Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18

  • Begin and end each day with prayer.
  • Pray for your teacher(s) by name. If they are not a believer, be mindful of praying for their salvation.
  • Pray for classmates—especially classmates who may not be kind to others.
  • Pray for godly friends.
  • Pray for wisdom concerning right and wrong—for a heart that longs to do right according to God’s Truth.
  • Pray for a growing desire to be pleasing in God’s eyes and NOT the eyes of the world. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23

Practice: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

  • telling the truth at all times.
  • giving your best effort in all things, at all times.
  • kindness to others.
  • a joyful attitude from morning till evening.
  • good work and study habits.

Perseverance: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

  • Don’t give up if you aren’t successful the first time you attempt a new task or learning.
  • Don’t give up because someone is better at a sport or academic subject.
  • Never give up on yourself—God NEVER will!

Patience: ”Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him” Psalm 37:7

  • Practice patience with those you love.
  • Be patient with yourself
  • Be patient when things don’t go your way or when you don’t get something you want.

Praise: “Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.” Psalm 106:1

  • Make time to intentionally praise God for who He is.
  • You are all knowing, all powerful, all loving (Psalm 147:5).
  • You are caring, compassionate (Psalm 145:9), and changeless (Hebrews 1:12).
  • You are the Holy One (Isaiah 12:6, Lord Almighty (Psalm 46:7).
  • and You are my Lord and Savior (2 Peter 3:18), if your child is a believer.

Guiding your child in seeing how God is at work around him/her will cause them to focus on who they were created to be and to develop the ability to see themselves as their Creator sees them.

Take time to assist your child in setting some goals around the 5 Ps. Revisit your goals weekly, asking God to give you success in each area.

Blessings in Him throughout the 2013-14 school year!



Nancy Youree Duggin taught public school for 24 years and served on a city school board for four years.  She also is a mother to two and grandmother to three with one on the way. This October she will celebrate 40 years of marriage.  Even with her plate full with family and training teachers, she spends countless hours encouraging and mentoring young moms.  


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