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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    Teaching children to pray: A helpful script

    April 4, 2017 / By Kerry Evans, Jamesville Community Church

    Editor’s Note: The theme of our next issue of the Advocate, which will arrive at local churches and be accessible through our website the first week in April, is Together in Prayer. The issue features many stories of how prayer has made a difference from an individual-level, all the way to our Conference level. Like this story, some of the stories provide guidance on teaching children to pray.

    At Jamesville Community Church in Jamesville NY, our Sunday School has recently implemented an opening prayer program with an effort to teach children to pray, and also to increase the feeling of community in our Sunday School.  This is a script that we encourage our teacher to use to help to help children through the process of prayer.

    Teacher: “Good morning and welcome to Sunday school at Jamesville Community Church. My name is                                  and I am happy to be your Sunday school teacher this morning. I know most of us know each other's names but let's go around the circle and tell everyone our name, just in case. Good morning my name is (teacher’s name).”

     (Now the children go around the table) “Good morning, my name is                      .”

    Teacher:  “Welcome everyone; I am happy you’re here. I know you all have busy weeks since we've seen each other last. Does anyone have something that happened to them this week that was a celebration event or good news?”

     Children share good news.

    Teacher: “That sounds wonderful. Let's say a prayer thanking God for all the good news in our lives. (bow heads)

    Dear God, thank you so much for all the good news in our lives in this past week.  We are so thankful for (give some examples here, like Amelia learning to ride a bike and Nora losing a tooth) and know that none of these blessings would have happened without your love and guidance. In Jesus name, Amen.

    Teacher: I think maybe some of us have had some sad things that have happened to us too. Does anyone have any challenging or sad events that you would like to share with us?

    Kids share sad events or problems.

    Teacher: Now let's say a prayer to ask God for help.

    Dear God, please help us in our lives with the challenges and problems that we face. We pray for (give some examples here) and ask that you be with them and help them each and every day. In Jesus name, Amen.

    Teacher: Thank you everyone for sharing. Now we will read our bible story and then we will (do a craft, play a game, etc.)

    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."