Grandparent, Teach Me to Pray (Part 1)

Written by Deb del Villar, Director of Communications

Wouldn’t it be great to have one of your grandchildren see you praying and when you are finished, say: “Grandpa/Grandma, teach me to pray!” Even if this does not happen, prayer is an important biblical discipline to teach our grandchildren.

Scripture is full of why we should pray, beginning with it as an act of obedience, which would be reason enough. But prayer is so much more than an obligatory duty. It is a privilege and a pleasure!

We, as believers, get to talk to God Almighty, knowing He hears and answers our prayers. Even more than that, He communicates with us through prayer. It is a two-way conversation with your best, most trusted, most faithful counselor and friend.

In Part 1 of this blog post, let’s focus on four things to keep in mind as you seek to pass prayer on to your grandkids.

1. Model It

Just as the disciples watched Jesus praying in Luke 11, our grandchildren are watching us. When do they see you praying? What was it about how Jesus prayed that made the disciples desire to be taught how to pray?

Find times throughout the day to pray together. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to “pray without ceasing.” This speaks to an attitude of prayer – like having an ongoing conversation with a friend throughout the day.

Pray aloud within their earshot. Personalize the prayer with the grandchild’s name. One I use frequently is Colossians 1:9-10: “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for [grandchild’s name], asking that [grandchild’s name] may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

Remember, more is caught than taught. Are your grandchildren catching your love for and devotion to God through your prayers?

2. Teach It

Some general things to consider are their age and development stage, using Scripture as a starting point, asking questions to better understand them and their needs, and praying with them.

Do not forget to start with the basics.

  • What is prayer? – It is talking with God.
  • Why do we do it? – It is an act of obedience, a privilege, and a pleasure.
  • Who are we praying to? – To God, our Creator and Sustainer who desires a relationship with us that comes through Jesus.

Discuss the when and where of praying – anytime, anywhere, over anything. Finish with the how – model prayer first for them. Then move to leading them in prayer or praying with them, and finally encourage them to pray on their own.

It is not so much the outward focus – hands folded, head bowed – but the inner spirit of the heart. The posture should be shared as it helps to focus the mind and body.

Part 2 of this post will share lots of fun, easy, hands-on ways to teach what to pray for with your grandchildren. There are techniques to help grandchildren learn what to pray. Remember Matthew 6:7 says, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions…” so these ideas will help grandchildren think through and pray specifically and personally.

As grandchildren mature, they will realize that prayer also takes work. However, the rewards are so worth it!

3. Practice It

The normal expected times of daily prayer are mealtimes, (whether at home or out) naptime, and bedtime. If you do family devotions at the breakfast or dinner table, that would be another great daily time. When the grandchildren are over for these times, be sure to model prayer for them. Include and encourage them to take part.

Our grandchildren who live nearby are given a day of the week to lead prayer time. This is such a blessing for us to hear them pray. We have experienced the “God is good, thank you for the food. Amen” prayers to now more grateful, personal, heartfelt prayers.

As you spend time with your grandchildren, take every opportunity to practice prayer. My grandchildren now beat me in saying, “Let’s pray,” if they hear a rescue vehicle’s siren. If a big test, report, or project is coming up in school, they text me and ask me to pray. If they hear of a tragedy or serious illness at church, one of the first things they do is pray and ask us to pray too.

Keeping prayer in the forefront of their minds takes reminders and practice just like anything else worth doing. I hope our grandchildren will continuously pray, confidently pray, and courageously pray. The more we model, teach, and practice prayer before and with them, the better.

4. Celebrate It

Finally, but not least, do not forget to celebrate answers to prayer. We keep a Jehovah Jireh journal where prayer requests and praises are recorded. It is a great faith booster to look back at all the answered prayers. 

Another idea is to write prayer requests on slips of paper and place them in a mason jar. At mealtime, they can be taken out and prayed for. When the prayer is answered, a different color slip of paper will record the answer and be placed in the jar as well. At the end of the year, the slips of paper can be sorted out, celebrating all that the Lord has done.

Think of ways that you can share answers to prayer with your grandchildren.


As you model, teach, practice, and celebrate prayer, may John 17:20-21a be your reality. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.”

In Part 2 of this blog post, we will look at practical ways to teach prayer to our grandchildren, whether they are young or old.

More to explore

The Truth Will Set You Free

The weight of a grandparent’s role can be felt immensely. We hold the stories of the past, the wisdom of experience, and a fierce love for the next generation.

Grandparent, Teach Me to Pray (Part 2)

Part 1 of this blog shared four things to keep in mind as you seek to pass prayer on to your grandkids. Here in Part 2, we’ll look at some specific techniques for helping grandchildren learn what to pray for.

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