When Jesus says this is how you should pray parents should take notice! God wants you to pray that his kingdom will reign in your home. To pray effectively, in a way that honors God as special and holy, we must pray that God’s purpose and plan must prevail and not our own. However, the reality is that we come to God most often when we have a problem. If this is the example your children follow, it is not a good one.
This is the point to stress to yourself and to your children. By crying out to God that you want his kingdom to rule and his will to be done, you are implicitly saying that his purpose and plan is better than your own. Let me repeat that. God’s way is better than your way. These are the first prayers your children should learn.
What to pray for should not be primarily based upon each day’s struggles. Of course, we must pray earnestly for those as well. But notice, Jesus taught his disciples to pray by teaching them to copy his prayer word for word. This is where you must start in teaching your children to pray. If the twelve disciples needed be taught word for word, that is a good plan for teaching your kids.
It does not work to ask God to please do his will and yours. It is God’s kingdom and his will that we must desire above all else. This thought ties directly to Christ’s words just a few lines later in the Sermon on the Mount; ”seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”
Your children should begin learning to pray by asking God’s Kingdom to come to your home. Then, when your child prays for a particular request, great or small, he has a context for his prayer. The prayer might be for the hamster to get well, it may be for the sun to shine, it may be for Mommy to feel better, it may be gratitude for the food God gives, it may be for God to safely bring home a loved one from war. Whatever the prayer, it should begin with asking God to bring his kingdom to your home. If this is first, everything else will be in perspective.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33