Toddlers can learn to pray.

How to Teach a Toddler to Find Comfort in Prayer

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Young children can learn to pray, especially through a parent’s example. When your toddler learns that prayer is having a conversation with God, he will find it easier to pray. Children have tremendous faith because they trust you when you assure him that God hears him, according to Bible teacher Joyce Meyer in an article on the Huffington Post. Praying with your toddler each night before bed, before meals and any time he needs comfort encourages him to develop a strong and consistent prayer habit.

Tell your child that prayer is talking to God. When she prays, God hears her and is willing to meet her needs, including helping her feel safe when she is scared or helping her to become calm when she is angry.

Let your toddler know that the Bible says he can give his fears and concerns to God, who loves him dearly. The Bible also says that he shouldn’t worry about anything, trusting God to take care of him. Explain that God loves him more than mommy and daddy and God is able to take care of everything, even when mommy and daddy can't.

Explain that when you have a problem or a need, you stop and pray because you know that God has the answers you need. Tell her that Jesus promised that God will take care of you and your family, just as he takes care of the birds and flowers, so you trust God to keep his promises. Tell her some simple prayers God answered, such as healing her when she was sick.

Ask your toddler to bow his head and fold his hands when he prays so he remembers he is talking to God and not playing. Tell him he can kneel, stand, sit or lie in his bed and God will hear him no matter where he is or what he’s doing, suggests Meyer in her article. Pray a short prayer with your toddler, including some reference to a fear or concern you child had recently. After you demonstrate how to pray, ask your toddler whether he wants to pray, too. If he doesn't want to, accept that he needs time to learn to pray aloud in his own words.

End the prayer with thanksgiving and an "amen." Tell your tot that you end prayer by thanking God because you trust God to take care of whatever problem you have given him.


  • Avoid loading down your tot with lots of rules about prayer and simply encourage him to talk to God in a way that's similar to how he would speak to a friend.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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