Dice Prayer Game
“How do I get my kids to pray something other than the ‘genie prayers’?”
This is a question we get a lot when we talk with parents. Genie prayers being prayers where kids just keep asking God for stuff.
This isn’t bad, it’s not bad to ask God for stuff. It’s the easiest and most natural feeling way to pray, so it’s normal for kids to start that way. As kids (and grown-ups!) get more comfortable with prayer, they start to pray in different ways as well. It's also developmentally appropriate for our kids to be praying for basic, even selfish, types of things. Adults may ask kids for peace and provision while kids ask for toys and fun days. They are kids, after all!
Variety is Key
We are all about variety and all about making prayer fun as a way to encourage spiritual development. We have been busy brainstorming and trying different ways to get our kids to enjoy praying. We’ve already shared the Beach Ball Prayer Game and this is really similar. The only difference is that it takes up less space and you don’t need to go buy a ball and write on it.
This is perfect to do around the dinner table. It's fun because each family member can roll the dice and pray in a different way. It makes dinner time prayer more engaging and fun for everyone, which is a win! The only problem is that my kids don't want to stop playing it!
Introducing the Dice Prayer Game!
We made a template for you, all you have to do is download it here, print it out (cardstock is best), cut it out, and tape it together. Take turns rolling the dice and praying in six different ways. My kids love it so much I may have to go buy a wood block and decoupage the printable onto it.
Just like in the Beach Ball Prayer Game, the differences between the six ways to pray can be subtle. Don’t get too hung up on it. Your child is learning just like we are still learning about prayer as grown-ups too! The point is to practice and to pray, not to be perfect. Here are examples of how you can pray in each way. Notice that we are praying for the same person in the bottom four examples:
"Hallelujah!" is easy! We just want our kids to be joyfully praising God. Have them shout "Hallelujah!" and do a silly dance or move.
"Jesus, forgive me." Notice that we ended this with a period. You can confess something out loud, pause and silently confess, or just move on. This is not the time to drill in confession, this game is lighthearted and fun. Just saying the words, "forgive me" is hard enough and is good practice for kids (and adults!)
“Thank you for...” involves thanking God for the person or thing you are praying for. For example, “Thank you God for Harper, I’m so glad she is in my class.”
“Please Bless...” is very similar to “thank you” but it involves blessing the person, situation, or thing. For example, “God bless Harper. May she know how loved she is by you and have a heart for you”
“Please...” is asking God for help with something or someone. For example, “Lord, Harper has a cold please make her feel better.”
“I Praise You for...” is also very similar to “thank you.” But in a praise, we are directing our attention to God’s work. The focus should be on God, not on a person or thing. For example, “God you are so good at making people. I love how you made Harper such a good friend to me.”