Teaching Kids to Pray for Forgiveness

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If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” ~ 1 John 1.9

Teaching Kids to Pray for ForgivenessWhen I think of forgiveness, I think of the first time when asking for forgiveness made an impact on my life. Do you remember that one life event when you had to ask for forgiveness from a friend or parent? Do you remember how your heart raced, stomach flipped cartwheels, or not knowing how the person would respond when you asked?

I was 16 and I had taken my grandpa’s truck through a ditch. I was messing around driving and yes took a little detour through a ditch. Needless to say I broke the plastic part off the front bumper.

I remember that awful feeling knowing I needed to ask for forgiveness for doing something wrong. I also felt so scared. That was the moment that forgiveness and grace became real to me. I asked for forgiveness and received unconditional love, forgiveness, and grace that I will never forget. It is a story that I use with my small group of children to show the importance of asking for forgiveness and how grace is extended.

Share Your Forgiveness Story:

What is your story? What story do you remember that gave you that light bulb moment, “Wow, this is what it means to ask for forgiveness and receive grace?Share that moment with your students. This can help them identify how they have felt when they have asked for forgiveness. It is also is a great moment to show that through asking for forgiveness there is Grace.

Teaching Children to Pray for Forgiveness:

  1. Make it personal: Share your personal story of asking for forgiveness. It does not have to be anything big. That makes your story age appropriate. Share how you felt, and then share the outcome. Make sure you tell how grace came into play in your story.
  2. Pray with your student: If your student needs help praying for forgiveness for something they have done, pray with them. Lead them by example and show that you are there to help them in their journey.
  3. When praying for forgiveness: A forgiveness prayer is a conversation between them and their heavenly father. Just as if they were talking to their parent or friend they can have a conversation with God. No need for fancy words or fear of what to say, be open and honest and tell them what they have done wrong and to ask for forgiveness.

Prepare to Pray!

If you have younger children, you will want to choose one or two verses for them to learn to pray. Think about something your child is struggling with today. Does he need to remember that God sees everything? Maybe she needs to remember that the Almighty loves her.

Do you have older children? Have them read through the following verses and choose one or two.

Click on the image below to print FREE PRAYER CARDS. Choose the age-appropriate printable for your children and print on card stock. Then help your children to figure out how to pray the scriptures.

Scripture Prayer CardsMy Scripture Prayer Cards 3-12 blog






Verses about Forgiveness:

Look upon my affliction and my trouble, And forgive all my sins. ~ Psalm 25:18

Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake. ~ Psalm 79:9

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You. ~ Psalm 86:5

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. ~ Matthew 6:14-15

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. ~ Ephesians 4:32

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9

Now Pray!

Encourage your children to not just read the words, but to pray them.

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{All of these verses link to BibleGateway. If you would rather choose a different version of the scriptures, then click the link and choose the version you want.}


HeatherHi All! My Name is Heather Koke and I am a very active person! I love camping, running, cycling, mountain climbing and photography! I do a lot of photography for our students and families at our church. My background is in non-profits and I’ve worked with the YMCA as an After School Director, and preteen camp coordinator. My husband is the pre-teen minister at our current ministry. We love our pre-teen students and parents!


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