Teaching Kids to Pray for National and Local Leaders {Prayer Activity}

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“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-4 NIV

prayer activityMaterials: A spinning top

Background: When I taught my own kids to pray, it was about posture, approach, a little vocabulary, and ‘just talk to God like you talk to me.’ 

The Lord would speak to Moses face to face as a man speaks with his friend.” ~ Exodus 33:11

But when I began overhearing my students talking about events happening outside their own little world, asking about what they hear on the news, expressing anxiety over what they see happening to Christians around the world, then it is time to break out prayer as an offensive weapon. I want to equip our kids with the tools of prayer to make a world of difference in hurting and scary times. I want to give them a response that is biblical and helpful. I want to build a prayer muscle within each one so that their prayers go beyond their front doors, beyond their fences, and beyond their neighborhoods.

Today, the news is 24/7 and comes at kids from every direction: TVs in doctor’s offices and waiting rooms, flat screens on the walls of the local fast food restaurant, internet on telephones and tablets, magazines and newspapers. It’s almost impossible to keep them from hearing about the latest natural disaster, the global unrest, and the violence focused around the world along with the visuals that are most graphic. When we teach kids to pray, we give them a powerful response that can result in peace of heart and mind for themselves. We can teach kids to pray for our leaders who have to make hard decisions. By teaching kids to pray for our nation’s leaders, teachers, and other adults who are involved, by name, we give them a powerful offensive weapon in the battle taking place all around us between good and evil.

Lesson on Prayer:

As followers of Jesus, we are to pray as if prayer is the most powerful resource we have next to God Himself. There are 472 references in scripture to pray, prayer, and praise the Lord. This tells me that prayer is of the utmost importance. And the prayers of even one IS powerful and effective.

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” ~ James 5:16

A proper prayer life results in peace of heart and mind:

“Don’t be anxious, but in everything by prayers and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7

Opportunities to practice praying in the classroom and carrying it over at home invites our students to learn, as Samuel did, that praying for others pleases the Lord:

“As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.” ~ 1 Samuel 12:23

When we pray for our nation’s leaders, teachers, and other adults in charge, we invite our little people to be involved in the solution of bringing God’s love into all the world:

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Prayer Activity:

Each month, we prepare Praying on the Go bags for parents and kids to share in a focused prayer activity that includes written directions and a prayer prompter. We pray for self, yes, but like Samuel, it is ‘good and right’ to pray for our leaders. We teach and practice the prayer activity in the Sunday morning classroom, then send it home for kids and parents to experience some ‘easy wins’ and ‘sticky memories’ when it comes to building prayer muscles.

For ‘Who’s at the Top’ POGO bags we printed directions and included two spinning tops to invite children to pray for their teachers and coaches by name who are close to home as long as the top spins. Each day, the children are invited to pray for local and national leaders by name from local fire fighters to our nation’s President, Congress, and even the Supreme Court, by name, based on Colossians 1:10-11.

Each day, pray for …

Monday – Teachers & Coaches (by name)

Tuesday – Local Government of Mayor and City Council (by name)

Wednesday – Pastor and Spiritual Teachers (by name)

Thursday – National Government of President, Congress, and Supreme Court (by name)

Friday – law Enforcement & Firefighters (by name)

Teacher and Coach names are easy, but finding out the name of your town’s mayor and city council member may require some research. Names are so important and it will make their prayers specific and more personal. For each leader, spin the top and talk to God about “Who’s at the Top” until the spinner stops.

Dear Lord, I pray for _______________ and _____________ to lead a life that is worthy of You Lord.

I pray that _______________ and ________________ will please You in every way, God.

I pray that ____________ and ________________ will want to grow to know You better, God.

I pray that _________ and _____________ will never give up and be joyful, God.

(based on Colossians 1:10-11)

The link for more specifics can be found at my blog HERE.

Praying for our national and local leaders is close to my heart. My son is a sheriff’s deputy and my husband serves on various local government committees. They need all the prayers they can get.

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. Colossians 1:3

Prepare to Pray!

Look at the verses that are used in this lesson. If you have younger children, you will want to choose one or two verses for them to learn to pray. Help your child to list the names of national and local leaders.

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.

Scripture Prayer CardsMy Scripture Prayer Cards 3-12 blog






Grab a pen and write down the chosen verses, or have your child write them down. {Grab a spinning top, too!}

Now Pray!

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

Click on the image below for all of the articles in this series.prayer{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.}


MinionHeadShotDeDe is the Director of Children’s Ministry at Wesley Chapel UMC in Marietta Ga, President of North Georgia’s Christians Engaged in Faith Formation, blogger, workshop leader, and champion of all things collaborative. She lives in Canton, Ga with her husband Bob, has two grown children, two fabulous grands, and drinks hot tea all day long.

Go visit DeDe’s blog:


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