Over my time as a Sunday school teacher and parent, I’ve come across a few techniques to teach the salvation prayer to kids. In the sections below, I’ll share an overview of the salvation prayer and an example sinners prayer!
Years ago during storytime, as my primary grade children sat on the floor listening, I began to recognize how attentive they were when I read a story that contained a clear moral example. Some stories are written for humor, or to teach peace or happiness.
Other stories teach whatever is popular at the moment (fad), but the best stories, or at least the ones they loved the best, were clear about right and wrong. Even simple fairy tales kept their attention.
For example when Goldilocks was in the wrong house, or the boy cried wolf, or Pinocchio told lies.
Young children haven’t had the opportunity to do many “bad” things, however, Jesus said, ”Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of heaven.”
To some it may seem strange to think about a child praying the prayer of a sinner, asking forgiveness or repenting of anything. However, Jesus encouraged it.
It doesn’t mean that we have to have done really bad things, only enough to know that we need God’s help.
What Is A Salvation Prayer
Romans 3:23 tells us that we are all sinners, some greater than others of course, but all separated from God by our sinful nature.
A salvation prayer is a simple prayer in which we recognize Christ’s work on the cross and ask forgiveness. At that point, Jesus considers us born again and entered into the kingdom of God (read my article – how to explain the Trinity to a child).
Whenever he healed and forgave someone he concluded with “go and sin no more”. So basically the prayer includes asking for forgiveness, repenting then following Jesus.
Is It Common For Kids To Pray A Salvation Prayer
In my experience with Sunday School, Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) and AWANA, it’s obvious that children are eager to pray the salvation prayer. When they hear about Jesus and his love for them they are naturally attracted to him.
They don’t have so much of the world’s influence and have fewer inhibitions. They worry less about what their friends may say and are more concerned about pleasing God (also read: how to teach kids to pray).
5 Steps Of A Salvation Prayer For Kids (And Tips For Adults Teachers)
1. Learn about God’s love for us and Jesus’ sacrifice.
On hearing about his love for us, most children understand it instinctively. It’s still important they are taught by an adult or older friend.
While a child needs to learn about Jesus and his work on the cross, it would be up to someone else to share that.
A child would not be able to research Christianity on their own. But an adult can read or tell a story that introduces kids to Jesus.
John 3:16 Jesus said, For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him will not die but have eternal life.
2. Understanding that God wants a relationship with us and for us to love and serve him.
But because we sin we need to ask him for forgiveness. It is also important for a child to know that saying the salvation prayer is just the beginning.
Afterward, we need to learn more about Jesus and our Heavenly Father by praying and reading the Bible.
Revelation 3:20 Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in and eat with him and he with me.
3. Say I’m sorry and accept Jesus forgiveness.
This is the key. Jesus wants to hear us say these words so he can give us his free gift of salvation. This act is frequently called “asking Jesus into your heart”.
It may sound a bit corny but kids really understand it.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
4. Understand about the Holy Spirit (Know What’s Expected After The Prayer)
Jesus rose from the dead. He told his followers that after he left the Comforter would come.
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior he promises to be with us and help us serve him. He does this when we pray to him, when we read his words in the Bible and when we serve him by doing loving things to others.
Help others, share what we have, be kind to them and so on.
John 14:26 But the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
5. Tell someone
Be sure to share what you have learned about God’s love and forgiveness and so others will know about Jesus too. Telling someone also keeps you accountable (if it’s needed).
As Christians, we all need accountability, and involvement in the church, especially with small groups, allows us to be around other believers who are seeking God.
If a prayer is deeply personal, then it can remain between you and God. However, if you’re working to improve your walk with God, a close friend can help keep you accountable.
Example Salvation Prayer For Kids
I know that sometimes I do things I shouldn’t and I am sorry. You came to earth because you love me so much. Thank you for loving me so much that you died for me.
Please forgive me of my sin and come into my heart. Help me to do the things you want me to do and not to do the wrong things. I want to follow you.
In Jesus Name,
A salvation prayer for a child is simple but profound. It can be, and should be life-changing. Jesus said we should all be like children to enter the kingdom of God.
Even young children are aware of right and wrong. They recognize their sins even though they may be small.
Adults are responsible for sharing with kids the good news of the Gospel; that Jesus came to earth to die and rose again to give us eternal life.
In order to pray a successful salvation prayer, kids should understand what they are praying and why.
- Children should first understand who God is and what he did for us
- They should understand that God wants a relationship with us
- They should accept Jesus and ask for forgiveness
- Understand whats expected after the salvation prayer
- And tell someone for accountability in your walk with God
The salvation prayer for kids is simple and concise. If you’re a parent talk about the prayer with your children and see if they are ready to begin a relationship with Christ.