Power of Prayer

How to teach your Children the power of prayer?

Aftab Jamil, Silicon Valley

“O ye who believe! seek help with patience and Prayer; surely, Allah is with the steadfast.”
(The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 2, Verse 154)

Prayer is the most important part of a Muslim’s life. It is a powerful force through which an individual can communicate with his Creator. The need for this communication is not confined to five daily Prayers but remembering Allah at all times and asking for His help and guidance in every matter has been advised by our Holy Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be on him). One of his sayings regarding prayer is, “Beg of Allah for all that you stand in need of, even the salt you need or the shoelace that has snapped”.

In the society we live, children are used to instantaneous gratification. Therefore teaching them prayer and patience has become more challenging for the parents of this day and age. The key to success in this regard is to start at a very early age. As a starting point, we have to help them develop a strong and intimate relationship with Allah and the belief in the presence of a Supreme Being who is responsible for all the blessings in their lives. They can have that relationship by talking to Him and remembering Him at all times. Let them know that Allah talks to people and listens to their prayers. He has talked to us through the Holy Qur’an, His prophets, and through giving us all the blessings we have in response to our prayers.

Younger children are very observant and imitate their parents. If they see that their parents have a strong relationship with Allah they will certainly want to know more about whom it is that their parents are bowing down to with such humility and emotion. We used to pray with our children when they were babies holding their little hands in prayer and prayed for everyone starting with Huzoor’s health, then their parents, grandparents, all the relatives, and finally for the whole Jama’at. By the time our children learned to talk, they already knew the ritual that they had to raise their hands for prayers and started repeating the prayers after us. Gradually, when they grew older we started teaching them that they can pray to Allah during Salat in prostration and that they do not need to use any fancy words but any language they are comfortable with because Allah knows what is in their hearts.

The need is to explain to them that prayer is like a conversation with Allah just like they converse with their parents to fulfill their needs. They can talk about anything that is on their minds. Getting a good grade in school or scoring a goal at soccer, a request for a doll or their favorite cookie. No request is insignificant or small and none is too big. We should talk to them about how we used to pray for them even before their birth and how they are all that we prayed for.

We are all aware of the famous saying that families who pray together stay together. Parents need to make congregational Prayer a daily routine. Make it a special time of the day. Teaching children to pray in all circumstances is very important; not only in times of need but also in times of contentment. If they are facing any difficulty in school or having problems with their peers, always encourage them to pray before they take any step in resolving that issue. Whenever there is a time to make an important decision in the family, make special effort to pray together. Sometimes, prayers are not being answered the way we want them to and that is the time when we need to show our patience and steadfastness to our children and teach them by example. Children become impatient and frustrated when they pray for something and do not see instant results. They may become discouraged by this outcome. This is a time for great patience on parents’ part. Teach the children that it is a gradual process and they have to be patient as Allah puts us through trials to train us to be more obedient and faithful. Talk to them about the previous times when they obtained what they prayed for and comfort them with kind words. At very young age, encouraging children to pray for their favorite toys at Eid or other special occasions and getting them those items can send a powerful signal to them to get them in the habit of praying. Let children know that Allah loves them and knows about their needs. He will listen to their prayers and grant them in the way He thinks is best. As parents, keep praying for the children that Allah may give them peace and keep them faithful.

By following these simple steps we can instill in our children a lifelong habit of praying and complete reliance on Allah Almighty.