Give children a small leadership role during prayer time by letting them choose the prayers. You can provide some boundaries by making up a fun system for doing this. Here are a few ideas:
Bookmarked prayers. Use bookmarks or Post-It Flags to mark appropriate prayers in your family prayer book; let children choose from the bookmarked prayers. Write the name of the prayer on the bookmark, or use drawings or symbols for children who cannot read.
Sticks. Print photos of friends and relatives, cut out their faces, place them on craft sticks, and place the sticks in a pot to create a bouquet of friends and family. Have your child choose a different person to pray for every night.
Dice. Find a large block of wood or foam and glue prayers (such as meal prayers or bedtime prayers) to it; have your child roll the die to select the prayer.
Jar. Print out some prayers on heavy cardstock and place them in a jar; have your child pick from the jar without looking. When you print out the prayers, include a picture for children who can’t yet read.
Clothespins. Purchase multicolored clothespins and hang them on a line of colorful twine attached to the wall (or on your prayer table). Print out prayers on cardstock and attach them to the line using the clothespins.