Yes those long silences in group prayer can be awkward. How do we teach our kids that this is normal, fine, and even welcome? How about giving our kids a heads up about what can be awkward so when it happens they aren’t surprised. Instead, they can watch God work as He takes these awkward moments and uses them to His glory. Here are a list of things that can be awkward in group prayer.
1. As the above cartoon suggests if there isn’t a leader in charge or it wasn’t defined up front, then no one is certain about who is going to say the last prayer. Teach your kids to watch God work in this silence. Many times because there was a pause, someone prays about something that has been on their mind but they haven’t been willing to share it until now. Teach your kids to define who will start or end the prayer before they start praying.
2. Someone is a prayer hog and just goes on and on with their prayer. Kids can learn that maybe this is just their style or maybe they really do need this time to share with God. Teach your kids that they can still pray silently to God as this person prays out loud.
3. Someone preaches at them in their prayer. Kids can learn also to let that go. When the prayer is over, they can have the freedom to ask the person about their prayer and share with them how it felt. They don’t have to be surprised that some people are immature in their prayer life and use that as a platform to correct others. God is not surprised by our immaturity so our kids don’t need to be surprised as well. They can learn to confront it in a mature way.