As Christian parents we want our kids to love Jesus and grow strong in their faith. A big part of growing spiritually is learning to pray—not just for ourselves, but for other people, too.

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” (1 Timothy 2:1, NLT)

Does your tween know how to pray for others? While there’s not a right or wrong way to pray, necessarily, there are some helpful principles we can follow. Here are some tips to share with your tween to encourage her to pray effectively for others.

Pray in the moment. Rather than telling someone, “I’ll pray for you,” try pausing in the moment and saying a prayer for them right then and there. Not only will this bless the person you’re praying for; it will also ensure you don’t forget to pray as you promised.

Pray Scripture. God’s words are more powerful than ours. Try including Scripture in your prayers, such as “Lord, please help Taylor trust you with all her heart and lean not on her own understanding,” (from Proverbs 3:5). This ensures we’re praying according to God’s will and laying claim to the promises of God.

Pray for anything and everything. No prayer is too big or too small for God. He cares about everything from healing cancer to finding lost car keys. Don’t feel intimidated by the size or scope of a prayer. God invites us to pray “in every situation” (Philippians 4:6).

Protect other people’s hearts. If a friend shares a concern in confidence, don’t repeat it in a group prayer setting. What you might intend as support can come across as gossip. Pray for your friend privately, and if her safety is at risk, only then should you share her concern with a trusted adult.

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16, NLT)

Adapted from Generous Love: Discover the Joy of Living “Others First” by Becky Kopitzke