Probably every teacher has had discipline problems during the Bible lesson or prayer time, whether they are major problems or minor. In my classroom or club, this is unacceptable. These are times when “zero tolerance” is the policy.
The reason is that, first of all, you need to demonstrate your own love and respect for God and His Word. If you don’t, neither will the children. Secondly, you are telling the children that God and His Word are worthy of their respect. And, thirdly, you are showing love and concern for the children in teaching them this important attitude that will affect every area of their lives.
If there is an avoidable disturbance during prayer, I will actually stop praying immediately and explain that when they disrupt things while we are talking to God, they are being disrespectful to God Himself and I use the term “unacceptable” to describe the behavior. If it happens during the Bible lesson I explain that if these were my own words that I was teaching, it wouldn’t be as bad, but when I am teaching God’s Word, I expect them to show respect. Remember that most likely a majority of the children really do want to listen while it only takes one or two to ruin it for them.
Of course, tell them lovingly but firmly – not out of anger or with a self-righteous spirit, but out of humility and respect for God and love for the children. Not only is God worthy of this respect, it is the right attitude to teach the children to have. Don’t rob them of this precious lesson.