How to Teach Children to Pray
Prayer is Simply Talking to God
I grew up with the smell of coffee brewing and the sounds of my father praying the Morning Offering each day before a simple breakfast of toast and cereal. I am so appreciative to my father for starting each day in a strong, positive way for our family. Growing up in an environment where traditional prayers were learned gave me the confidence and desire to pray from the heart. Teaching children to pray gives them a sense of hope and comfort as they begin their faith journey. Teach a child that the purpose of prayer is not to memorize or recite a bunch of words but the purpose of prayer is simply to talk to God.
Start Praying With Your Kids
There are many ways to teach a child to pray; perhaps one of the best is to pray together. Children learn and model their parents' behavior. It is easy to start simply by saying grace before meals or bedtime prayers. Traditional prayers are good ways to get started. Prayers can be altered to your liking and you can add your own specific blessings, thanksgivings, and requests. You can encourage a child to start by simply saying, "Thank you God for my toys" or "Please help Grandma feel better." Once you are comfortable praying together, it will become a natural occurrence in your home.
Guardian Angel Prayer
Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here, ever this day (or night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
Make Prayer Meaningful
One of the best things we can do for a child is to help them develop a relationship with God. One way to do this is through prayer. When a child prays to God about his hopes and fears, he begins to realize that we can talk to God through our own form of prayer. Traditional prayers are wonderful gifts, but it is important to teach not just the words of the prayer, but what the words actually mean. Sometimes we get in such a hurry, it is easy to rush a prayer--especially before meals when we are anxious to eat. When you slow down your words, it is easier to reflect upon what you are actually saying. The Lord's Prayer, also known as The Our Father, and the Guardian Angel Prayer are two favorites to learn. Teaching a child to pray helps encourage prayer habits to last a lifetime. Prayer helps ground us and guides us to deepen our faith.
The Perfect Game: An Example of How Faith and Prayer Brought Hope
It is Never too Late to Pray
It doesn't matter how old your child is, a baby, toddler, school kid, tween, teenager or even an adult child, to starting praying with them. A prayer is a simply a conversation with God. It is a way for you and your child to grow closer together while nurturing your faith.
Do you pray with your kids?
Morning Offering Prayer
As Morning breaks I think of you, O Lord,
and my desire is to serve You joyfully.
With gladness, I consecrate this day to your Sacred Heart,
and offer whatever joys and sacrifices may come my way.
Thank You for all the graces You will send,
all the love, all the beauty,
and the ways You will answer my prayers.
Today, may I love my enemies,
and treat others as I would ask to be treated;
may I forgive seventy times seven and show mercy;
may I welcome the prodigal,
have compassion for the Samaritan;
be a peace-maker
and love my neighbor unconditionally.
Take all my heart,
and mind and strength, O Lord,
that this day may be truly lived for Your greater honor and glory
and for the salvation of souls.