Helping children grow into engaged, prayerful Catholics is a challenge every parent struggles with. So, the editors of U.S. Catholic compiled some favorite articles for families trying to improve their prayer life. Whether you’re trying to create a family prayer routine, teaching your children to pray for the first time, or just looking for a way to make prayer exciting for the little ones, these articles should spark some inspiration.
We say it every week in church, and it’s the prayer that most unifies Christians of every denomination. For children, though, the Our Father can be one long line of seldom-used and difficult to understand words and phrases. Helping kids to break down the prayer into smaller, more understandable bits at home will give them a better sense of its meaning. Using parts of the prayer in your family’s day-to-day life will make it come alive when kids recite it in church.
“The experience of praying at home with my family has transformed me—and, I dare say, my husband and son as well. We still stumble through some extemporaneous prayers, but most often we turn to the Liturgy of the Hours. The words of these prayers are articulate and beautiful, their shape ancient. Personally, these prayers give sound and structure to the longings of my soul.”
Every day is different with children at home, and so are the prayers. The goal has not been to keep a rigorous prayer routine, but rather to keep prayer in the routine. The challenge lies in making prayer, even if unstructured, intentional.
It’s almost as if God recognizes that we have so little free time and rushes to meet us where we are. Jesus, in fact, wasn’t asking Martha to stop working for the rest of her life—rather just to give him a little time for that evening. But how can we possibly give Jesus that time amid an overflowing calendar and inbox?
Memorizing prayers is like putting money into a retirement savings account: It’s easy to forget the account exists because it’s inaccessible for the foreseeable future, but then it’s there for you at the time you need it most.
Image: Unsplash/Aaron Burden