Praying with your Child
"Prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned towards heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy."
St Thérèse of Lisieux
"Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God"
When you pray with your child:
- You take them with you to God
- You teach them how to relate to Jesus trustingly
- You show them who to turn to in times of need
- You strengthen their faith and the family
- You give them a gift which stays with them for life
In the Morning
Give the day to God by making a morning offering:
Dear Jesus, I give you my day, keep me safe and close to you.
O Jesus, through the most pure heart of Mary, l offer you all my prayers, works, sufferings and joys of this day for all the intentions of thy divine heart.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.
Grace Before Meals
Bless us, O Lord, as we sit together, bless the food we eat today, bless the hands that make our food. Bless us, O Lord. Amen.
Grace After Meals
We give you thanks, almighty God, for all your benefits,
who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.
FOR OLDER CHILDREN
As they get older teach them to examine their conscience and look back over the day:
How have I made God happy today?
How have I made God unhappy today?
What could I have done better?
How have I made others happy?
Act of Contrition
O my God, because you are so good, I am very sorry that I have sinned against you, and by the help of your grace, I will not sin again.
HOW TO SAY NIGHT PRAYERS
Kneel down beside the bed, make the sign of the cross and say:
In the name of the Father, # and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Pray to the Guardian Angel
O Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light, to guard, to rule and guide.
Then pray for all the members of the family
God bless mummy, God bless daddy, God bless (names of siblings). God bless granny. God bless grandad,
God bless Uncle Joe, etc.
Finally, end by making the sign of the Cross on their foreheads and kiss them good night.
SELECTION OF OTHER PRAYERS
Thank Jesus for something good in the day;
Thank you Jesus for today, thank you for..
Pray for someone in need or ask for something:
Dear Jesus look after... and help me to...
Help me love you more and to..
Say sorry to Jesus for the bad things done in the day:
Forgive me Jesus for.., help me to try again and always please you. I am sorry for hurting you.
From the Heart
Say a personal prayer to Jesus:
Dear Jesus, I love you and want to stay close to you.
Help me love you more and more...
Jesus I need you.
Choose from these 12 ideas to build up a habit:
- Take your children to Mass from a young age and prepare them for Holy Communion by saying:"Come, Lord Jesus, there is a place for you in my heart."
- After Mass, stay a few minutes to thank Jesus for coming to their soul in Holy Communion.
- Take them to confession regularly, make it a happy occasion.
- Say night prayers with your children, one by one or together.
- Make the sign of the cross on your child's forehead before they go to sleep.
- When passing a church, pop-in with your child to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Keep it short.
- Pray the rosary (or a decade) occasionally as a family, especially on feasts of Our Lady.
- Encourage your child to thank Jesus when they receive a gift, when something good happens and on family celebrations.
- Teach them to offer the small difficulties or upsets of the day to Jesus.
- Teach them to pray to their guardian angel and to ask their angel for help in ordinary things.
- Teach them to say a prayer for people who are suffering when they see and hear things in the news.
- When somebody sneezes, teach them to say, "God bless you!"
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO:
- Celebrate Church feast days.
- Mark their saints' day with a special meal or sweets.
- Place a picture of Our Lady or a crucifix in their room, as a reminder of God's presence in their lives.
- Tie a coloured ribbon around a vase of flowers to mark Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and saints days.
- Sing a short hymn or simple prayer that is easy to remember.
Start as early as you can when they are young. Even if they don't seem to pay attention or to appreciate it, nothing of what you do as a parent is lost, every little counts, and contributes to building up your child's faith. By seeing you pray, they will also learn to pray.