No matter their age, teaching children to pray is one of a parent’s most important tasks. Navigating prayer and all its nuances is certainly a life-long task for all of us, but establishing some healthy habits early in life can help them develop into men and women of prayer. Here we’re sharing some simple ways to teach your children to pray.
5 Simple Ways to Begin Teaching Children to Pray
Grace at Meals!
This simple prayer is a great place to start. It helps set the tone for the meal, establishing a grateful heart for what you are about to consume, and puts God in the first place. Praying with kids at each meal is a habit they can take with them to college and beyond.
Kneeling by the side of the bed with your children to say some prayers before bed begins the habit of giving that last thought of the day to God. Prayers can be simple - perhaps 3 Hail Marys, or a personal favorite. Or you can create your own family tradition, giving children the chance to pray for the things on their head and heart, and a moment to give thanks for the blessings they received that day.
Establishing a set time each week to pray the rosary together teaches children early on to go to Mother Mary with their pressing concerns. Saturday, the day traditionally dedicated to her, can be a good day. Also, it’s good to remember that whether the children are actively praying or getting easily distracted this practice is still worth the effort.
Praying in the Face of Tragedy!
Taking a moment to say a prayer when an ambulance passes, when you see an accident, when a child voices a concern, you hear some bad news or any other tragic things that can occur in life is a great way to illustrate the power of taking our concerns to God and leaving them in his loving hands.
Lead by Example!
Letting your children know the moments in which you are praying can be a power lesson. When they see what an important role prayer has in your life, that it is something you make a priority, that it is something you need and rely on, they take that with them through life.
These 5 ways to begin teaching children to pray can be a great first step to creating prayerful children who become contemplative young adults.