Prayer has always been a main priority in our household. Growing up, my parents made it a priority to pray together as a family every night. This has never been an easy task. With seven kids, spanning over the course of twelve years, we didn’t have a lot in common when we were younger. One thing we did have in common? Our family prayers.
No matter what stage of life we were in, we were never excused from family prayers. If someone had a game or practice, the family waited. If we were in the car, we turned off the radio and prayed. This still rings true to this day. With my siblings ages ranging from 29 to 17, if we are home, we participate in family prayers. You can never be too old to pray as a family.
We didn’t make it easy on my parents, and put up a fight against it on several occasions. There were multiple occasions when there was complaining and eye rolling- the classic “I’m too cool to hang out with my family,” – but by the end of prayers, that attitude was gone. My mom has always said, “A family that prays together, stays together.” If you make the effort to pray, God will do the rest.
Our prayers started out small. We gathered in the family room and each person went around and did their prayers of thanksgiving and petition. As we grew, so did our family prayers. Our nightly routine now consists of a litany of prayers, that expands well over ten minutes. Family prayers has given myself, as well as my siblings, a solid faith foundation to lean on constantly. It gives me comfort and hope, and a feeling of importance. Developing a solid prayer life for your children takes time and patience, but it is something that will be with them for the rest of their lives.
How does your family pray?
Please leave any questions or comments below.
By Mary Greenhalgh
Filed under Catholic, christian, Christian parent, fathers, how to raise responsible kids, kids chore chart, mothers, Parenting, raising kids, Uncategorized, Values
We must guide our children as they develop a personal relationship with God, so that prayer becomes a habit and something they rely on. As parents, we have a responsibility to get our children to Heaven… and how can we accomplish that unless we demonstrate to them when they are young what it means to live a prayerful life. Personal prayer is the key to a relationship with God.
We first demonstrate how to pray by praying with our children when they are young. We then encourage them to pray on their own. Teach them to listen to their hearts and then ask God for whatever they need no matter how small or insignificant it might seem. As parents, we reinforce the prayerful life by modeling and sharing with them insight into our personal prayers. By opening these lines of communication we are giving our children insight into our feelings and fears. When the child reciprocates with their requests, we gain insight into their feelings and fears.
When I pray with my 4 year old twins and they pray for “blankie”, zebra, monkey, bear, etc. I am reminded of Ephesians 6:18 “and pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayer and requests.” There is no request too small or too big for God and He wants to hear them all. Don’t worry about content , get started praying with your children. Eventually they will make that relationship with God their own.
Bo Govea~ 10-20-30GO! Families Functioning Faithfully
You might have noticed there are many problems in the world today. Yet most of what we see and hear in the media is finger pointing . “It’s the Republicans fault, no it’s the Democrats fault. It’s the failed banks or the mortgage crisis and blah blah blah!
Very rarely do we hear of positive solutions that can truly bring about change.
I believe the majority of our problems can be traced back to the deterioration of the family unit. In 1986 John Paul II coined the phrase “as the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.” What tremendous insight to the problems that are now unfolding in our great nation.
Thecorrupt politician or CEO that we want to point the finger at received his/her first education in character from a family unit. The family is the foundation of our society and the first school in developing virtues and values.
The stage is set and the world is waiting for a hero. And the real heros will be parents! Parents can change the world by embracing their calling as mother or father. America was founded on Christian values and that is how we became the greatest nation in the world. Are you instilling Christian values in your children? Tomorrows future is sitting on your couch waiting for your instruction.
Are you a Heroic Parent?
Do you remember the days when your mother would exclaim the ever so famous phrase, “wait till your father gets home“!? There was a time when these 6 words would have sent chills down the spine of any child.
It seems like this phrase has been abandoned in most households. I am sure there are some critics that would say for a good reason, as it may seem outdated. You will have to humor me for a moment because little did we know, in saying this phrase, there was a rich unity (between mom and dad) that was being played out in this good cop bad cop routine.
As kids we knew that mom meant business once she made this announcement, and we would have to wait for what seemed like an eternity before dad got home. It left us to think about what we had done wrong and the consequences associated with the behavior. Mom took comfort in knowing that dad would have her back. Once dad arrived home from work, a discussion would ensue which lead to communication between mom and dad and showed a united front. Mom would enjoy getting a little relief from feeling like she was always the bad guy. Most importantly, dad was a part of the process! After all, it takes a mother AND a father.
Over the weekend I had an ‘electronic’ debate with a friend over a moral issue. It was an issue that I did not agree with or understand when I was younger. In fact, it was an issue that I would have been guilty of not following at one time. I have since changed my opinion and the way I live. I forced myself to look at it from the other persons’ perspective. Instead of criticizing and judging, I found myself wanting to understand WHY? Why did I once share their opinion and now vehemently oppose?
As I was going over it in my head, I was reminded of my younger years when I used to say things like “my parents just don’t understand” and “things are different now and they just don’t get it“. I remember thinking they were wrong and I would not believe all the things they believe. At times I thought they were trying to control me. With time and maturity, I have come to realize that there were just some things I did not yet understand. My parents were simply trying to protect me, not control me.
It instantly reminded me of the Church. I am a practicing Catholic that did not always believe in everything my faith was trying to teach me. But now I realize that, like a parent that wants to protect their children from things they do not yet understand, the Church is just trying to protect me and NOT control me.
We have all heard by now that we must “be the change we want to see”, “walk the walk” and “model the behavior” that we want in our children. But how many of us are actually holding ourselves accountable to this practice? Gone are the days of do as I say not as I do. We are living in the “show-me” generation of children that have access to any and all information. With “How to” videos instantly at their finger tips, if we don’t show them what is important someone else will.
I ask my children to be accountable to the 10-20-30GO! card and I hold myself accountable to the same set of disciplines. Not only do they get a kick out of asking me questions about my card, they also get the message that the habits of prayer, reading, and chores are important if dad is doing them too.
Decide what is most important in your family and make sure you are modeling the behavior.
Spending time in God’s presence through quiet prayer and meditation is now more important than ever. Today’s youth have many distractions from the I-pod, I-pad, Internet, twitter, facebook, etc. They are being inundated with information 24/7 and need to learn how to break away from it all.
Encourage your children to set aside all devices and distractions and find some quiet time each day. This is a discipline and learned practice that will take time to develop, but I assure you it is much needed. One day your child will thank you for teaching them this practice.
Sacred Scripture says, “But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who see in secret will repay you.” Matthew 6:6
Today it might sound something like this… But when you pray, go find a quiet spot that does not have a Wi-Fi connection, close the door and turn off your i-pod, and pray to your Father in secret.
Communication with our Heavenly Father is available to all and a Wi-Fi connection is not required 🙂
Peace, Bo Govea