Prayer and Children

Prayer and children

It was so interesting to come across this article some months ago as it was as if I was writing that very blogpost except maybe a year behind.

This father shares his experience of trying to engage his daughter in a routine of prayer, his experiences, his reflections and I am so grateful that he shared it.

We were trying to instil a pattern of nightly prayer, teaching reverence and doing it in a way that did not take into account that our children being as young as they are may need different teaching methods than modelling and instruction.

I appreciated his reflections about :

– making prayer joyful – allowing children to express from the bottom of their hearts how they want to share prayer… (this has been a struggle for me I have to say because I try to balance the ingrained feeling for me that anything other than sitting nicely and saying, reading or chanting a prayer

– suggestions on how to create atmosphere/specialness/sacredness during prayer e.g. lighting candles

– his ideas about meditation and how to help them understand it by watching us practise it – I think I will have try this out…

There is another article about prayer that I came across that was helpful:

http://www.brilliantstarmagazine.org/parents-teachers/spirituality-children/prayer-and-meditation/five-tips-for-praying-with-children#.UtLZoWRDsRg

It sets out five tips and elaborates each one – I give my own thoughts on each topic below:

– choose a time to pray: I totally agree and it was so easy to start and end our days when we just had one child and that was before she started school.  Now as we start so early, and she not being an early riser, makes that much more challenging… so for now we just end our days that way…

– make the prayer time age appropriate:

– explain the expectations of prayer time: my daughter seems to do this although I can’t remember if I did when we started out.

– set a prayerful environment:  I love the idea of encouraging the children to wash hands and face before prayers so that it shows what is happening inside.

– sing prayers set to music:  I totally agree.  All the prayers and Writings we would say together were sung until this year.  She totally absorbed it all and loves singing them.

Another article I came across is about prayers and Writings put to music being played around the house:

http://www.enablemetogrow.com/2013/03/29/musical-prayers/

I found that this is what we’ve done since the girls were small and it has proved helpful/joyful for them and us – it makes it quite easy to learn them and have positive words around us.

I hope you enjoy the articles/blog posts as much as I did! If you have any thoughts or experiment and have reflections I’d love to hear them :)

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