Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection or sought thy intercession was ever left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto Thee, O Virgin of virgins, My Mother! to Thee I come; before Thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. Oh Mother of the Word incarnate! despise not my petitions, but in Thy mercy, hear and answer me. Amen
I was raised Catholic and I am raising my children Catholic. The prayer above is one that many of my older Catholic friends recited as children and still recite today. It is a beautiful prayer. I went to a Catholic School at the point in which almost all the nuns had stopped teaching. I was taught by Lay men and women and although we learned to recite prayers such as the rosary I did not learn many others. Many Catholics and I am sure other religions have prayers they recite often and I am sure they are meaningful to them. How many of you say Grace before dinner with a recited prayer? My family does. I have nothing against that type of praying. I think if you are praying at all that you are trying to reach God!
My type of praying you may have noticed by my other writings are referred to now as heart prayers. They are not formal written prayers that I pray daily. Heart Prayers are addressing God as a friend you would talk to about your life and ask for help from. It is the best way for me to connect with God. I talk to Him tell Him what’s going on in my life, ask for Him to look over those people I have promised to pray for and then I ask that I do His will that day. Then I try to listen to what He wants me to do. I have never heard a big voice. I have had great ideas after praying to God that I think have been inspired by Him.
So how do you pray? Do you say formal prayers? Do you talk to God in your head in your car on the way to work (God help me get there in time)? Do you take time at night as you fall asleep to chat with God about your day? Do you pray Grace before dinner with your children? Do you pray at all?
It can be very intimidating to pray with your children especially if you have not tried this before. But your child will always follow your lead if they think something is very important to you. Even if you feel uncomfortable and he/she feels uncomfortable, the more you pray together the more comfortable you will become. I take a few minutes each night to say good night to my children before they go to sleep. They love that they each get a few minutes alone with me. So I hold their hands in mine and say “God it’s me Mommy and Anna (whomever I am praying with at that time) and we want to thank you for all our blessings, all those people you have put in our lives. We want to pray for tomorrow and whatever problems we are having at that time. I ask whomever I am praying with if he/she would like to say something. Then we say Amen. It is simple and painless and to the point. I want to teach my children to pray like they are talking to a friend so that they know how to talk with God. If they would like to pray formal prayers we do sometimes. I just want prayer to be a part of their lives.
Have you ever prayed with your child? Try it tonight, it can be a real short “Hey God just wanted to say thank you for giving me _____ insert your child’s name, amen”. Your child will love that you thanked God for him/her. If you are not the person who teaches your child how to pray who will? Think about it today and give it a shot tonight. As a parent you are responsible for how they eat, what they wear, their education and if they come to God as a child and a faith life! My grandmother who is Catholic and 92 years old says that “God hears children’s prayers above all others”. So start the process tonight, so that one day soon God will get to hear your child’s voice.