Praying with Children

You are never too young to pray. For many parents, as well as many adults, prayer does not come easily. Growing up, my parents regularly helped me learn prayers at bedtime, starting with the simple “Now I lay me down to sleep” until I knew The Lord’s Prayer and could say it on my own before bed overnight. We said grace at meals, and I learned “Be present at our table, Lord . . .” As an Episcopalian, I grew up with the Book of Common Prayer and as time went on, I learned where to find other prayers to assist me in my own prayer life. Now I don’t need a prayer book to help me pray, but is sure is nice to have a book of prayers handy with the words just don’t seem to come. After all, prayer is simply a conversation with God: Help! Thanks! Wow!

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Illustration (c) Copyright 2020. Perry Hodgkins Jones. All rights reserved.

But now there is a new book out just for children and the parents, teachers, and adults who care for them so much that they want to teach them prayers and share in the experience of talking to God at all times and in all places. Jenifer Gamber and Timothy J.S. Seamans have put together a beautiful compilation of prayers (originally and familiar) that are accompanied by delightful line drawings by Perry Hodgkins Jones.

Divided into six “parts,” Common Prayer for Children and Families offers The Lord’s Prayer (in many versions) and Mealtime Prayers (new and traditional) as well as ways to pray through the day for every day of the week. There are prayers for each of the seasons of the church year as well as the ordinary events of life for one’s self, at home, at school, and at camp. There are prayers for saints past and present, as well as for the needs of the world. With a thematic index as well as a scripture index, finding just the right prayer to share with your child is now just a page away.

Teach them to pray and say thank you. Teach them to pray when they are scared and want peace in their hearts. Teach them to pray when they are angry, so that they learn how to handle their emotions. Teach them how to pray about forgiving someone they are upset with. Teach them to pray when they can. Let them experience the power of prayer. Once they have learned to pray about things, they will be able to feel the power of prayer. They will learn that prayer can be a sanctuary for them. They will develop a relationship with God, and grow as individuals in Christ. If there is a way for a child to grow, I say let them grow in Christ. Children are a gift from God.

“Teach Children the Importance of Prayer” by Hannah Moody

Whether you are seeking a prayer for Good Friday, the death of a pet or parent, people who suffer from bullying, or a way to end the day Jenifer and Timothy have a book that is waiting to be loved and used by children and those who love and care for them.

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