Mom, teaching your children to pray is the most important thing you can do for them because it is the most effective way to protect them from evil. Not only from evil today, but from evil tomorrow, and from evil forever, as your prayers become their prayers, safeguarding them into adulthood.
Not only does it open the door to a daily conversation, and commitment, to God and His guidance, but just as importantly, prayer will sustain, and guide, your children through the inevitable trails, tribulations and temptations of life, allowing them to make good decisions and correct choices.
Prayer is your child’s armor against the secular barrage of misplaced priorities, compromised behaviors and false idols to which they are subjected every day. And as such, prayer will give your children the courage, and intestinal fortitude, to make choices in keeping with your’s and God’s expectations, whether you are with them or not.
Just knowing that they are under God’s protection and that they have God’s ear, when they need His help, will allow your children to avoid the personal, and painful, potholes so prevalent in today’s over-sexed, and ridiculously materialistic, society.
Your prayerful commitment to your children’s happy future should begin the day your first child is born and continue, uninterrupted, throughout their lives. Granted, infants can’t pray, but praying over them is just as effective as praying with them. And, by the age of two or three, when your child can join you in their prayers, you will be a committed expert in praying, sustained by its positive results.
Prayer should become such an integral part of your daily routine that it becomes a habit. And, when unintentionally forgotten in the chaos of a busy day, it will be immediately missed, and recalled, by both you and your children. Praying not only benefits your children but you yourself as well. It allows both of you to simultaneously grow in your faith.
Martin Luther (1483-1546), the founder of the Lutheran Church, felt susceptible to Satan’s influence if he failed to pray for at least three hours a day. Three hours! Although we can’t all be Martin Luther, spending twenty minutes a day, praying with your children in the morning, at mealtimes and at bedtime, will still provide your little ones with a beacon of light to God’s enduring grace.
Morning prayers are sometimes more challenging, as everyone seems to be in a rush to get out the door but, they
can be said before your child rises for the day or while getting dressed, or brushing their teeth. To this end, the following morning prayer can be memorized, with your help, by older children.
Lord, in the morning I start each day,
By taking a moment to bow and pray.
I start with thanks, and then give praise
For all your kind and loving ways.
Today if sunshine turns to rain,
If a dark cloud brings some pain,
I won’t doubt or hide in fear
For you, my God, are always near.
I will travel where you lead;
I will help my friends in need.
Where you send me I will go;
With your help I’ll learn and grow.
Hold my family in your hands,
As we follow your commands.
And I will keep you close in sight
Until I crawl in bed tonight.
As little children, under the age of seven, bedtime prayers can be as simple as saying the traditional prayer we are all familiar with –
Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake.
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
When the children reach the age of seven, they are old enough to memorize this more advanced bedtime prayer –
Infant Jesus bless me, keep me close to You.
I want to please You Jesus, in everything I do.
Be near me little Jesus, in my work and play.
Help me love You Jesus, more and more each day.
At dinner your pre-schooler can say “Grace” with this simple prayer –
Thank you for the world so sweet.
Thank you for the food we eat.
Thank you for the birds that sing.
Thank you God for everything.
When they reach the age of seven, they can say the traditional version of “Grace.”
Bless us O Lord, and these, Thy gifts, which we are about to receive,
from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord.
Teaching your children these simple prayers begins an important part of your children’s lives, a part of their lives that will console and guide them forever. As they grow, the prayers will become more encompassing, until nearly every potential threat to their lives and their well-being can be prayerfully addressed and resolved.
Dear God, Please bless all of Your little children with Mothers who pray. Amen.