Teaching my kids to pray

securedownload-1Rough week here in Massachusetts and no doubt across the country as well. My heart aches for the lives lost. I cannot get all those who were injured out of my mind. The pictures online and on tv are a constant reminder. I’ve attempted to shelter my children from the horrors of last week that are heavy on the minds of the adults in this house. What to do? Since becoming a mother over 4 years ago, I have become increasingly reliant on something my own mother taught me as a small child: prayer. My mother prayed openly with us as children. We didn’t do bedtime prayers in a formal way, but every morning before we left for school we paused for a few minutes to pray. She told me many more years later, that it was her way to deal with anxiety she had as I, her oldest child, went off to kindergarten. In my role as a parent, teaching my own children to pray is something I take very seriously. In the past few weeks, both of my kids have become very interested and active participants in our prayer routines. I do believe prayer is something that can and should be done in any form a person feels is right for them. For us, we started with a simple grace at dinner last year that both kids are now able to do. If someone forgets, Manny quickly reminds us. At night, we do bedtime prayers. Over time, the prayer has emerged into a time for us to thank God for the day, the chance to play, for protection through the night and next day, for all those we love, for each other, and for any thing on our hearts. It’s my favorite part of the day. A chance to come together and rest our bodies and our minds, even for just 5 minutes before bed. These two simple set times in our day to pray have become a very important ritual for our family. I feel it has given my kids a way to talk to God and to pray openly with one another. It is my great hope that it is something which will continue with them throughout their lives, growing and changing to meet their needs. I will continue to pray for all those affected by the events in Boston this week.

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