Adventures in Family Prayer
Heather, who blogs at Mamma Knows, Honeychild wrote and illustrated this hilarious portrait of her family’s prayer life. It’s just too good not to share an extract with you! You can read the whole thing on her blog, but you may find yourself giggling and laughing out loud so maybe don’t read it at work…
…We’re going to talk about family prayer time. Praying with young children can be a real trip, can’t it?
Now that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. We should definitely do it.
I mean, Jesus said “let the little children come to me”, right? When Jesus said that, He didn’t mean for us to just drop the kids off at the Church door so we could speed away to our zumba class at the Y.
Bringing your kids to Jesus is something you do as a family. We have to be the example and show our kids what that means.
Truth be told, that part scares me. I know I fall short in a million ways.
The first place to start, besides going to church, is prayer.. aka conversations with God.
Prayer is essential in the life of a Christian.
I say that, but I really struggle to pray. I seriously have the attention span of a mosquito.
Like I’ll be sitting there praying, and then I’ll look at my kitchen table and think,
“Hmmm. I’m going to paint the legs on that thing. Maybe turquoise. Red? No, a light blue. Yeah. Light blue.”
Imagine if you were in the middle of a conversation with a friend and you just completely stopped talking all of a sudden and stared at your table for five whole minutes with your head tilted to the side.
It’s rude, right? I know…
I (try to) pray with the kids before we start school each day…
Sometimes we take our kids to Adoration. That doesn’t always work out so well, but I know that Jesus loves it.
We also do a family prayer time before bed each night. Each child has a prayer that they lead for the family.
JP does the St Michael the Archangel prayer, Lucie does the Memorare, and Jude does two Guardian Angel prayers.
Dan and I used to try praying the entire rosary with the kids before bed.
This was a terrible idea, because it turns out that usually, one decade of the rosary is what our family can handle at the end of a long day. Sometimes we can’t even handle that. Three Hail Mary’s and off you go, kids, lights out. Little kids tend to be very distractible, and parents tend to be very tired…
Have you ever tried to do prayer intentions with your children? It’s a real crapshoot, isn’t it? You just never know what these tiny people will say…
Some of their prayers will simply melt your heart and make you fall in love with your kids all over again.
One night during prayers, my daughter Lucie prayed that when she grows up, she could “help the poor”. She also added that would she like to be a unicorn brusher.
This stuff is gold.
Sometimes your kids will pray things that are completely bizarre and you may have to suppress your laughter.
And some kids sort of miss the point of prayer time. This might be the funniest of all.
Mom: “MaryLou, who would you like to pray for tonight?”
MaryLou: “Ummm…I wanna pray for….you know that little girl who lives down the street?”
Mom: (so proud of her thoughtful child) Yes?
MaryLou: The one with the blonde hair? You know her, mom?
Mom: Yes I do sweetie. Would you like to pray for her?
Marylou: Yeah she has a really cute doll I like, it closes its eyes and pees in its diaper and I wanna doll like that doll. I wanna pray that I get her doll.
Mom: oh. kay. Johnny, what would you like to pray for?
Johnny: I saw a cricket today.
Mom: Johnny? Who are we praying for?
Johnny: I ate it.
See, that’s why Dan and I just usually stick to praying a decade of the Rosary with the kids.
Because we know that we will become the Jackson Family if we don’t…
“Why is everyone better than me?” you think. “What is wrong with my family? Are the faucets at my house lined with lead paint?
…It’s easy to feel like everyone else has a normal family, while you are merely living on Chimp Island with a bunch of hairy beings that pick their noses and fling it at the walls…
Everyone has something going on that they wish they didn’t.And that’s a major reason why it’s important to pray the Rosary, because we need help.
But sometimes you have to do great things in small doses…especially when you have little kids.
Then you can do a little more here, and a little more there… you build on it over time…
The whole point is: small doses. Don’t suck the joy out of a good, holy thing by being Crazy Joe Jackson, Tyrant of the Most Holy Rosary…
Besides, what’s the point of praying the whole thing if you’re seething through all of it and glaring at your littles?
When we were younger, single people, we could pray the way we wanted to, when we wanted to.. on our own terms. We may have felt pretty “holy”, but God is truly making us holy right now. Right here in the middle of this beautiful chaos.
Heather, aka Mama H, is the mother of five kids and blogs at Mamma Knows, Honeychild. She excels in keeping things very real, raw and hilarious on topics as diverse as motherhood, faith, personal growth, and home decorating. Read Adventures in Family Prayer in full and check out some of her other stuff!