Create an opportunity for your child to pray during Lent. See the tips below and print the prayer journal PDF by clicking the image below. Printed and bound prayer journals are available in the Gathering Area.
It is common practice to “giving up” something for Lent. However, sometimes “adding on” something can be a more beneficial Lenten resolution. This Lent, encourage your child to “add on” the spiritual practice of daily prayer.
Children are overwhelmingly capable of prayer and existential thought, particularly when given time, quiet space, and simple prayer materials.
Try setting up a quite prayer space for your children. The place does not need to be elaborate, but it does need to be a dedicated space that is separate from the commotion of your family life. Prepare your child’s prayer space with colored pencils, regular lead pencils, a hard surface for writing, and a battery operated candle (optional). You may wish to add a few other personal effects to the prayer space (i.e. a crucifix, statue of a favorite saint, rosary, or prayer book), BUT resist the urge to overdo it! These items can easily distract from prayer — simple is best.
Find a regular prayer time that works for your child and try to be consistent in offering quiet time to pray. For some kids this might work well just before bedtime — having a dual effect of calming your child while encouraging a longer prayer time (i.e. there is no benefit to rush through prayer with bedtime immediately following!). Life will happen and you will inevitably miss a few days here and there — resist to urge to “make up” missed days. Prayer is not a school assignment!
Invite your child to quiet prayer through reflective writing or coloring. Note the theme verse at the top of each page and the psalm at the bottom of each page. These verses sometimes repeat — the repetitions are not mistakes, but intended to help the words sink deep into hearts. Somedays the verses might resonate with your children; other days they might not. Don’t force it! Some of your child’s prayer reflections may flow directly from the Bible verses, other days they might be completely unrelated. Allow your child to pray in the way that best suits them!
Where’d That Verse Come From?
The Bible verses written at the top of each page are the daily Gospel acclimation verses (the short verse sung or read at Mass before the Gospel passage). The small verse at the bottom of each page is the refrain from the daily Responsorial Psalm.