Below are a few ideas for you to use with your children and as a family to pray. These activities are suggestions, feel free to add to them or adapt them in any way you wish. Prayer is active, it is something we do. The Bible is full of examples of prayer which involve, dancing, crying, lifting arms to heaven, kneeling, lying down etc. Prayer can be noisy, and it can be quiet. We hope these suggestions below, help your family to express the heart of your prayers to God.
Supplies: Markers/colours/large piece of paper.
Luke 17: 11-19 tells us that one day Jesus was walking through a village and he met 10 men with leprosy, a terrible skin disease. These men followed Jesus and cried out to him asking Him to heal them. Jesus did what they asked and healed the men as they walked along. How wonderful it must have been to be healed!! But out of ten men, only one came back to Jesus and said, “Thank You” Jesus asked, “Weren’t ten men healed, where are the other nine?”
Jesus was very pleased with the man who said thank you and disappointed with the nine who didn’t. Saying thank you is very important to God and it is where we start our prayers.
As a family, gather around your kitchen table. Talk together about the things and people you are thankful for. Write or draw these on your piece of paper. You may like to stick on pictures/photos. Make this your family celebration and thank you banner to God for all that he has blessed you with.
Ps. 100:4 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”
St Patrick was a real hero of prayer. He prayed a lot!! This is what he wrote as a young man
”My spirit was moved so that in a single day I would say as many as 100 prayers, and almost as many at night, and this even when I was staying in the woods and the mountains; and I used to get up for prayer before daylight, through snow, through frost, through rain, and I felt no harm….”
St Patrick wrote a very famous prayer called St Patrick’s Breastplate. This is part of it,
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ above me
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ on my right, Christ on my left
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit up, Christ when I arise
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me
Christ in every eye that sees me
Christ in every ear that hears me.
This prayer reminds us that with Jesus, we do not need to be afraid and that he is always with us. Pray this prayer of protection together as a family but pray it as a physical prayer. Get up and move as you pray and put actions to the words. Pray this prayer with your whole body. After you have prayed it for yourself and your family, you might like to pray it for someone else you love. To do this, put their name in the prayer instead of “I and Me”
Praying for Others
Supplies: A large map of Ireland on your table or on your computer.
Jesus tells us to ask God for what we need, and to ask God for others and what they need.
“Ask, and God will give to you. Search and you will find. Knock and the door will be open for you” Matthew 7:7
Look together at your map. Find your own town or village. Pray for all the people who live there. Your friends and neighbours. The people you go to school with. The people you work with. The shop keepers in the shops. The friends you play sport with. The people who are in your church. The doctors, nurses, teachers, church leaders, farmers, factory, and office workers, and all the many people who make up your town.
Thank God for them. Ask him to help them and keep them safe. Pray that Jesus will heal those who are sick. Ask him to provide for those who have no jobs. Ask him to give peace to those who are worried. Pray that those who are lonely will feel the love of Jesus all around them. Ask God to show you if there is someone alone who you can be a friend to.
Pray that everyone in your town or village will know Jesus as their friend and feel deep in their heart how much God loves them.
You might like to go for a short family walk through your town and as you go quietly ask God to bless every home or workplace you pass by.
Supplies: A candle.
To finish your family prayer time, light a candle and sit quietly around it. Remember that even though these days are difficult and challenging, Jesus is the Light of the World. He is God and Lord of all. When we light a candle in the dark, we no longer look at the dark but focus on the candle and the light it gives. Join hands and thank Jesus that He is the light in the darkness that can never be put out.
Finish your prayer time by saying the prayer that Jesus taught us: The Lord’s Prayer,