Do you pray for your kids? Chances are your answer is yes, but do you really make it a daily habit to pray for your children, their needs, and their vocations?
Whether you’re praying for your two year old to outgrow frustrating phase or praying that your teenager would stay on the right path, a parent’s prayers are powerful and effective. From the moment of their existence (or even before) you can and should begin praying for your child.
Saint Monica is a model of persistent prayer for her son, St. Augustine. When he was led astray, she never ceased praying for him to turn away from his worldly pursuits and return to God. God heard her prayer, and after seventeen (yes, seventeen) years of constant prayer, St. Augustine had a massive conversion.
Finding the Time
Parenthood doesn’t often leave us with much free time, so how can we find the time to pray intentionally for our children? In the seasons of life when you can’t pick up and go to Adoration or sit in contemplative silence for longer than 30 seconds, Catholic mother and author Kate Wicker recommends that you get creative and incorporate prayer into your everyday tasks.
“Saint Paul has really helped me in his approach to prayer when he tells the Thessalonians to pray without ceasing and to always give thanks,” she said.
Pray while you prepare dinner, wash the dishes, or sweep the floor. Pray for your family members as you fold their clean laundry. Bring a devotional or the Relevant Radio app with you so when you find yourself with five minutes to spare, you are prepared with prayer resources.
Pray especially for a child when you’re in a tough situation with them—they’re not listening, fighting with their siblings, making a huge mess—and offer up that frustration for their wellbeing and that they might grow in virtue.
Pray With Your Children
It’s just as important to pray with your children and help instill a strong prayer life in them from an early age. From simple meal prayers, bedtime prayers, and guardian angel prayers to devotions like the Rosary, there are so many ways to include your children in your prayers. Let them get involved by leading a decade of the Rosary or sharing their prayer intentions.
Surrendering to God’s Will
Perhaps the most difficult part of praying for your children is accepting that things won’t always turn out the way you hope. Your child may battle a severe illness, addiction, or abandon the Faith you worked so hard to instill in them. Maybe they embrace their Catholic Faith but their vocation leads them to move far away. What should you do in those moments of woe?
One of the most important things you can pray for is that your child will always belong to God. “That’s one of the toughest prayers as a (parent). A lot of times we want to control the situation and just make everything perfect and inoculate our children against angst. And one of the most beautiful lessons I’ve learned as a mother is relinquishing control and I can never give up on my child but many times I have to give them up to God,” said Wicker.
And for an extra bit of help, ask some saints who were parents to intercede for you and your family: Saints Louis and Zelie Martin, Saint Gianna, Saint Thomas More, Saint Monica, Saint Joseph, and Saint Mary, pray for us!
Listen to the full segment for more advice:
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