How to Pray: with kids

Hallow together

Praying as a family is a hard habit to build in normal circumstances, let alone a global pandemic. Many of us are home with more family time than usual, and while this presents many challenges, it also brings with it the opportunity to pray together as we navigate this time. 

We reached out to a number of families of all sizes and ages and asked for their wisdom in how to pray together. Overwhelmingly they emphasized the importance of:

  1. Consistency in when and how you pray so kids know what to expect
  1. Prayers that ignite children’s imaginations and show them how to be quiet with God
  1. A manageable time frame of prayer (less than 5 minutes for younger children, 10-15 minutes for older), knowing that you might have to work to build up the length of time kiddos can stay engaged, i.e. start with 1 minute and gradually add more time.
  1. Being open about your faith, both the peace it brings and the struggles you have. The home is the first place kids experience the love of God, and there is no better way for them to witness God’s love than through your example.  

Here are ideas for different ways of praying throughout your day, but know that this is not supposed to be overwhelming; life is hard enough right now, without adding more to your plate. So choose just one time of day and one type of prayer, and see what works best for your family:

Wake up/breakfast:

  • Start your day with the Hallow’s Family Prayer Morning session, which includes a song, psalm, and time for you to talk about the day ahead.
  • Pray together a simple “Come, Holy Spirit.” 

Lunch break: 

  • Begin your meal time with grace and share how your day is going so far.
  • If you have quiet time after lunch, encourage your kids to spend some time with Jesus. Give them religious books, saint blocks to play with, or have them journal if they are older. 

Dinner: 

  • Try Hallow’s Family Prayer Dinner session: includes grace and fun discussion questions to talk about together. 
  • Make your own Litany of Saints: have each member of your family choose their favorite saints, write them down, and pray together “St. (fill in name), pray for us.” 

After dinner/Before bed: 

  • Choose a Hallow challenge to work through such as Saints (really popular with kids!) or Our Father. 
  • Choose a passage from the Bible to pray with imaginative prayer. The Nativity (Luke 2), Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14:22), and Jesus healing the paralytic (Mark 2) are all great ones to try. Read the passage a few times, ask kids to imagine themselves in the story, and talk about what it would have been like to be there.
  • Try Hallow’s Family Prayer Evening session, which includes Scripture, time to share intentions, and closes with the Salve Regina.

Fall asleep:

  • Check out Hallow’s sleep section! There are Bible Sleep Stories, Saint prayers, the Hail Mary quietly prayed on repeat, and other meditations. Start with the shortest lengths and pray together with your kids as you tuck them in.
  • Pray this simple prayer: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep; Thy angels watch me through the night, and keep me safe till morning’s light. Amen. 

Let us know: how do you pray with your kids? Are there any ways of praying as a family you would love to see in the app?