How to Pray with Kids: A Guide to Catholic Children’s Prayers

How to Pray with Kids | Hallow

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Figuring out how to pray with kids can sometimes be difficult. 

However, instilling the habit of prayer into children at a young age can have a lifelong impact. The USCCB reminds us that “Parents are also the most effective catechists of prayer for their young children.”

Hallow can help. We’re sharing a few tips and resources–like Hallow Kids–to make this family time more manageable.

Prayer for Kids: How to Approach It

What to consider when praying with kids: Hallow
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Praying as a family is a hard habit to build in normal circumstances, let alone a global pandemic. Many of us have been home with more family time than usual. 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, with kids. Overwhelmingly they emphasized the importance of:

Praying Consistently

It’s helpful to be consistent in both how and when you pray, so kids know what to expect every day.

Introducing Creative Prayers

Focus on saying prayers that ignite children’s imaginations and show them how to be quiet with God. This could be sharing gratitudes in a fun way, drawing a picture for God, or any other ways that work for your kids.

Making Prayers for Kids Approachable

Praying within a manageable time frame of prayer is important to keep kids engaged. For younger children, this is likely less than 5 minutes. For older children, 10-15 minutes of prayer might work. As you know that you might have to work to build up the length of time kiddos can stay engaged, we recommend starting with 1 minute of prayer and gradually adding more time.

Being Open With Your Faith

It’s crucial to be open about your faith — both the peace it brings you and the struggles you have. They might ask you some questions, so be patient and do your best.

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. The best way for children to get to know their heavenly Father and Holy Mother can be through the love and forgiveness of their parental figures on earth. 

Even if you aim to be consistent, approachable, creative and open in the prayer life that you share with your children, the logistics of it can still be challenging.

Anchoring your prayer around the existing structure of the day–and the natural opportunities for prayer that it provides–can be one way to build prayer with your children into busy schedules.

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.

Morning Prayer for Kids

Morning prayer with children | Hallow
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  • 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.” 
  • 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. 

Nighttime Prayer for Children

The evening can be a great opportunity to weave in prayer with your children, starting with 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.” 

Children’s Bedtime Prayers

  • 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. 
  • Consider this short prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours: Lord, give our bodies restful sleep and let the work we have done today bear fruit in eternal life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. — Amen.
  • Read Bible Bedtime Stories with Hallow Kids.
  • 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.
  • Check out Hallow’s sleep section! There are Sleep Bible 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.
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Simple Children’s Prayers

If you’re looking for an “anytime” children’s prayer, we’ve got you covered. Consider the following simple children’s prayers that children can embrace regardless of the time of day.

This prayer from the USCCB helps teach children the beauty of God’s creation:

Loving Father,

Thank you for the many beautiful colors

and languages of the world

and for making all your children unique.

Thank you for creating me in your image.

Thank you for loving me and making me wonderful.

Help me to love like you.

Help me to share your love

with all the children you have made,

for they are unique and wonderful.

Amen.

~ USCCB

This short prayer of thanksgiving is easy for kids to remember and can work for any meal:

Thank you, God, for this delicious food, Thank you, God, for all that’s good! Amen.

Hallow Kids–Your One-Stop Resource for Catholic Children’s Prayers

Hallow is excited now to offer Hallow Kids–prayers and sessions designed specifically for children.

Highlighting our Hallow Kids prayers are our Bible Bedtime stories featuring, prominent Catholic actor Mario Lopez and Catholic comedian Jennifer Fulwiler.

We hope that you and your children are able to feel peace, deepen your relationship with God, and sleep soundly every night

Related Prayers

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