Thursday, June 24, 2010

Prayers for Children

I have been thinking about our children lately and how much we are blessed to have them.

Each night is has been my practise as I put the children to bed to say some prayers with them out loud and then they say their own prayers while I am with them.
I then trace a sign of the cross on each child's forehead and say "God Bless you and Protect you."

As an aside I have been for many years tracing a sign of the cross on each child's forehead as they leave our home or as I leave them at home. I think I remember reading of this custom in one of my Liturgical books perhaps Joanna Bogle, Mary Reed Newland or Father Francis Weiser. In any case it is a well established tradition in our home with the children reciprocating as well an to each other as they go to bed or away etc.

I then go to the next child or children's room.
The children then continue on with their own private prayers and bible reading.

I have done this with our children since our older boys were very little. I must admit at the moment I sometimes fall asleep, putting Arwen to bed before I say every one's prayers. I am hoping with Stephen home that wont happen as often.

Some of the things I pray for with the children is thanking God for our children and to protect them from evil and temptation. That they will grow in their faith and love and serve the Lord in whatever He guides them in.
That each child will be guided to the right man or woman that God has chosen for them (if that is his will for that child). That they will raise wholehearted children. That they will be guided in their vocations as well and that they will remain pure in thought word and deed.

These are just some of the nightly prayers I have prayed with them for their lives.

I am always interested in increasing my prayers for our children. Trying to listen to God's promptings for this in my life so I was very interested when I read the prayer below at Evolgia:

I think it says so beautifully what I feel~

Intercede with thy Son and God, O most Holy One, that an angel from heaven be sent to my children, just as to thee was sent a most mighty protector, the Archangel Gabriel; and vouchsafe me to cry to thee thus:

Raise my children to be earthly angels.
Raise my children to be heavenly men.
Raise my children to be thy servants.
Raise my children to cry out to thee: "Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee!"
Raise my children (names), O Lady, to be made worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven and make them heirs of eternal blessings.

~Akathist to the Mother of God "Nurturer of Children," Ikos 1



Stacey said...

I just want to say that I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and I find so many wonderful and inspiring things on it. My husband and I have no children, but we strive to live godly lives each day, to nurture our domestic church, and to be strong in prayer. I work hard to be a good "keeper at home" and to make home the haven God intended it for. So a big thank you to you for all the wonderful ideas, thoughts, and prayers!

Nadja said...

Very beautiful prayer! We, too, try to pray with the children before bed (Sometimes family rosary is right before bed, and we just tack a few "bedtime prayers" to the end), and to bless the children with holy water.

Gardenia said...

that is a lovely prayer. i like your tradition of making the sign of the cross on your children's foreheads. Thanks for the cite to Father Weiser's book. I have his The Year of Our Lord in the Christian Home, but not thiis other one, which looks as though I can print.

kee said...

Hi Gae
Thank you for the lovely prayer and the other little ideas in this post. My little boy likes to remind me about saying his bedtime prayers with him, partly as a way of postponing going to sleep, I suspect!
I read recently that Zelie Martin, St Therese's Mum, used to say this prayer with her girls in the morning:
My God, I give you my heart;
please accept it so that no creature,
but You alone, my good Jesus, may possess it.
Hope all is well with you.

Anonymous said...

I too, have prayed these prayers with my children and they have continued even after the children have left and started families of their own. Then the prayers become more. :-) This is a beautiful prayer, Gae, thank you.

Gae said...

Dear Stacey, Thnk you for your kind comments I appreciate them.
I have had a quick trip to yur blog , just not to comment yet. I am a big believer in the Domestic Church too.
Dear Nadja,
We too do the Rosary as a family and have general intentions for children but I still have this spevcial time with each child. I am glad you like the prayer.
Our experience with leaving holy water out is the younger children bless everything and then their is none left when I wnat it, LOL
Dear Kee,
Thank you for this lovely prayer for the morning. Children are great reminders of these times. Our children say are you coming to me if I take too long in coming too!
Dear Anne,
Yes I can see as the children get older and start to live independent lives it becomes more importatnt to continue these prayers for them.
thank you for sharing your insights too
Blessings to you all


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