“Your homes should always remain homes of prayer…may I express a wish: that every home in Ireland may remain or may begin again to be, a home of daily family prayer.”
(Excerpt from Homily of Pope John Paul II at Mass in Limerick, 1 October 1979)
The Catechism tells us that prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God in accord with his will. A humble and contrite heart is the foundation for receiving the gift of prayer. As children of God, Christian prayer is the living relationship with our Father, with His Son Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit. Prayer is at once a response of faith and love to the free promise of salvation.
As the ‘domestic church’ the Christian family is the first place of education in prayer. It is there that God’s children learn to pray ‘as the Church’. The family is the first witness to the life of prayer in the Church and good example will encourage the young to persevere in prayer throughout life.
Pope John Paul II expressed his ardent desire that family members join together in daily prayer. That intention is as relevant today as it was in 1979. The Order of the Knights of Saint Columbanus in Portadown has compiled a booklet of common prayers for children. These basic formulas of prayer are appropriate for different parts of the day and for occasions such as meal times. It is intended to make copies available to children preparing for their First Holy Communion in the parish. It is hoped that the booklet will also serve as a useful resource for parents in the task of helping their children to develop a rich and profound relationship with God.
Click here to download a PDF version of the booklet.
“…prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”
(St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Manuscrits autobiographiques C 25r.)