“God our Father we come to say, thank you for your love today. Thank you for my family and all the friends you give to me. Guide me in the dark of night and in the morning send your light.”
Since my children were very little we have recited the above prayer at bedtime together.
Any parent of little children will tell you that establishing a good bedtime routine is key to getting children to sleep. Our bedtime prayer was part of that routine but I’ll admit at that time, it was just about the only prayer said in our house.
When I was a child, prayer was much more constant for me or at least the reciting of prayers was. My mother was a very devout Catholic and would include me in reciting prayers and we would often pray the Rosary together. While I enjoyed that time with my mother, I remember really only seeing prayers as something to memorise and repeat.
A deepening of my own prayer life and that of my husband’s however has caused both of us in recent years to look at not only how we pass our faith on to our children but also how we deepen our family prayer life.
We still say that prayer every night but it is no longer the only prayer said in our house. Rather prayer has become a more constant presence in our house and indeed our life.
We also have encouraged the children to pray themselves and at night they always have a little chat to Jesus about their ‘thank yous and sorrys’ for the day.
Routine is still as important as ever for our family and we now gather daily, morning and night to pray together.
It was only recently, during the stress of our current lockdown situation that the importance of this routine really struck me. I commented to my husband how blessed we were for our family prayer routine and how much it was helping us.
My husband agreeing with this, was reminded of a quote that someone had shared with him recently.
“The family that prays together, stays together”