Sunday, June 22, 2014

Encourage Independent Prayer

The other morning, I heard my daughter wake up, but, instead of coming to me as she usually does to offer me a morning hug and kiss, she disappeared.  

Several minutes later, upon realizing my little girl was being awfully quiet and aloof, I went to find her in order make sure she was okay.  When I did, I found this:

My daughter was offering morning love to Jesus through Mary by sitting in a self-made prayer corner praying the Rosary.

I smiled as I noted all the parts of her prayer corner:

  • an image of Mary and one of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that we had gotten from a Freecycler several years ago that my daughter asked to put up in her room.
  • die-cut flowers that we made at a museum two years ago which my daughter chose to give decorate the wall by Mary with, inspired by miniature Mary garden baskets some years ago. 
  • a cardboard and popsicle stick Mary garden fence that my daughter made as a aprt of a co-op class a couple seasons ago.
  • empty vanilla bottles that my daughter has asked to keep, which she placed in her prayer space "because they smell good for the Mother to smell,"  plus the bottle caps, because "they have a stronger smell."
  • her Rosary beads from a heart box where she keeps them so "I can keep them safe, because love them."
  •  an index card to act as a "vase" for paper flowers my daughter made and cute out so she could offer one flower after each decade she prayed, much like she and her peers do at Rosary Club each month.

I had nothing to do with gathering these supplies that morning to create the prayer corner that my daughter was so beautifully praying in.  I do, however, have something to do with inspiring such moments of individual prayer, or rather, with creating a family environment that welcomes the Spirit to move us to such moments.  For I have listened to promptings to make choices:

  • to pray together daily as a family .

  • to pray by myself in view of my children.

  • to include items that inspire prayer among the things we bring into our home .

  • to dedicate time in our schedules for prayer groups .

  • to seek like-minded friends for my children to learn and pray with.
  • to offer space and time for my children to explore as the Spirit prompts them.

In short, I have consciously chosen to integrate our faith into the fabric of our everyday lives, increasingly praying through my own days and being open to how the Spirit moves me.  In turn, I am blessed with the delight of witnessing my young daughter's head joyfully bowed in prayer.

How do you encourage your child's individual prayer?
Please feel free to share about them in comment here or on our Training Happy Hearts Facebook page.  If you leave a link to an idea, I will pin it on the Training Happy Hearts: A Call to Faith Formation in Young Children Pinterest board.

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