Prayer and Celebration in the home is one of the key ways that faith might be developed not only in children but also with parents. The patterns of prayer and celebration in the home add to the richness of a family’s experience of faith – here are some ways you can deepen the lived practices of a faithful life at home.
One way to pray is to use “squeezy prayers” Everyone holds hands in a circle. An adult will begin the prayer. When they have finished they squeeze the persons hand next to them to show it is their turn. They may pray out loud, or silently, or may squeeze on to the next person. When the squeeze has reached the starting person they may say another closing prayer or just say Amen.
Thank You Board
It is easy for children and adults to get into a rut of praying for the same things every night or week. One way of avoiding this is to create a thank you board. This could be a small white board or piece of cardboard. Each time you pray together encourage your children to think of three things they are grateful or want to thank God for. Write them on post it notes and stick them to the board. The next time you come to pray tell your family to give thanks for three things that are not on the board. In this way the imagination is expanded and we come to realise there is a whole world of things to give thanks for.
At the moment I am playing with teaching my daughters about stillness. I am doing this in a pretty simple way by getting the family to stop, close their eyes and count twenty breaths before we eat dinner. Being still in the presence of God can be powerful for people who are used to twenty four seven connectivity. Often we forget to connect with God. Instead of counting breathes you could just time a minute but the act of counting breaths can provide children with something to focus on while they are learning to be still.