When a child becomes an adolescent, family prayer can take new forms.
As children grow, praying together as a family becomes increasingly more of a challenge. Around the age of 12 or 13, children can begin to feel restricted by the same way of praying. They gradually drop out — preferring either a more personal approach or refusing to pray altogether. Here are a few suggestions to encourage them to go on praying with their family.
- Set aside one evening and make some time to read the Scripture readings that will be proclaimed the following Sunday. This time spent with the family can be followed by a short meditation or a discussion and conclude with a prayer of thanksgiving and intercession.
- Take advantage of major holidays (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving) to spend some time talking, reading the Word of God, and praying.
- Use family occasions — birthdays, departures, absences, arrivals of guests, life-changing decisions, the death of a loved one — to meditate together as a family. It’s up to everyone to be attentive to these “signs of the loving presence of God in the life of the family” and turn them into a pretext for family get-togethers to give thanks to the Lord.
- Subscribe to Magnificat. You might think that daily prayer is too much for the life of a teen, but you may be quite surprised to see that when they’re treated as grown-ups, they will make Him their friend for life.