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4 Ways to pray with teens

Teenagers praying
Philippe Lissac / Godong
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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.    

  1. 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.
  1. Take advantage of major holidays (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving) to spend some time talking, reading the Word of God, and praying.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Jean-Regis Fropo

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