Helping People Pray: Prayer Is Always Possible!

Helping Children Love to Pray

by Marlene Halpin, OP

Your life with God is full of mystery. When it comes to prayer, however, there are some things you can be certain of. When you—a teacher of children—trust the God of your prayer, you can pass on that loving trust in God to the children.

Prayer is always possible.

In order for prayer to take place, only two things are required. First, you must want to be in communion with God. Second, God must welcome you—and you can be sure God always does. There is no place where God is not present, and there is no time when God is not attentive to you.

God is never out of sorts.

God is always loving you—no matter what. That’s just the way God is. You and the children can remind one another that God’s character never changes. As you pray together, ask to be reminded that God is never in a bad mood the way people sometimes are.

God always wants what is truly best for you.

Sometimes God gives you things, and sometimes God waits for you to ask. ASK! Pester God! God puts up well with being pestered. Trust God to do what is really good for you. God creates you, loves you, and wants you to be happy. Help the children practice asking God for what they want with great trust and love.

God always understands what you mean.

It doesn’t really matter whether you “find the right words.” You don’t even have to use words! In fact, encourage the children to pray without words sometimes. They can picture things in their minds or show God their prayers through drawing or painting. Show God your mind and your heart. Spend a little time together. You couldn’t be safer or better loved!

God loves being with you.

Sometime during each day remind yourself that God loves you more than anyone else ever could. When you’re with the children, stop and do the same for them: remind them how much God loves being with them at that very moment. Children tend to love having a “secret place”; they respond well to going deep into their hearts to meet God. Give them opportunities to do this.

 Marlene Halpin, OP

Marlene Halpin, OP

Sister Marlene Halpin, O.P., is a nationally recognized speaker and author on the topics of prayer and spirituality.

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