Mornings around here are crazy. Everyone wakes up very, VERY ready for the day. Energy levels are high, appetites are intense, and between the school lunch packing, the hair brushing, the oatmeal making, and the rushing out the door we don’t usually have a lot of time to stop for a quiet moment and talk to our Lord.
So, like many other families, we say our morning prayers in the car. It’s usually the first moment of the day when everyone is (relatively) quiet and still (thanks, seatbelts).
We start with a child’s morning devotional that’s incredibly simple but deeply meaningful. It reads:
“Now before I run to play, let me not forget to pray
To God who kept me through the night, and waked me in the morning light.
Help me Lord to love Thee more, than I ever loved before,
In my work and in my play, be Thou with me throughout this day.”
The rhyme was easy for my kids to memorize, and it covers so much ground! Praising God first as the one who gives us each day, and sustains our lives helps us all grow in gratitude. Invoking His grace to help us grow in love for Him and do better today than we did yesterday is a true call to adventure and meaning. Finally, asking Him to bless, guide, and direct every aspect of our lives and to be with us in everything we do makes all aspects of our day, whether they’re difficult (work) or fun (play) a prayer offered to God in love.
We say a Guardian Angel prayer, and end with our own little Litany of the Saints, invoking our family’s patron saints to pray for us: (i.e. St. Clare, pray for us. St. George, pray for us.). We use the saints for whom our children are named, but you can pick any saints that you or your children feel particularly close to.
Calling upon the saints helps my kids remember the Church Triumphant, and know the saints in heaven are looking out for them, readily available to pray for them and help them to face the world with courage, and with whom they can form a real relationship.
Plus, it’s very cute to hear PRAY FOR US yelled with extra fervor by each child when we reach their particular saint in our mini litany.
We conclude with “We love you Jesus. Jesus, I trust in you.” It’s quite basic, and relatively brief, but this routine helps our family consciously put God at the center of our day, every day. This is one way we bring love that begins at home out with us into the world.
And though my kids are still learning the depth of meaning behind these simple prayers and practices, this daily habit helps plant the seeds for a meaningful and rich prayer life that can begin to develop even now when they are young. Conversation with God and the saints every morning makes heavenly things accessible in the ordinary work and routine of the day, and hopefully it’s a practice they’ll carry with them throughout their lives.
What does morning prayer look like in your home?