Do you ever wonder how to instill a good, strong prayer life in children? Do you ever worry that rote prayers just aren’t enough? Do you want your kids to have a personal, intimate relationship with God but are unsure how to cultivate it? Learning to Pray from the MagnifiKid! division of Magnificat provides an answer.
Geared for ages 7-12, this book teaches kids how to cultivate their own prayer lives through traditional prayers like the Rosary – but it also teaches methods to enter into personal, spontaneous conversation with God. There’s even do-it-yourself projects! Illustrations, tips, Scripture verses, and quotes from the saints to encourage and point out the importance of prayer are riddled throughout each chapter.
Chapters cover topics like “When to Pray?”, “Prayer Positions”, “Lord, Answer Me!”, and more. A favorite chapter of mine is about making your own prayer corner. It simply explains the importance of having a prayer corner – to help us think about God everyday – and then walks you though picking a space, setting it up, and what to include.
Projects include making a three-paneled icon, a crucifix, a decade of the Rosary, and a prayer die. The last one is a way to read a different Scripture each day in a fun, creative way! This is a great way to use fun to draw kids in deeper– the instructions say to read the verse you roll several times to “really understand what it says to your heart”.
All of the tips, tricks, and activities sprinkled throughout this book cultivate a continual mental prayer and living with Jesus at the forefront of your mind (and in your heart!) at all times. Maybe one child finds rote, traditional prayers difficult to enter into– this book will also show the child how to just converse with God and then how the traditional prayers can be an extension and deepening of that. Or maybe a child has problems sharing the daily parts of life with God through prayer but can really enter in through traditional prayer– this book will show how traditional prayers can and should lead us to spontaneous prayer and how spontaneous prayer is really a deepening of traditional prayers.
If you’re looking for a way to help children jump start their prayer lives, pick up a copy of Learning to Pray. It’s a phenomenal book that I’m excited to share with all the kids I know!