Bulletin Article 9/1/19

Articulating Intentions - Forming Faith Filled Families

 A few years ago Nate and I went backpacking together. As we walked and talked, we realized that each of us had a lot of things that we wanted to pray for. Both of us were seminarians studying to be priests, so each of us were quite familiar with public liturgical prayer as well as personal quiet prayer, but we had not prayed spontaneously out loud together before. We knew that we wanted to pray for the specific intentions we had but did not quite know what to do. We looked at each other and said something along the lines of ‘Well, how is this going to work?’ We decided that one of us would pray for one thing out loud and then pray a Hail Mary. Then whoever had something else would do the same thing, and we would repeat that pattern. Since it was both of our first time praying that way, it started out a little clunky but we soon developed a good rhythm. We ended up covering so many different people and situations with our prayers, and we probably spent 15 minutes going back and forth with our intentions and Hail Marys. By including Hail Marys we took some pressure off of ourselves to come up with a large list of things to pray for, one after the other. It also immediately gave the people we wanted to pray for to our Blessed Mother, asking her to bring them to Jesus. Part of a faith filled family is including daily prayer with all members of the family, no matter how young or old. As the school year begins, it a great time to begin a new routine of including prayer in your family. When I help prepare couples for marriage, I ask them to pray together every day, and encourage the same for each family at St. Denis and St. Patrick. If you are looking for a good way to begin praying with your family, let me suggest this format:

-Begin with the Sign of the Cross

-Prayer intention

    Who you are praying for

         Why you are praying for them

             What you are asking God for

-Hail Mary

-Repeat intentions and Hail Marys until everyone has prayed for all their intentions

-Close with the Sign of the Cross

Here is as example:

+ Dear Jesus, I want to pray for my grandma as she moves to an assisted living facility. Jesus, as she mourns her loss of independence, give her your comfort and assurance. Hail Mary…

Dear Jesus, as my kids begin school, give them the wisdom they need to succeed this school year. Hail Mary…+

-Fr. Michael