Listening to Sophia Pray - Desire to Pray
In 2012 I met Ryan and Beth, the parents of a family who I became good friends with. At the time their daughter Sophia was turning 2 years old and their son Nathaniel was about to be born. About once a year since then, I have joined their family for dinner and have seen them pray together as a family before the children are in bed. The family gathers in the living room and all face the mantle where they have a crucifix and image of Mary. They light a candle and get into a comfortable place, sometimes sitting, sometimes kneeling, sometimes snuggling with mom or dad. Ryan, opens with a short prayer and then the kids one by one begin saying who or what they want to pray for, why they want to pray for them, and what specifically they are asking God for. Mom and dad then each speak at length to God, praying for their family, community, and the church. It struck me that Ryan and Beth didn’t simplify the language of their prayers for their kids, but used mature language to express their hearts to God.
Since I only join them for family prayer about once a year, I have been able to notice significant growth in the way Sophia especially prays. Now, as she approaches her 9th birthday, she can be even more articulate than me in how she speaks to God. I am convinced that this comes at least in part from listening to her mom and dad pray with sincerity and maturity every day. It has caused me to reflect on how I speak to God, especially when I do have the opportunity to lead a group in spontaneous prayer.
How do you pray with your family?
Parents, you can be an excellent example of how your children will relate to God!