Many people find that the process of writing down their thoughts helps clarify their prayer, much as journaling can help people clarify their thoughts and feelings. You can encourage older kids and teens to write down their prayers of petition, blessing, gratitude, intercession, and praise (see Pray the Five Form of Prayer). Alternatively, they can jot down their thoughts and reflections as part of their meditative prayer; try incorporating writing into the meditative aspects of the Daily Examen and Lectio Divina.
Here are some other ways to incorporate writing into your family prayer:
► Notecards to God. Purchase blank index cards (or inexpensive notecards) for your kids to write short prayers on every day, or as they feel moved throughout the day; they can “send” them to God by leaving them in God’s Mailbox or in your Home Oratory. Written prayers might also be displayed on a bulletin board, or on your refrigerator.
► Prayer journal. Teens may wish to keep a prayer journal, not only as a way of praying to God, but also as a way of reflecting on their prayer life. See the Prayer Journal article for ideas.
► Write a psalm. If you are in the habit of regularly reading and praying the psalms with your older kids, encourage them to write their own psalm, using their own words to express their deepest feelings of sadness, loneliness, anger, joy, or praise in the form of a song to God.
► Collect prayers. You can encourage kids to collect their favorite prayers by writing them down; see Make a Book of Prayers for ideas.