Prepare for Mealtime Prayers or Family Prayer with thirty seconds of silence, a practice that helps everyone (including parents) settle down and refocus their attention. It also helps children learn to be silent and still, which is good preparation for other prayer practices, such as meditative or contemplative prayer.
Here’s what to do:
- Explain that you will be spending this time in silent prayer. You might encourage younger children to listen for the presence of God, or for what Jesus is whispering in their hearts.
- Optionally, light a Prayer Candle as a way of signaling that this is a special time, and as a sign of God’s presence.
- Start with thirty seconds and gradually lengthen the time.
- Model prayerful silence by spending the time actually opening yourself to the presence of God. As much as possible, ignore children’s fidgeting and giggling (at least during the time of silence). With enough practice, even young children will begin to imitate your example.
- CCC, 2717
- 1 Kings 19:12; Psalm 62:5