Session 4

In this session we want to cover various practical tips on how to pray in different contexts:

  • Prayer in the classroom

  • Prayer in the home

  • Prayer with your spouse

These are all just suggestions and will depends on your own situation. We hope the videos and suggestions below help.

PRAYER IN THE CLASSROOM
  • Coaches should encourage prayer and linking one's performance to service for the Lord. We have many professional players do this all the time and in many sports, so it shouldn’t be a stretch to bring it into the sports you oversee.

  • The saints are useful for encouraging young men and women to pursue their Catholic life. There are a lot of movies on saints. Not all of them are appropriate for kids, but many are. Other helpful resources in this area are mentioned below under families.

 

  • Have the students read a passage or story for English, History, Religion or for Art. Ask them to write down who was mentioned in the story, what was said (in their own words), and then what happened. Then, ask them to close their eyes and imagine more details. Ask them to place themselves in the story and the describe or draw or paint themselves. This can be a way to introduce a form of prayer similar to that recommended by St. Ignatius of Loyola.

  • Make prayer a real option for your students as they face difficulties. Prayer is often associated with difficult times and illness or tragedies. Or sometimes it's pro forma, like at the beginning of the day or of class. But prayer can also be something that is part of every day life and which they can do for little things. So, for instance, if a student is struggling with a concept, do not be afraid to tell them to pray for help in understanding that subject. Prayer can help to clear the mind, and understanding and wisdom are gifts of the Holy Spirit.

  • Encourage students to pray to make better choices. Sometimes we use language about misbehavior that makes a student wonder if they are bad because they don’t seem to have the same self-control as other kids. Encourage them to pray for the temperance or discipline or whatever word works best so that they can make better choices.

  • Encourage students to pray with and for each other. One teacher suggested creating prayer partners. This can be difficult as this can depend on the class dynamics you have. But short meetings between students when they can ask for prayers is a practice some teachers have done.

Prayer in the schools
Prayer in the Classroom
PRAYER AT HOME
  • Be intentional about family prayer time, just as we should be intentional about family meal time - even if it's just once a week.

  • Let your children see you pray. It doesn’t have to be good prayer or long prayer or important prayer, it just has to be prayer that your kids see you do.

  • Don't be afraid to engage your little kids with rote, repetitive prayer. It'll be important for them later in life. 

  • Adolescents can be a different story. Sometimes forcing them to pray can backfire. Often, they are struggling with deep questions about the faith and the purpose of religion in general. While prayer might not be their thing, encourage them to engage in intelligent apologists for the faith. There are plenty of resources through FORMED and through Catholic Answers.

  • Family prayer is not about accomplishing anything, but about forming little habits. So don't skip it if it's not "perfect." 

  • Great saint resources for young people include but are not limted to:

    • Glory Stories: well produced audio plays that can be played in the background. Sold here.

    • Catholic Heroes of the Faith: Very good animated stories about Sts. Perpetua and Felicity and on St. Augustine. Sold here.

    • Fr. Augustus Tolton: The First Recognized Black Catholic Priest in America : a graphic novel style presentation of this little-known priest. Sold in the U.S. by LTP.

    • The Saints Chronicles Series : a graphic novel style presentation of various saints. Sold by Sophia Institute Press.

    • Little known saints like St. José Luis Sánchez del Río who was martyred at age 15 during the Cristero war in Mexico.

"The Christian family is the first place of education in prayer." Catechism #2685

Prayer at Home
Prayer at Home
PRAYER WITH YOUR SPOUSE
Spousal Prayer
Prayer with Your Spouse

This is a great resource for learning what Spousal Prayer is and is not for. 

See the handouts for more info.

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