BY BECKY GROTH
Prayer evokes different images and emotions for different people. There are almost as many ways to pray as there are people to do the praying. So what should our teens know about this potentially vast topic, and how do we inspire them to pray more? Here are five helpful tips to get you started.
- Know that the Catholic Church has a rich and robust prayer history. Most of ourCatholic kids are familiar with the basics: Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be. Stir things up a bit by exploring less familiar prayers like the Memorare or Prayer to St. Michael. Don’t be afraid to dig deeper and teach them some prayers of saints, or gems like the Anima Christi.
2. We can learn a lot from our Evangelical brothers and sisters about the beauty and personal nature of spontaneous prayer.
Too many times we Catholics rely only on formulaic prayers. Teach teens to pray from the heart, to speak what they are thinking and feeling, to have a conversation with the Lord.
3. Find a style that fits, but venture out as well.
Encourage teens to find a prayer style that fits them, but also encourage them to move out of their comfort zones into other styles as well. Like muscle confusion when you exercise, jostling the routine keeps that prayer “muscle” sharp and strong.
4. Let them see you praying in all kinds of different ways.
This is just common sense. Practice what you preach.
5. Make time for prayer requests and praise reports.
Our teens will begin to see more value in prayer when we make it a central focus. Praying before events is fabulous, but it’s not enough. Find a creative way to keep track of prayer requests and answered prayer. Reference it regularly and often.
Becky Groth is a producer for Outside da Box. Learn more at ODBFilms.com.
This article was originally published in RTJ’s Creative Catechist, January 2014.
Image credit: NATNN / Shutter Stock 657051520