Raising children of faith is hard sometimes. There, I said it.
As a PK (priest’s kid), it was implied that we would just go along with everything that was happening in church, church school, confirmation classes, and grow up to be good Episcopalians going to church every week with our kids and be super-involved in church.
Well… that’s easier said than lived.
Reading another post on this blog prompted me to ask my girls about their personal prayer lives. It went NOTHING like I thought it would.
Me: So, girls, do you pray every day?
Me: Do you pray? At all?
16yo: Ummmm… I guess.
Me: What do you mean, you guess? Do you talk to God?
16yo: Sometimes, I guess so. I don’t know.
By this point, I’m mentally freaking out. Didn’t I follow them from the nursery to Godly Play to youth group? Don’t I talk about prayer with them? Don’t we pray at home? Of course we do. Don’t we pray at church? She’s there, right? Of course, you’re being irrational. I tried again.
Me: Ok, what about tests? Do you pray before a test?
16yo: Hmmm. No, I don’t think so.
12yo: I do. And before performances.
Me: Do you pray for people?
12yo: I do. We pray for people who have problems.
One of the places I refer to prayer most often is in the car on the way to or from school. Whenever we see an accident, I’ll say, “Let’s pray for those people,” and I say a quick prayer. One thing I’m changing is I’ll ask one of them to say the prayer. Praying leads to more praying.
Back to the conversation:
Me: Girls, remember when I taught Sunday School all those years, and we prayed each Sunday, sometimes for people’s princess birthday party, or someone’s cat who died two years ago, or for their Grandma’s broken leg?
16yo: Yes, but that was a long time ago.
She’s right. It was a long time ago. Lesson learned! I’ll keep talking to her about prayer, and I’ll pray with her. I’ll pray for her. Because these are the years when our children need more and more reminding. I’m learning that talking about prayer, and praying together, cannot be overdone. Especially for this lifelong Episcopalian.
[Photo credit: Pixabay, Public Domain, Creative Commons 0]
How do you talk about prayer with your kids?