Prayer as Ritual

· Routines,Rituals,Prayer,Family,Parenting

We human beings do many things as routine.

Habits by which our days are marked.

Patterns by which our weeks are governed.

Rituals by which our seasons are measured.

If you have children in your home, you have family routines - both planned and unplanned.

Some of ours were:

We always have family movie nights on Fridays!

We always see Grampa for his birthday on New Year’s Day!

We always stop at that gas station for snacks!

We always go to a parade for July 4th.

We always...

We all have personal routines from coffee on awaking and starting the dishwasher while heading to bed.

Like Christians since the beginning of the faith, I find time set aside for prayer is a crucial spiritual discipline. But equally important, for my strength and survival, is tethering prayer to routine tasks.

The day is hemmed in by prayer from making the bed in the morning to switching off the house lights as I start to bed.

Having personal prayer routines can guide our hearts when our motivations falter, when our energy flags.

In the same way, having family prayer routines can provide continuity when momentum flags.

Imagine your children remembering that they always received bedtime blessings.

We always:

had bedtime blessings!

Our favorite bedtime blessing is a prayer poem written by Victor Hugo and set to a tune by me:

Good night! Good night!

Far flies the light;

But still God's love

Shall flame above,

Making all bright,

Good night!

Good night!

I admit - sometimes, a very tired mom, I sang the blessing as I walked out of the room and down the hall. A benediction for both me and my kids: This day is now done. Whew. God knew exactly what I meant.

* * * * *

broken image
broken image