We like to teach about prayer in the big categories: worship (praise), contrition (I’m sorry), gratitude (thank you), and supplication (please), and intercessory prayer falls in that last category. We pray for others and we ask them to pray for us. Sounds simple, right? But this lesson helps us unpack it a little.
Teaching your kids to pray for others is an outstanding way to help them grow in holiness. They learn duty, empathy, and charity, among other things. It fights against a child’s tendency toward being self-centered and helps them grow stronger as a Christian as they realize that their prayers actually make a difference.
I remember my relationship with my kids actually taking a giant leap forward as I would ask for their prayers. “I’m going to have a challenging day today. Can you pray for me?” Just asking something like that implies trust. It sends a message that they are moving into the grown-up world. It says, “I value your prayers.” It opens faith-based conversations. So much good can come from this one tiny habit!
The flip side is helping your kids get in the habit of asking for prayer. If you want them to feel comfortable asking you, you probably need to open those conversations. Does your son have a test today? “I’ll pray for you.” If you get in the habit of having that kind of conversation with your Family Formation aged kids, you are going to be so happy when they get older and still bring their prayer needs to you!
The other piece of asking others to pray for you leads to a conversation on the Communion of Saints. Mary, angels, Saints – those in heaven are always in the presence of God and are ready to bring our needs before Him, and the last part of this lesson encourages you all to develop relationships with them.