Family mealtimes are very important to us. So is prayer and saying thanks to God for what he has given us. To help with this, we created a DIY Prayer Pail!
Until now, we have always recited the same prayer at dinner time: “Come Lord Jesus, be our guest and let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen.” We usually follow the rote prayer with a “free-style” prayer led by either DH or me where we each, including the kids, add in things for which we’re thankful.
This week, I have felt led to start teaching L&L additional prayers they can say at mealtimes.
Here are a few reasons I think learning additional prayers will be beneficial for L&L:
- I think that sometimes when you say the exact same prayer over and over, the words *can* lose meaning and become more habit than actual prayer. Learning a new prayer can bring the focus back on to the words you’re saying and the meaning behind them.
- The more prayers L&L learn, the more models they will have for saying their own prayers to God.
- Memorization (and rhyme) are sooooo good for the developing brain.
- This will be an activity we can do as a family where we will all grow and benefit.
- I’m hoping that early and vast exposure to prayer will increase the chances that L&L will feel like they can talk to God about anything, any time, any where.
Since DH and I don’t know these other prayers that we want to teach from memory, I made a printable that can be cut apart and glued or taped onto tongue depressors (the larger version of wooden popsicle sticks) to place in a prayer cup/pail on the table. You can print them FREE here and make your own prayer pail! This way an adult at the table can read the prayer and help the little ones with repeating it. Probably within a few mealtimes, the prayer won’t need to be read anymore and everyone can join in the recitation together.
I figure we will pick a new prayer once every few weeks, and then once we have several that we’ve learned by heart, L&L can start taking turns choosing and leading the prayer they would like to say.
|Here are a few examples. There are 25 prayers on the printable I created.|
We’ll still include the “free-style” prayer of thanks after the “rote” prayer of the night because while I do like the chants and prayers from memory, I also want L&L to know that you don’t need fancy words to talk to God; we can talk to him just like we’d talk to a friend and he always listens.
I am really looking forward to this new prayer journey with my family and I would love to hear all about it if you try it, too!
- I numbered the prayers from 1-25. The prayers are in no particular order; I merely added the numbers to make identifying the prayers a bit easier since they all look the same.
- I printed the prayers on card stock (2 sheets), laminated, cut out each individual prayer, and used my hot glue gun to attach each one to a tongue depressor (the larger version of the typical wooden popsicle stick). There are lots of different ways you could do it — even just printing the pages and sticking them in sheet protectors would work!
- A few of the prayers included on the printable are from my childhood, my family, or DH’s family. Thanks also to those who shared prayers on my Facebook page. The rest were found on these sites:
- For storage of the prayer sticks, I upcycled a tin can (cleaned and de-labeled) using glass gems, ribbon, and part of the leftover laminated card stock which I wrote the words “Prayer Pail” onto with black sharpie marker.
- I think this would be a super cute Mother’s Day gift!
- Here’s a YouTube video that shows the tune for the Johnny Appleseed prayer (#5 on the printable).
- Here is the link to the 25 printable prayers on Google Docs. Please let me know if you have any trouble saving or printing, or if you notice any typos!!
See my other prayer posts:
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