family-faith

Faith and Family

The role of the family is particularly important and unique when it comes to the development of children’s spirituality. In our lives together as families and households, we are the ‘domestic Church’, sharing our love and time, and growing together in faith.

There are countless ways to share your faith together at home and we warmly encourage you to try some of the following ways of celebrating the gift of faith within your family.

 

Resources

Pray Together As a Family

Prayer is at the heart of our lives as a Christian families but for many of us, we are unsure of how to pray with our children. But prayer is as simple as talking to a friend because prayer is all about closeness and friendship with God. When we pray to God, we are deepening our relationship with Him and when we pray together as a family, we strengthen our family relationships too.

There are countless ways to pray as a family. If you aren’t sure how to pray, here are some engaging ways to introduce your children to the mystery, joy, and peace that prayer can bring.

Pray Before Meals: Grace
Giving thanks before meals is a great place to start with family prayer. “Thank you, God, for this food and for those who grew and cooked it. In Jesus name, Amen.”
This simple prayer or another like it, helps our children to develop gratitude for, and recognition of, the blessing to be able to sit and enjoy a meal as a family.

Pray With Music: Make Some Noise
Music has a way of getting us involved in prayer in body, mind and soul. Music is also a great way to pray when you feel like you don't have the words. Our diocesan worship band, 'Wildfire' has produced beautiful music that your family will find is great inspiration for prayer.
Click here to be inspired.

Pray While Walking: The Neighbourhood Prayer
This idea is great for active children. Take a family walk around the neighbourhood after dinner and encourage everyone to pray for neighbours, creation, the world....whatever they are inspired to pray about.

Pray In Silence: Christian Meditation
Christian Meditation is taught in our Catholic schools and is a simple way to practice stillness and silence and open our hearts to God. Everyone sits comfortably, with their eyes gently closed. Pray the word "Maranatha" silently and repeatedly. Maranatha means 'Come Lord' and is a simple invitation to God to enter our hearts. Allow the meditation to last 3-5 minutes depending upon the age of your children.

Pray Through Art: Colour Prayer
Provide your children with paper and coloured markers, crayons, or even stick on decorations and decals. Ask your child to start by writing the name they use for God eg. Loving Father, Creator, Jesus, My Friend. Encourage them to write and draw around this name all the people and issues they want to pray about. Using reflective music for this prayer is a great focusing tool.

Pray Before Bed: Popcorn Prayers
Gather as a family and invite one person to say a short prayer about anything they feel moved to pray about. At the end of the prayer, that person names another person in the family whose turn it is to ‘pop’ up to share another spontaneous prayer. This continues until everyone has prayed.

Click here for a downloadable version of these ideas.

Scripture Ideas for Families

Using the Word of God in the Bible is an important part of our prayer life. Throughout the Bible there are timeless and powerful messages of God’s love, His mercy, His hopes and plans for creation and endless encouragement to walk in His ways. There are many ways to include scripture within your family life.

Meditating With Scripture
This is a way of reflecting on the Word of God by paying particular attention to what God might be saying to each person through Scripture. Choose a Bible passage and follow the guide below.

There are four simple steps:

  1. Reading
    Read your chosen Scripture passage aloud several times, and ask your family to consider if the Holy Spirit calls their attention to a particular word or phrase.

  2. Meditation
    Invite family members to think about what the Holy Spirit has called to their attention, it could be a word, phrase or image. Hold the words or images in your mind.

  3. Prayer
    Respond to the sacred words in prayer by asking God why He gave you those particular images or words. 

  4. Contemplation
    Invite everyone to simply rest in God’s presence, listening for God’s response to prayer.

Visible Scripture
On those occasions when we write a note eg birthday card to our child we might also include a short bible quote as extra inspiration, motivation or to express how we feel. Fridge doors are great for all kinds of messages, why not God’s Word too?

Scripture Art
Encourage your child to use a Bible passage as the inspiration for an artwork. They may like to illustrate a well known Bible story eg. the story of Creation or artistically represent an inspiring bible verse eg.
'Trust the Lord your God with all your being and heart.'
'Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.'

Click here for a downloadable version of these ideas.

Special Times in the Church Year

Click here for a downloadable version of some ideas for Lent, Easter, Advent & Christmas