Family Prayer?


I would like to start the habit of praying as a family, but I’m unsure what prayers to pray! I have four children - 11, 5, 4, and 2. Right now, we pray before meals, and at night we say an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be, and then I give them an opportunity to add anything they might want to pray for. I’d like to add a morning prayer time, but it would have to be short and sweet - mornings are crazy here (maybe just a Morning Offering?). I’d also like to start praying the rosary as a family, but I wonder if the littles would be able to sit through that.

I’m hoping I can get some ideas of what others do with their families. :slight_smile:


It sounds like you’re doing a good job of including prayer.
A short morning offering would be a great way for you all to being your busy day,
offering everything that each of you does today to God, and asking God to help each of you to be loving and honest in all you think and do today.

The following as you most likely know are common Catholic prayers

Prayer to Our Guardian Angel

Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Morning Offering

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the holy sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of your sacred heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all the apostles of prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.

Evening prayer

O my God, at the end of this day I thank you most heartily for all the graces I have received from you. I am sorry that I have not made a better use of them. I am sorry for all the sins I have committed against you. Forgive me, O my God, and graciously protect me this night. Blessed Virgin Mary, my dear heavenly mother, take me under your protection. St. Joseph, my dear guardian angel, and all you saints of God, pray for me. Sweet Jesus, have pity on all poor sinners, and save them from hell. Have mercy on the suffering souls in purgatory.

Generally, this evening prayer is followed by an act of contrition, which is usually said in conjunction with an examination of conscience. A daily examination of conscience consists of a brief recounting of our actions during the day. What sins did we commit? Where did we fail? In what areas of our lives can we strive to make virtuous progress? Having determined our failures and sins, we make an act of contrition.


However, what could be a wonderful idea that would help your children to be really engaged in morning (or evening) prayer,
could be to get the children together and ask them to help you work out a really good short morning prayer they would like to pray every day,
one that would speak to God from their children's hearts.

“By the mouths of children, you have made sure of praise.” [Psalm 8:2] “You have trained children and babies to offer perfect praise.” [Matthew 21:16]* “See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.”* [Matthew 18:10]

*“Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless You, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased You to do.” *[Matthew 11:25-26]

Jesus said*, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs. I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Then He put His arms around them, laid His hands on them and gave them His blessing.”* [Mark 10:14-16]

God bless you and your family!
My sons wrote some lovely prayers when young. I still say them on their behald,
like "Dear Lord, please give me the strength to abide by You will, so that my life, which was Your gift to me, may be my gift to You. Love, T..."

All the best, love, Trishie


your family prayer life is beautiful. and it’s God’s grace and His invitation to pray more with your family.

here’s how we pray the rosary because we, too, have little ones: all the kids are well-versed in the 20 mysteries of the rosary. when we pray the rosary, we randomly ask ONE kid to choose ONE mystery and to tell the reason why the chose it. sometimes, they will choose the obvious-- Nativity because it’s near Christmas-- or something like that. sometimes a kid will choose a mystery and give a really personal and meaningful reason s/he wants to pray it.

so we begin with sign of cross
the Apostles Creed,
one our father
3 hail marys for faith hope and charity
glory be
kids announces the mystery and reason for choosing
one our father
10 hail marys
glory be
fatima prayer
hail holy queen
st michael prayer
most sacred heart of jesus have mercy on me (3X)
sign of cross

takes 5 minutes, kids are engaged and manageable and we really put our hearts into the prayer.


We also do one decade per evening once everyone is ready for bed (or on the way home from Jujitsu at the YMCA which is close to bedtime), my kids are 11,10,5,3,& 2 (although usually the 23yr old is in bed by the time we get to it). I made up a book of all 20 mysteries with scripture verses that go with each Hail Mary, we just start one set and go all week until we hit the end and start the next set. This way they are getting the scripture in their heads for apologetics later as well as the mysteries. It only adds a couple minutes to a decade and they memorize so much!


We also do evening prayer and before meals. Up until recently at bedtime my daughter has done "Now I lay me down to sleep" and she always picks one person to pray for and one thing to be thankful for. We have recently added the prayer "Support us all the day long" and the Our Father. My younger daughter, 2, often gets up and wanders off half way through, but she pays more and more attention as time goes on so I don't worry about that.

A morning prayer is something I have been thinking of too, maybe to start for Advent. I have been thinking of using this short form, it is Anglican but would be fine for Catholics too.

O GOD, thou art my God, early will I seek thee. In the morning I will direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

Let us pray.

OUR Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

Thanksgiving for the gift of another day.

WE give thee hearty thanks, O heavenly Father, for the rest of the past night, and for the gift of a new day. Grant that we may so pass its hours in the perfect freedom of thy service, that at eventide we may again give thanks unto thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Here may follow the Collect of the day.

Prayer and Intercession.

O LORD God, who hast bidden light to shine out of darkness, and who hast again wakened us to praise thee for thy goodness and to ask for thy grace: Accept now the offering of our worship and thanksgiving, and grant unto us all such requests as may be acceptable to thy holy will. Make us to live as children of the light, and heirs of thy everlasting kingdom. Remember, O Lord, according to the multitude of thy mercies, thy whole Church, all who join with us in prayer, and all our brethren, wherever they may be, who stand in need of thine aid. Pour down upon us all the riches of thy grace, so that, redeemed in soul and body, and stedfast in faith, we may ever praise thy wonderful and holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Before the Grace there may be said by all:

O GOD, Most High and Holy, Three in One, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; We offer to thee this day ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee; To whom be all praise and glory. Amen.

2 Corinthians 13.14.

THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.


That’s great! I usually start with the Our Father, Apostles Creed, Psalm 91 and then the Glory be…


Oops, I forgot to say that after we read the scripture readings for the day at breakfast, we pray the St. Michael Prayer offered for those who participate in abortions to have a change of heart. Either Priests for Life or Human Life International recommended this and the kids like to get all the digs at abortion that they can.


all great suggestions

morning offering with an our Father is about all most families can manage in the morning, but a great way to start the day
grace with meals if you are not already doing it, and make a point of doing it quietly even when you eat out.

if you are just starting a family rosary start with one decade, one night a week, and gradually increase it, and give children who are old enough responsibility for leading prayer (helps them pay attention).

also reading the Sunday gospel some quiet time before Mass, and just taking some quiet time together to think about it, and share if you feel like it is a great habit to start.


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