Let Your Children See You Pray

Prayer! It’s the most important thing for our spiritual lives – the thing that will help us to uphold those other two pillars – fasting and almsgiving. Prayer is the way we speak to and with our heavenly Father as well as his beloved Son, the Theotokos and the heavenly hosts. And when should we pray? Always… pray always. This is clear – and so there is the Jesus Prayer, there is personal prayer with God, there is time of quiet for allowing, as my priest reminded me in confession last week, the water of your prayers to penetrate the soil of the garden of your heart. And there is formal prayer. For me formal prayer is the biggest obedience and hardest to do. I find time for the rest of it (in my own meager way), but business with children and life keeps me from a strong daily formal prayer practice. How can we expect our children to find and make time in their lives for formal prayer if we don’t show them how we do it? As with all things parenting, we lead best by example. So this is a very brief exhortation to let your children see you pray. Even if you are disciplined to a rule of prayer before your family wakes or when they are not around, make sure they see you pray formally too. A prayer of the hours perhaps. I find that I pray with my family a good deal, but pray much less on my own and almost never on my own in sight of my family. But I believe that this must change for me. I believe that children learn by example and that, if they are deeply connected with us, they will want to model us. So let your children see you pray! Don’t shoe them away or shush them constantly. Stand at your icon corner and let them bustle around you, sit in a quiet spot and let them snuggle in your lap, but let them see you pray – and, by God’s grace, our prayers will water the tender soil of their hearts as well.

In Christ’s love,


About Sasha Rose Oxnard

Sasha Rose is an Orthodox Christian and a mom. She also happens to be a family doctor, a wife, friend, daughter, amateur gardener, lover of music, dance, art, animals, nature and all things playful. Now adding blogger and writer to the list. She currently lives, works and prays in New England with her husband, four small children, dog, 2 cats and 5 chickens.

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