Little Guy’s Prayer Beads

11 October 2007

I’ve busted my tail enough this week that I have a little time today in the computer lab to read some ‘blogs and even <gasp!> part of a book.

The Little Guy, our son, has begun asking about God.  He has a little Noah’s Ark book that mentions God; Beth and I have been fielding questions of the “Where is God?” “Why can’t I see God?” variety.   The other day, he saw a picture of the Icon of Jesus Christ, Reconciler, and asked “Is that God?”

I figure more substantive questions are merely on the way, which has made me wonder: how does one teach a little child to pray?   A few years ago, I made my own Anglican Rosary; although I’ve tried praying the Anglican Rosary, it’s just not for me.  The Roman, Marian Rosary is more my style.  Maybe its because I prayed it so many times during my youth, but the traditional rosary is the one I pray.  I was wondering about all this as I drove to school today, and I’m wondering if these beads might be excellent ways to teach a child to pray.

The beads of my Anglican Rosary are white, so I presume I could write on the with a marker.   Should the Little Guy want to know how to pray, the Anglican Rosary could be a great help.  Tell him to begin by saying the Lord’s Prayer on the first cruciform bead, and the move on to the first set of “weeks.”  Each of these seven beads would be marked with “H,” reminding the Little Guy to tell God about seven things that have happened to him lately.  After the next cruciform bead, each of the next set of “weeks” beads would be marked with a “T,” reminding the Little Guy to give thanks for seven things.  The last two set of “weeks” would proceed similarly: the third set of “weeks” beads marked “A” to remind the Little Guy to ask for God’s help in seven things or ways and the fourth set marked “Q” to remind the Little Guy to ask God seven questions that the Little Guy was curious about.

I guess I’m asking for the feedback of moms and clergy (especially clergy-moms) who read this ‘blog.  Would this approach be too structured?  The Little Guy loves order and repetition, so having him repeat the Lord’s Prayer and guiding him in the various things we do when we pray seems like a good idea, but I may not be seeing some of the downsides/limitations of this idea.


One Response to “Little Guy’s Prayer Beads”

  1. Mother Laura Says:

    My kids when young love holding, playing with, wearing the rosary, which I figure is a good thing in itself–they need to know that we have sacred things and feel connected to them.

    Nicholas was never interested in learning to pray with the rosary but Katie was just the other day and got through half a decade with me (taking turns holding the beads and saying the prayers which she knows from mass/bedtime) before she got bored. I think it could really work well with your little guy as long as you are sensitive to what feels right to him, which might change from day to day.

    We also take turns praying spontaneously before dinner, after which we sing a song together, and I have been amazed by how little they can learn to do sincere and moving prayer from the heart…I think a balance of set and free prayers is good for them (and all of us 🙂 ).

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