Will you pray with me?

by Marlon De La Torre

North Texas Catholic

4/24/2020

holding hands over Bibleholding hands over Bible


A unique and intimate gift that develops the moment we are baptized into the life of Christ is the desire to speak with Him. St. John Damascene would describe this development as the raising of our hearts and minds to God. When parents exercise their responsibility to initiate their child into the life of Christ and His Church by way of Baptism, they are also affirming their duty to teach their child how to actively engage in simple conversation with Christ by way of prayer.  

Take, for example, the description St. Luke provides in the 11th chapter of his Gospel of the Apostles’ desire to pray as the Master prays. The Our Father serves as the prayer par excellence toward initiating a spiritual conversation with the Divine Teacher. It is important to recognize that our identity is intimately bound with the Blessed Trinity due to the image and likeness of God we receive at conception.

When the Apostles received the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts of the Apostles), St. Peter, the Vicar of Christ, begins instructing the faithful on the salvific acts of Christ. The culmination of this newly discovered faith results in the initiation of families into the body of Christ by way of fellowship-kerygma-Divine Revelation; through teaching-creed-profession of faith; by the breaking of the bread-Holy Eucharist-liturgy; and of course, through sacraments and prayers-life in Christ-and Beatitudes (2:37-42).

Handing on the gift of prayer

It is fair to propose that one of the most significant gifts a parent can hand on to a child is the development of an active loving relationship with Christ nurtured through the gift of Christian prayer. The Catechism reminds us that “Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part” (CCC 2725).

The premise behind this specific article is that prayer sustains hope and it must be exercised daily. The practicality of this process may involve a daily reading from Sacred Scripture (e.g. Liturgy of the Hours or Lectio Divina), Act of Contrition, Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be, intercession of a saint, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Memorare, Angelus, and so forth. However, the recitation of these gifts means nothing if the parent is not actively engaged in a relationship with Jesus Christ by exercising their sacramental identity and teaching their child how to engage in an active sacramental life in Christ.  

The desire of a child

It is reasonable to claim that all children desire a parent’s love or, better yet, expect it. This claim proposes a visible reality that the parent-child relationship is truly a genuine and visible example of God’s love expressed through the witness of the family dynamic. The Catechism reinforces this claim where it describes “prayer and the Christian life as inseparable, for they concern the same love and the same renunciation, proceeding from love; the same filial and loving conformity with the Father’s plan of love; the same transforming union with the Holy Spirit who confirms us more and more to Christ Jesus; the same love for all men, the love with which Jesus has loved us” (2745).

Will you pray with me?

When a child asks a parent, “Will you pray with me?” he is not simply asking you to recite prayers with him. He is asking a more important question, “Will you protect me from all harm and evil?” This is a significant premise on the virtue of prayer because it is an act of love rooted in our identity as baptized children of God. The very nature of our Baptism compels us to share the gift of prayer with our children through their own Baptism and thus foster an intimate relationship with Christ. Our response to the question of, “Will you pray with me?” should be a resounding “yes.” But a follow up response should be, “I will always pray for you, no matter what.”

“I will not leave you desolate, I will come to you.”

Jn 14:18

 

holding hands over Bible

A unique and intimate gift that develops the moment we are baptized into the life of Christ is the desire to speak with Him.

Published