When You Pray For Your Child

by Marlon De La Torre

North Texas Catholic

9/12/2018


The art of effective communication implies willingness to genuinely respect each other’s position and recognize one’s dignity as a fellow human. Proverbs offers the following counsel on effective communication, prudence, and fidelity: 

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs anger. The tongue of the wise dispenses knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly” (15:1-2).

This same formula is applicable every time we engage in prayer. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines prayer as a covenant relationship between God and man in Christ. It is the action of God and of man, springing forth from both the Holy Spirit and ourselves, wholly directed to the Father, in union with the human will of the Son of God made man (CCC 2564).

Prayer is often misunderstood within the non-Christian arena as communication without divine association or intent. The phrase that exemplifies this position is “my thoughts are with you.” This expression at surface level is intercession without any reference to God.

I bring up this example in relation to prayer because as parents our responsibility is to always communicate in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to our children. Our words and deeds should reflect a desire to guide our children toward communion with God. This is the premise behind prayer, i.e., raising one’s mind and heart to God (CCC 2559). Christian prayer allows us to communicate the truth of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which is a vital example of faith for our children to witness and apply in their walk with Christ.

One of the most loving gifts we can offer our children is simply praying for them. Part of our parental role is as an intercessor. The responsibility of an intercessor is to help someone draw closer to God. Hence, every time we pray for our children we are strengthening their journey toward an intimate relationship with Christ.

When prayer becomes a fixture within the family, and the intent is to recognize our own identity as a child of God, then our prayerful communication takes on a divine character and not a human one. Our “thoughts” are replaced with “prayer,” which allows us to introduce our children to the salvific reality of Christ and His Church. A fruit of this process is a desire to identify with the Church, which in turn allows them to identify with God the Father and their role as children of God within the Church. 

The Catechism (CCC 2565) teaches that prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure, with His Son Jesus Christ, and with the Holy Spirit. Prayer creates a communal bond, one forged through God, revealed through the Son and empowered by the Holy Spirit. God called man to prayer — His conversations with Adam as revealed in Scripture are a beautiful example of God praying for and with Adam and Eve both before and after the fall.

When we pray for our children:

  • We reassure their dignity and identity with God.
  • It reveals our love for them just as God reveals His love for us.
  • They begin to encounter Christ in their life and desire an intimate relationship with Him.
  • They begin to identify with the Church and not run away from it.
  • They recognize the importance of living a sacramental life rooted in the Blessed Trinity.
  • Most importantly of all they begin to recognize that they are not alone.  

 

Effective communicators respect and recognize the dignity of their audience. This fosters a communication “with” and not “at” the person. When we pray for our children, it should not be “at them” per se, but instead it should be “for and with them” as a means to bring them closer to Christ and His Church.  

The art of effective communication implies willingness to genuinely respect each other’s position and recognize one’s dignity as a fellow human. Proverbs offers the following counsel on effective communication, prudence, and fidelity: 

Published (until 12/27/2035)
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