Praying with children: Saying bedtime prayers

It’s bedtime. We’ve read books, asked for more books, realized we are thirsty, had some water, and stalled a thousand different ways. But it’s getting late, and Mama’s not budging anymore.
Now it’s time for prayers.
“Our Father, who art in heaven…”
Then we start our list of intentions. Every night is a little different, depending on attention spans and whether people are too tired or antsy or getting the giggles.
We always try to pray for everyone we have promised to pray for, even if we don’t list everyone by name.

Some nights we pray for people who don’t have a warm place to sleep.
Some nights we pray for children waiting to meet their parents, and sometimes people who are hoping to become parents, too.
Sometimes we pray for our family, for our teachers, for our friends.
Often we pray for the people in China who love our boys, and for all those who helped bring us together.
Many nights the intentions are up to me or Baba. Tonight I thank God aloud—as I often do—for making us a family. I add a prayer for people who are sick or afraid or alone.
Then, without warning, Daniel pipes up.
“And God,” he says sweetly and seriously, “please bless people who don’t have an H in their names.”
It’s a new one for us. But I like it—and not just because it includes me. Maybe tomorrow we’ll pray for everyone who does have an H. Then we will have wrapped the whole world in prayer.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.