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It’s not too difficult a thing to encourage our children to pray, especially if we lead by example, but as they grow it’s a wonderful thing to teach them how to pray just as Christ taught us how to pray with the Lord’s prayer. Structure is very beneficial to all of us, particularly for the less mature Christian who many not have words come easily or who may be easily distracted in prayer or devotional time. Even for the mature Christian, structured prayers and psalms are great tools to be able to use in times of trouble, joy, and life in general.

Before all else, let us list sincere thanksgiving first on the scroll of our prayer. On the second line, we should put confession and heartfelt contrition of soul. Then let us present our petition to the King of all. This is the best way of prayer.

St. John Climacus

Morning prayer:

Arising from sleep I thank thee, O holy Trinity, because of the abundance of thy goodness and long-suffering thou wast not wroth with me, slothful and sinful as I am; neither hast thou destroyed me in my transgressions: but in thy compassion raised me up, as I lay in despair; that at dawn I might sing the glories of thy Majesty. Do thou now enlighten the eyes of my understanding, open my mouth to receive thy words, teach me thy commandments, help me to do thy will, confessing thee from my heart, singing and praising thine All-holy Name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Prayer at the Beginning of the Day – Metropolitan Philaret:

O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely upon Your holy will. In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforseen events let me not forget that all are sent by You. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray. Pray You Yourself in me. Most Holy God, I pray and beseech you, give me a pure heart, a way of speaking that befits the faith I profess. Grant me uprightness of purpose, powers of reasoning unhindered by passions, conduct that becomes those who fear you, and perfect knowledge of your commandments. May I enjoy health in body and in spirit. Grant me a life of peace, genuine faith and living hope, sincere charity and bountiful generosity, patience that knows no bounds and the light of Your truth to proclaim Your goodness to me, that for ever and in all things placing my trust only in You, I may abound in every good work, and that in Christ Your gifts may increase in every soul. For to You belong all glory, honor and majesty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Mealtime prayer:

Christ our God, bless the food and drink of your servants, for you are holy always, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen. Blessed is God, who has mercy upon us and nourishes us from his bountiful gifts by his grace and love always, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen. 

Bedtime prayers:

Lord, Jesus Christ, You received the children who came to You. Receive also from Your child this evening prayer. Shelter me under the protection of Your wings that I may lie down in peace and sleep. Awaken me in due time that I may glorify You, for You alone are good and love all people. Into Your hands, O Lord Jesus Christ, I commend my spirit and body; bless me, save me, and grant me eternal life. The Father is my hope, the Son is my refuge, the Holy Spirit is my shelter. Holy Trinity, glory to You. Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.

O Lord our God, if during this day I have sinned, whether in word or deed or thought, forgive me all, for thou art good and lovest mankind. Grant me peaceful and undisturbed sleep, and deliver me from all influence and temptation of the evil one. Raise me up again in proper time that I may glorify thee; for thou art blessed: with thine Only-begotten Son and thine All-holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Prayer for the sick:

O Lord Almighty, the Healer of our souls and bodies, You Who put down and raise up, Who chastise and heal also; do You now, in Your great mercy, visit our brother (sister) (Name), who is sick. Stretch forth Your hand that is full of healing and health, and get him (her) up from his (her) bed, and cure him (her) of his (her) illness. Put away from him (her) the spirit of disease and of every malady, pain and fever to which he (she) is bound; and if he (she) has sins and transgressions, grant to him (her) remission and forgiveness, in that You love mankind; yea, Lord my God, pity Your creation, through the compassions of Your Only-Begotten Son, together with Your All-Holy, Good and Life-creating Spirit, with Whom You are blessed, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Prayer for parents:

Our Father, who art in heaven, bless my father and mother, my guardians, and those who are in authority over me, for their love and tender care for me, and for the benefits I receive at their hands. Help me, I pray Thee, to be respectful and obedient toward them in all things according to Thy will, and give me Thy grace to perform all of my duties carefully and faithfully, to avoid undesirable company and influence, and to resist all temptation that may come my way; that I may live a sober, righteous and godly life, ever praising Thee, and glorifying Thy holy name. Amen.

Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
   He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
     he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.
 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long

How can young people keep their way pure? By guarding it according to Your word. With my whole heart I seek You; do not let me stray from your commandments. I treasure Your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against You. Blessed are You, O Lord;
    teach me Your statutes. With my lips I declare all the ordinances of Your mouth. I delight in the way of Your decrees as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

Psalm 119:9-16

Do not be intimidated by these prayers, especially the more lengthy ones. Children are brilliant and have a great ability for memorization and retention. Recite Scripture with them and to them. Repeat important prayers. Give them tools for their spiritual growth and they will hide them in their hearts forever.