Lately, bedtime prayer has been a bit of a challenge with Gus, my four-year-old. He learned how to read a bit early, and he is already a voracious reader. So while I’d love for us to say my bedtime “Nonna prayers” — the “Now I Lay Me,” Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and “Bless Our Beds” prayer sequence that I said with my Italian grandma as a child — my son is usually begging for his book before we reach the Our Father.
Because of this, I was excited for the chance to review Guided Prayer for Little Ones by Kimberly Fries. Combining prayer with reading seemed like just the ticket for Gus.
When I got the book, I flipped through it and was a little concerned. There were no pictures, just simple discussion questions and prayers written on brightly colored pages. I was skeptical about whether this would help our nightly prayer time, but I figured it was worth a try.
Since my son has been happily attending our parish’s Montessori-style Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for over a year, I should have known that the beauty of the prayers and the simplicity of the format would be enough capture my son’s attention. Guided Prayer for Little Ones doesn’t need gimmicks to be an effective prayer resource. My son even surprised me with his thoughtful answers to the questions the book posed, like “Who would you like to pray for?” and “What did God give you today that you are thankful for?”
As for what Gus thought of the book, he said he liked it. His favorite part was “the nice prayers.” The next night, without any prompting, he asked to read the book again.
If that is not a sign of an effective prayer resource for little children, I don’t know what is!
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Copyright 2019 Monica Portogallo