How do we teach our children how to pray? This way my question in a conversation with our former associate pastor at St. George, Rev. Fr. Joseph Huneycutt (now pastor of St. Joseph Orthodox Church in Houston, TX) many moons ago.
I sat down in his office with the feeling of a heavy burden. We were discussing the practice of prayer. I was expressing my concern, being their Youth Director, on the importance of prayer. So, I asked the blunt question: How do I teach our children how to pray?
Looking for some words of wisdom, encouragement, and guidance, I had great anticipation in hearing his response to my question. Fr. Joseph calmly said, "you don't."
An awkward silence fell upon the room. I'm thinking to myself: okay, thanks a lot! You're no help!
But alas, his great lesson for me began:
"One learns how to pray at home, and implements that prayer when he comes to Church."
This is a great warning for parents; certainly not to be taken lightly for its an awesome responsibility. As a youth, our parents are our beacon for everything. From our parents, we learn so much that help us throughout of lives. They teach us right from wrong, basics of eating, talking, walking, etc.
From our parents, we receive all knowledge, sustenance, and guidance. Why should our ability and desire to pray to God be any different?
- A Day in the Life of the Youth Director