The Prayer of a Parent

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May the Father bless you with a restful, peaceful and healthful sleep;
May you wake with the fire of the Holy Spirit, in the name of His Son, Jesus;
And may your guardian angel watch over you and protect you day and night.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

For as long as I can remember, this is how we ended the day in my family.  After our night prayers, my siblings and I would rush to our father’s side and await our nightly blessing.

When I would be away from home at a sleepover with friends, I’d ask for my blessing early, before leaving the house.  But if I forgot, I’d ask to call my dad and have him bless me over the phone.  The day that I went off to college, as my dad was helping me unpack and set up my room, he gave me a copy of the blessing to hang in my room and look at every night.  Even still, sometimes I’d need to call home and hear it from his mouth.  And at my wedding reception, he presented my new husband and I with a blessing for the two of us and invited all our friends and family to join in asking for God’s blessing for our new life together.

I learned in the school of the domestic church, that the prayer of a parent is powerful.  My brother and sisters know that our parents pray for our every need.  They pray for our hopes and dreams, our relationships,  our vocations, our holiness.  They pray for their marriage and their vocation as parents and ask God for his blessing on them as well.

The concrete example and living witness of parents is fundamental and irreplaceable in educating their children to pray.  
- Pope John Paul II, Familiaris consortio

God entrusts to the parent the precious gift of the child – her well-being, her formation as a person, her spiritual upbringing.  It is an incredible responsibility; one for which we will be accountable to God Almighty.  It is a vocation; its effects are eternal.  And it requires prayer.

I never realized just how powerful until a few weeks ago when I became a parent myself.  In those first moments when I held my daughter in my arms, I was overcome by the reality of this vocation.  And I could do nothing but turn to God and thank him for the gift of her life, and to beg him for the grace to be a good and Godly mother.

By reason of their dignity and mission, Christian parents have the specific responsibility of educating their children in prayer, introducing them to gradual discovery of the mystery of God and to personal dialogue with Him…
- Pope John Paul II, Familiaris consortio

It requires time and thought and energy:  a commitment to prayer as a family and for the family.  My husband and I are making plans on how we will pray as a family when she gets older, how we will make our home a domestic church, how we will pray for her and help her to grow in holiness.  It will be the most important thing we ever do for her.  And so, each night my husband and I bless her and trace the sign of the cross on her forehead, just as we did at her baptism, and I whisper to her the same prayer that my father still offers for me.

The dignity and responsibility of the Christian family as the domestic Church can be achieved only with God’s unceasing aid, which will surely be granted if it is humbly and trustingly petitioned in prayer.
- Pope John Paul II, Familiaris consortio

Editor’s Note: During the month of November, as we celebrate the final days of the Year of Faith, we’d like to feature stories from YOU about the blessings and fruits you’ve experienced during this year.  How did you celebrate?  What did you do to grow in faith? How did your relationship with Christ and His Church deepen?
Send us your stories and reflections to along with your contact information, and your reflection could be featured here on the blog in November!
Submissions should be under 500 words; deadline for submissions is October 31st.

Megan Swaim

About Megan Swaim

Megan works for the St. Pius X in Granger, IN as a high school youth minister. She recently moved to South Bend where she had no choice but to be swept up in the ND Fever! She and her husband Josh were recently married on the Feast of St. Andrew (Nov 30).