Focus: Birthday celebrations
Before You Begin:
Start this new creative prayer tradition on the next birthday of a family member.
The Prayer Time!
When you’re ready to sing “Happy Birthday” and have the birthday boy or girl (or mom, dad, grandparent or whomever!) blow out the candles, stop for a moment and ask each person to think silently of something they’re thankful for about the person celebrating today. Then, as you light each candle, have people take turns praying out loud a short, one-sentence prayer of thanks about the birthday person.
For example, if Gigi is turning six, family members might say,
- “God, thanks that Gigi has lots of energy.”
- “Thank you for Gigi’s happy smile.”
- “Lord, I’m glad for Gigi’s helpful attitude.”
- “I’m thankful that Gigi gives great hugs.”
- “God, thank you for helping Gigi learn to tie his own shoes.”
- “Thanks for sending Gigi to our family!”
When six prayers (one for each candle) have been offered, go ahead and sing “Happy Birthday” and have the child blow out the candles.
This tradition can be carried on for every family member, no matter how old or young. However, once you get into the teen years and above you may find it safer to pray before lighting the candles–unless you’re fast prayers or have tall candles!
Option: This prayer adventure may also be used to celebrate Baptism anniversaries. Light a Baptismal candle to remember and rejoice at new birth.
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