The National Day of Prayer is an American day of observance that occurs each year on the first Thursday in May. People gather together in churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, schools and homes to take a moment to reflect on both challenges and blessings.
It is a great day to celebrate your own family’s religious beliefs as well as learn about the religious beliefs of others. Discovering common ground is a first step toward fostering respect of others and the value of differences. Prayer itself is common ground between the world’s religions.
The library has many books of prayers and stories for children that will help you explore with your child what the prayer traditions are in your family and what those traditions are in other families whose religion or culture is different than yours. Some of the books collect prayers from several different religions so that you can learn about several at one time. Other books tell the story of a single person or family and what it means to them to pray. After sharing one talk about the ways the character in the story prayed that were the same as how you pray in your own house. How were the prayers different? Listed below are some of our favorites to help you get started.
A Child’s Book of Prayers and Blessings: from Faiths and Cultures Around the World is a collection of poems and prayers for children about things both great and small.
Talking to God: Prayers for Children from the World’s Religions – In this book of short prayers from major world religion you will find many well-known prayer favorites. You will also find prayers from across the globe that you have probably never heard before.
Everyone Prays: Celebrating Faith Around the World – Shows young readers that the practice of prayer can be found in religions around the world.
Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving – Meditations on what it means to be truly grateful are paired with meticulous and exquisite cut-paper illustrations to give you a collection of more than 50 graces, poems and praise songs harvested from a wide range of cultures, religions, and voices.
The Always Prayer Shawl – At the outbreak of the revolution in Czarist Russia, Adam’s grandfather gives him a prayer shawl that was given to him by his own grandfather. As Adam sets sail for a new land, the life of Adam and his shawl unfolds from the past to the present, when Adam has a grandson of his own.
Baby Blessings: a Prayer for the Day You are Born – Celebrates the blessings that parents wish for their newborn babies through a prayer that emphasizes family bonds.
Beautiful Moon: a Child’s Prayer – Under a radiant moon and surrounded by all the noises of the city at night, a little boy prays for those in need, for wars to end, for the sick to be healed, and for all the members of his family.
Blueberry Girl – Rhyming text expresses a prayer for a girl to be protected from such dangers as nightmares at age three or false friends at fifteen, and to be granted clearness of sight and other favors.
Brother Sun, Sister Moon: Saint Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Creatures – Re-imagines Francis of Assisi’s 1224 prayer of praise in celebration of God’s gifts throughout the universe.
Deep in the Sahara – An Arab girl of the Sahara who wants to wear a malafa, the veiled dress worn by her mother and older sister, learns that the garment represents beauty, mystery, tradition, belonging, and faith.
Don’t let Auntie Mabel Bless the Table – An extended family gathers for Sunday dinner, but the food grows cold as Auntie Mabel’s prayer encompasses everything and everyone in sight.
The Gift of the Sacred Dog – In response to an Indian boy’s prayer for help for his hungry people, the Great Spirit sends the gift of the Sacred Dogs, horses, which enable the tribe to hunt for buffalo.
In Your Hands – A prayer from mother to son that he will always be in safe hands.
The Lord’s Prayer and Other Classic Prayers for Children – The prayers in this collection include the Lord’s Prayer and other traditional prayers such as those by John Milton, Mother Teresa, and St. Francis of Assisi. The prayers are divided into categories like morning, nighttime prayers, praise and forgiveness.
Our Father – Explores the meaning behind each line of the Lord’s Prayer.
Prayer for a Child – A prayer full of the intimate gentleness for familiar things, the love of friends and family, and the kindly protection of God. Though it was written for one little girl, the prayer is for all boys and girls, and it carries a universal appeal. Caldecott Medal Winner, 1945.
Thank You God – Offers readers of all ages and backgrounds the perfect chance to reflect on all the things that they have to be grateful for. It is a celebration of family and friends, of homes and food to share, and of the wonder of creation from the first light of day to the calm, peaceful night.
Time to Pray – When young Yasmin goes for a visit, her grandmother teaches her a Muslim’s daily prayers, makes special prayer clothes, and gives a gift that will help Yasmin remember when to pray. Includes facts about prayer customs.
The Way of the Cross – A book to help children follow and meditate on the Stations of the Cross. Beautifully illustrated and simply written, this little guide is a powerful introduction to this important prayer of the Church.