I’ve had this strong conviction in the last week to not only pray more intentionally for my children, but to share with you the how, what, and why. Really my prayer convictions have included my husband, myself, friends, and family as well. I’m being called into a more purposeful prayer life. The first part of this prayer life is the reminder or realization that prayer is a conversation with God–about anything, everything, and everyone. There is nothing too small or too big to take Him in prayer. I began this purposeful prayer the other day by consecrating my children to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
The word “Consecrate” means–to make or declare sacred; set apart or dedicate to the service of a deity; to devote or dedicate to some purpose (there’s my One Word “Purpose”). So to consecrate our children means to declare them sacred, to set them apart or dedicate them to the service of God. Consecrating my children to the service of God is the ultimate end of my prayer I believe. I can’t save them or make them believe in God but I can, through my prayers set them apart and dedicate them to His service. You may be saying, “Ok, so consecrate them to God. Why Jesus, Mary, and Joseph?” Let me share the prayer I used first and then we’ll talk about that.
O Jesus, only Son of God, only Son of Mary, I come to Thee as an unworthy parent, and I humbly consecrate to thy Most Sacred Heart, now and for eternity, the soul of my child N. I surrender him/her to Thy sweet yoke and place him/her at the foot of Thy Cross. I offer Thee for him/her the most loving Heart of Thy Most Holy Mother Mary, which is more precious and pleasing to Thee than all hearts, and I beg Thee by her merits to show Thyself to him/her a Savior.
O Mary, Mother of Jesus, I come to Thee as an unworthy parent, and I humbly consecrate to thy Most Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, now and for eternity, the soul of my child N. I offer Thee for him/her the most adorable Heart of Thy Son Jesus, who is the life, love and joy of Thy own Heart, and I beg Thee by the infinite merits of the Divine Son, Thou who art our Mother in the order of grace, to obtain the grace of salvation for my child.
O glorious St. Joseph, I come to thee and ask thee to take under thy special protection my child N. I consecrate him/her to thee today, that through this consecration he/she they may become your foster child. Guard him/her, guide his/her steps in life, and form his/her heart after the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
O glorious St. Joseph, who felt the tribulation and worry of a parent when the child Jesus was lost, protect him/her for time and eternity. May you be his/her father and counselor. Preserve him/her from the corruption of this world, and obtain for us the grace to be united in heaven forever. Amen.
Blessed be the Most Sacred and Loving Heart of Jesus and the most Immaculate Heart of Mary in eternity and forever. Amen.
St Joseph, pray for us. Amen.
(CONSECRATION OF ONE’S CHILDREN TO JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH adapted from a prayer by St John Eudes and other sources: Parents should pray the consecrations below for each of their children at least once during their lives. Parents can render no greater service to their children than to implore their salvation, and indeed, they will of necessity render almighty God an account of their efforts in this regard.)
This is a beautiful prayer and I said once shared we would start considering why we’re consecrating our children to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph if what we want to do is consecrate them to God. Let me share a story. This story may be familiar to those who have made a Total Consecration. I may not get the story just right, but close enough that you will understand the gist of it.
There once was a poor farmer who owned a small apple orchard. One day he picked a small handful of his best apples to give to the king. Even though his intentions were pure and sweet, his apples had some bruised spots, a couple of worm holes, and a few were small. He had the idea to take them to the queen to then give to the king on his behalf. The queen loved the king very much and was happy to present the poor farmer’s gift to him, but first, she trimmed away the bruised spots, cut out the worm holes and neatly sliced and arranged the apples on a silver tray. The poor farmer was astonished at the difference! The queen had taken his poor, imperfect gift and with her loving touch transformed it.
Look at the first section of this prayer, “I offer to Thee on his [my child’s] behalf the most loving heart of Thy Most Holy Mother, which is more precious and pleasing to Thee than all hearts.” Mary is the queen presenting an imperfect gift to a perfect King on our behalf. (Please, do not leave me comments about how we only have one mediator. If you wish to argue that point, then I will assume you never ask anyone to pray for you or on your behalf.) We are taking our prayers, made from a selfish, imperfect heart and giving them to Jesus’ Mother, asking her intercession with us and on our behalf. I know when Chris’ mom was still alive, there were times I would seek her prayers. I figured who knew better to pray for him than his own momma.
Now look at the second section, “I beg Thee [Mary] by the infinite merits of Thy Divine Son, Thou who art our Mother in the order of grace, to obtain the grace of salvation for my child.” I honestly believe anyone who has an issue with seeking Mary’s intercession must not have had a mother who interceded for them here on earth. I know my own children have said to me, “Will you ask daddy for me? He may say yes if you ask.” I know my children have said, “Will you talk to the coach, the bank, the store clerk…they may listen to you.” And don’t we all have that friend or family member who just seems to have a direct line from their lips to God’s ear?
And in the third and fourth sections of this prayer we ask St. Joseph’s intercession. He was the foster, earthly father of Jesus Christ. How many girls are a daddy’s girl–even when they’re full grown women, mommas of their own even! And how many guys will always find their first best friend in their dad? Again, I believe the prayers of a parent, even for an adult child with a spouse and children of their own, can be so very powerful. Mary and Joseph were our Lord’s earthly parents and I believe they hold that same parental prayer power.
So this consecration was the beginning of my more purposeful prayer life for my children. I believe this would be a beautiful prayer to prayer over and for our children at least once a year, maybe on their birthday even.