It’s bedtime at the Walczak family's 1850s farmhouse. Shauna and Jonathan Walczak are ready to pray with Grace, 3, and Augustine, 2.
They sing the "Our Father" and "Thank You God for Loving Me," which is set to the tune of the ABCs.
"Lord, I thank you for the help I received from Grace for vacuuming and Augustine for helping clean off the table, and I thank you for the snuggles I received at naptime and the warm sunlight and Daddy," prays Shauna Walczak.
"I’m thankful for the extra time I can spend with Grace and Augustine," prays Jonathan Walczak.
He says he and his wife want their children to develop personal relationships with God. They also have worked to make their prayers kid-friendly, Shauna Walczak says.
She notes that prayer brought the family together: She prayed for her husband before ever meeting him. Now they pray for Grace and Augustine's faith and vocations, for their baby in heaven and for the baby expected to arrive around the first of the year. They also pray for each other.
"We try to make it a part of our daily lives as husband and wife," she says.
Words of praise and encouragement ripple like a stream from the lips of members of the Diocesan Charismatic Prayer Group as they pray for each others' intentions.
"Gracious God, thank you, thank you, Lord," they say.
Charismatic prayer groups encourage people to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit they received at baptism and confirmation, such as singing, prophesying, speaking in tongues, and offering up wisdom or knowledge.
For example, member Ann Bartholomew offers wisdom to the group.
"God is so vast and so great, it’s mind boggling that this creator can love us down to this tiny little thing," she says after reflecting on a Scripture reading.
After the meeting, Bartholomew says she attributes several unexplained physical and emotional healings in her life to the power of prayer.
"We pray regardless (of the outcome) and thank God when we see good results," she says. "If everybody was praying around the world, everything would be amazing."