All prayer is a conversation between you and God. However, as St. Paul suggests in the Letter to the Romans, we so often "know not how to pray". Thus, in Luke’s Gospel we hear the Apostles ask of Jesus, “Master teach us how to pray”. Jesus teaches us prayers like the Sign of the Cross and the Our Father so that we have a model for how to pray privately and so that we have perfect words to capture the most intimate longings of the human heart when we pray as a community of believers.
It is important that children learn the traditional formulas of prayer of the Church so that they can enter into the great human dialogue with God- the dialogue of prayer- which as Catholics we believe is a foretaste of life everlasting. Most importantly, children need to be taught the prayers of the Mass, because ultimately the prayer of the Mass, the prayer of Jesus to His Father, and the public prayer or Divine Liturgy (work) of the Church is the most perfect prayer and a foretaste of the perfect prayer of heaven.
But how can we know these prayers unless someone teaches us? Prayers must be learned, they must be practiced, and they must be habitually prayed if they are to lead us into the conversation with our God that every human heart longs for. Below are PDF files of the three levels of prayers to help you practice these prayers with your family.
Level I should be started in first grade and mastered by grade two, these are the basic prayers that every Catholic should know including the Our Father and Act of Contrition.
Level II should be started upon mastering the Level I prayers and known by grade five. Level II consists of the main people’s parts of the Holy Mass.
Level III should follow the Level II prayers and be mastered by the BEGINNING of grade eight. This level includes the prayers of the Rosary as well as the Prayer to the Holy Spirit.
The Catholic Encyclopedia on Prayer
How to pray the Rosary
Catholic Prayer Resources