Although family schedules are often hectic with the demands of work and school, there are opportunities to create a special time to pray as a family.
We often hear “The family that prays together stays together,” and it’s true. In Matthew 18:20 (KJV) Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Parents can sustain and increase family unity by establishing family prayer.
Maybe you started a prayer time when your kids were young, but are having trouble maintaining that time now that your kids are teens, or maybe you want to start a family prayer time now. You will find that as your family prays together, you will develop a sense of closeness and unity in a common goal.
Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) tells us that family prayer time helps parents to train up their children in the truth: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Even if your teenagers are indifferent to prayer at this stage in their lives, the simple act of attending a family prayer time will help reinforce your Christian values and may have an effect on softening your teenager’s hearts to the truth. The same goes for an unbelieving spouse. Your passion and commitment to family prayer will be a continual witness in his or her life.
Opportunities to Pray as a Family:
– Families pray at mealtime and parents pray with children at bedtime. These routines are the perfect catalyst for family prayer.
– During mealtime, families often discuss what happened during the day. Use these discussions as a way to create prayer time after the meal is done. Ask each person to voice his or her biggest challenge of the day and pray together about this. Parents can help their kids focus by starting with their biggest challenge. Talk with smaller kids to help them see a challenge, such as sharing a toy.
– If you have more than one child, or the ages of your kids create differing bedtimes, gather as a family at the first bedtime hour and have a family bedtime prayer. You can still pray individually with smaller kids as you tuck them in, and have an opportunity to pray with teens as well.
– As your routines develop, you can add a weekly prayer time that can additionally strengthen your family bond. During the week, keep a list of situations and individual challenges for prayer. The list can be in a notebook or on a dry erase board that is easily accessible for family members. When your family comes together, review the list from the prior week and write down how God helped and / or answered those prayers.
– Your family can also pray for others or submit prayer requests to Pray it Forward.
Praying as a family helps Christians to keep the Word of God alive in their families and in their daily lives.
Hear, Israel: Yahweh is our God; Yahweh is one: and you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. These words, which I command you this day, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. —Deuteronomy 6:4-7, KJV