The power of prayer in a family is the very foundation that keeps a family unit together. Most of you must have heard the phrase “A family that prays together stays together”. This concept is so true, as a family that has their focus on praying to the Almighty has a foundation that may be shaken at times, but it will withstand all that comes against them.
Majority of families rarely participate in activities together nowadays, and rather prefer to direct their attention to the television, computers or cell phones. They lack unity from God through prayers.
It’s important that parents have their children involved in family prayers, as this teaches them the importance of prayers and builds their relationship with the Almighty. The power of prayer in a family helps every family member to establish trust with one another, pray together, and come in agreement through God, which brings unity to the household.
“Be sure to teach the families to pray all together – father, mother, and children. For the family that prays together stays together, and if they stay together they will love one another as Jesus loves each one of them…I will be praying that the Lord will bring peace into the world through the love of fathers for their families…” ~ Mother Teresa
When I was younger I always found prayers to be boring because it just seemed like an endless stream of meaningless words. But later when I truly understood what prayer meant, my whole perspective about prayer changed, and I understood its meaning and reason. It’s simply the opening of one’s heart to the Almighty; it’s going to Him and telling Him everything in your heart.
What is prayer?
Prayer is a relationship, wherein we humbly worship, communicate, and seek God, knowing that He loves and hears us, and will respond to us, though not always in a manner we may desire or expect.
It is the utterance from our spirit to God, or talking to God is called prayer. We must have a humble heart when we pray and it’s our attitude in prayer that matter most.
We often get confused about prayers, so let’s check out what prayer is not-
- It is not magic, as we can’t summon God as if he’s a genie, who would grant our wishes instantly.
- It does not make demands.
- It is for our benefit, not God’s.
- It is not an opportunity for us to show off.
- It is not a guarantee against suffering.
Prayer in the family is important to manage and care for your family, teach them God’s ways, lead them towards God, and help them deal with life. A family with a heart for prayer for each other will have a heart for prayer for the world.
Grow to be the family that prays together. Prayers in a family draw you nearer to God, and the words uttered in prayer have wonder-working powers.
How can we pray in a family?
Prayer in a family can be done in many ways. It can be done by you in your closet, by praying together with your spouse or children, praying together as a family unit, and praying with friends. The power of prayer in a family not only lays a foundation for family life, it also surrounds your family with protection and peace.
“Prayers go up and blessings come down.” ~ Yiddish Proverb.
You can pray alone or among a group of people. Prayer can be spoken, sang aloud, or even thought inside one’s head, as sometime no words are necessary to convey what you feel; instead it’s a period of meditative thought and time spent between you and God.
Some families may choose spontaneous, less structured prayers, while others may prefer prearranged prayers or repetitions. In both cases, prayers are a privilege and require a commitment between parents, children, and God.
The main reasons as I see why we pray as a family is-
- To ask God for enlightenment, peace, strength, happiness, and contentment.
- To depend on God for help in tough times or when we are distressed.
- For giving us the ability to comfort, serve, and help others.
- To ask for tranquility from the Almighty when our mind is restless and tensed.
- To surrender ourselves completely to God.
- For expecting Him to decide what’s best for us when we are in a problem.
- To give us a pure and true heart, and make us abide in Him forever.
- To thank Him for his blessings and all that he has given us.
Most of us, single or married, are eternally part of some family in some-way, somehow, somewhere. And much of our joy in life comes as we correctly recognize and develop those relationships. We are alive and come to this earth with a mission to learn to love and serve one another, thus God placed us in families. I guess he knows that is where we can best learn to overcome pride and selfishness, sacrifice for others, and to make helpfulness, happiness, humility, and love the very essence of our character.
Along the way we learn that friends and neighbors come and go, but family is forever. Call your family together, and make your family prayer top priority. It may be awkward at first, if you haven’t been doing it, but just proceed and be consistent.
Every morning and every evening, sit together to pray or kneel in humility, giving each family member frequent opportunities to say the prayer and uniting in gratitude for the blessings given by Him. Regular prayer in the family draws family members nearer to God and to one another.
Our children learn to communicate with Him, we learn to be better prepared to serve others and withstand temptations, and our homes will be places of spiritual strength, a refuge from the evil influences of the world.
“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi.
Ever since my children started their schooling and now whenever they leave home, I would close the door behind them and whisper a prayer for them from my heart to God’s ears. Similarly, whenever any near or dear one is travelling a long distance or going out of the house, there is a silent moment I share with God and pray to keep them safe all through the journey. Also, the last thing I do at night before I close my eyes is pray, and give thanks to the Almighty for the day and keeping my family and everyone else safe.
Some families even have a tradition in their homes where all the family members hold hands around the table and in rotation; a different family member leads the family in a prayer of thanks before meals. This is such a wonderful way of giving thanks!
A great saying goes like this, “God gives free refills!”, and this works perfect for me, as my cup gets empty many times during the day, being a parent and living in a family. Talking to God is the best way I have ever found to recharge and renew!
Suggestions about prayer in a family
Some suggestions that the power of prayer in a family may work for you –
1- Pray regularly
Be consistent with prayers and keep a fixed time to pray every-day. The best times to pray with your child is when they are on the way to school (if you are driving them) or before they leave home, and at bedtime- regardless of age. You could pray for test, teachers, activities, and friends.
Once they become teenagers, the prayer time is best shifted to breakfast time. I know my kids have their own ways of saying their prayers before leaving school, and their prayers become a little longer on the day they have their tests!
Bedtime prayers can be more personal for each child, and as a family you can pray for their relationships, future mate, challenges, activities, and don’t forget to thank the Almighty for the wonderful day.
2- Set an example and pray with your child
It is easy to pray if it’s just between you and God. But as parents, you need to make your children part of your prayers, and make them sit with you when you pray. Be role models for your children and let them see you pray so that they learn it from you.
3- Pray together as a couple
Try and end each day in prayer as a couple, thanking Him for the day, the beautiful children you have (if you have), or for just being alive and well.
4- Prayer changes you
Parents often worry about their children and the company they are in, because they know that such company can influence them in either positive or negative ways. But the more time you spend time with God and pray as a family, the more your face will shine with the radiance of God.
Your nature will change, and so will your habits and lifestyle. You no longer live selfish lives but love others with a sincere and pure heart. The power of prayer in a family changes us from the inside, which soon gets reflected on the outside.
5- Prayer protects
It is important to pray for His protection on your family every day. Pray for your spouse, parents, children and so many others- every single day.
We hold a major responsibility as parents to make our kids aware of the importance of prayers in a family, as children are extremely vulnerable and the choices they make in their growing years will shape their future. My father always makes sure to say a small prayers before any of us travels long distance, and we do the same in our family.
6- Prayers heal
Studies indicate that those who pray are emotionally and physically healthier that those who don’t and it helps those who suffer from depression, anxiety, and even terminal illnesses. Pray even for those around you or those in need. Pray for spiritual, emotional, and physical healing for yourself, your family, and those around you.
7- Prayer strengthens relationships
The power of prayer in a family is known to strengthen relationships, as when we pray for those we know and love, it helps us to understand that person better. It makes us more patient and understanding in trying situations, and knowing that God will answer our prayers in his time, makes it easier.
8- Be creative
Try to involve all members of the family when you pray, and you may need to have more than one prayer if you have a large family and everyone has to be included. Be creative with your prayers and frame your words according to the different age groups. But learn to be adaptable and flexible to change, and be open to suggestions.
Take time to allow each family member to share their personal prayer request, and as your children have short attention spans, so keep family prayer brief.
Prayer is powerful, and the power of prayer in a family binds, loosens, heals, connects, and helps by bringing us closer to God, and allows us to build our relationships with Him as well as others.
“Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” ~Søren Kierkegaard.
Do you believe in the power of prayer? How do you pray in your family? Have you experienced or seen things made a difference when you pray?
Photo Credit: Mufan96