When I was growing up there was a saying, “The family that plays together stays together.” I’d like to put a different twist on that and say, “The family that prays together stays together!”
The importance of praying cannot be underestimated—it is our daily opportunity to be in conversation with God: to speak and listen; to praise and thank; to repent and ask forgiveness; to intercede for those who are sick or in need. The words of our heart go upward and if we are quiet and listen God will answer.
We can pray alone and we can pray together. We need to be intentional about teaching our children to pray. Can you recall the simple prayers you learned as a young child? At meals I remember praying: “God is great and God is good, let us thank Him for our food. Amen.” I also remember our bedtime prayer: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. In the morning when I awake, teach me the path of love to take. Amen.”
We still pray the prayer our sons learned at the Christian preschool they attended: “Come Lord Jesus be our guest, let this food to us be blessed.” That prayer has been said at our dinner table for more than 22 years. We add other words of thanks and remembrance to those simple but powerful lines throughout the year and at different seasons.
You can teach your child the words of a favorite prayer and pray together regularly each day. You can also teach your child to pray. One way is to begin by thanking and praising God. Next ask God to forgive something you regret. Remember to ask God to watch over those in need who are ill or suffering. We can ask God to help us to remember we belong to Him and to let us help show God’s love to the people we meet each day.
Be a family who prays together—who builds faith together—who trusts God every day and in every way. Thanks be to God who invites us to talk with Him and listen.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing…