Be sensitive to the personality differences in family members and their preferences, Don’t let those differences keep you from praying. Keep these things in mind to make family prayer work well for your family.
People are at different places in their prayer life
Don’t put pressure on anyone to pray in a certain way. Give permission for people to pray in their own way. However when you pray out loud it gives your kids a model to replicate and they will more than likely pray using phrases you use and repeat the same prayers – that’s ok they will grow. As you intentionally make this is continual practice you will see everyone will start to feel comfortable and feel safe praying with each other.
Prayer is an important component in all households
Make a commitment to pray. Encourage prayer often in your home helping your family discover that you can connect with God ANYTIME, ANYWHERE and ABOUT ANYTHING. Lead your kids in prayer so they will learn how to talk to God.
Prayer is about turning to God for answers
Some people fear their kids asking them a question they are not able to answer. That’s the beauty of prayer. It gives you the chance to turn these questions over to God. It’s ok to admit in prayer that we don’t have all the answers.
Prayer is personal development
Prayer is a way to grow closer to God and others. As you grow you change and everyone grows and changes at different paces so your family prayer life will always be growing and changing. Celebrate change and support each other’s spiritual growth spurts. Use prayer to teach your kids that they are very special to God and He cares about the things that matter to them, no matter how small anyone else thinks that is. Don’t rush things, praying every day will help everyone to develop naturally.
Anticipate and celebrate diversity
What works for one child may not work for the other, especially if you have children of different ages. Be willing to enjoy and try new kinds of prayers to match the differences of everyone in the family. Expect each person to be different and celebrate the way each is unique.
Take and make time for prayer
Everyone has busy schedules and it’s not always easy to get everyone together. But don’t be tempted to just go with what’s easy and leave anyone out of this time. Pick a time when everyone will be at home. Make it a standing date and you’ll be more likely to incorporate it into your life.
Prayer develops and consciousness of God’s presence
We can easily forget that God is always with us. We get caught up in our daily routine where it’s all about us and we forget there is an all knowing, all powerful God we can turn things over to. So prayer is a time to shut out the noise of the world and reconnect with God. Take some time during family prayer to just be aware of God’s presence, to be still, don’t let the silence make you feel uncomfortable. Prayer is not just about us talking to God but also listening.
Prayer brings you closer as a family and increases communication
Through prayer you will become more aware of what’s going on in each other’s lives. Prayer will be a way to see how God has been at work. Your kids will also gain insight into your relationship with God. Knowing more about each other should be a positive experience that increases further communication. As you share more your trust and love will increase, which makes it more natural to pray for each other.
Experience is the best teacher
You don’t learn to pray by reading a book. You learn to pray by praying. It will feel strange at first, sometimes embarrassing and uncomfortable but you will get better. You will look back and see how far you have come. Encourage your children to write their prayers down and in later years read it back and talk to them about how they grown in their friendship with God.