Not “preys” together! Though it can be thought along these very lines.
The Bible instructs us to “Rejoice always, praise continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” 1 Thess 5:16-18.
Prayer is said to be the breath that gives life to any Christian home. Many families say grace at the dinner table and most say a simple prayer with their kids before bedtime. The question is, do you want to do more? Do you want your family prayer time to make a difference? Here are SIX benefits of praying together as a family:
1. COMMUNICATES SPIRITUALITY AND BRINGS FAITH TO LIFE. Actively praying with your children shows them that prayer and the power of it is real. Prayer is the most important tradition we can pass down to our children and prayer is our greatest Christian privilege. We need to actively connect with God and prayer is our direct life line to Him.
2. FAMILY PRAYER CREATES GRATEFULNESS. Following instruction from the Bible on how to pray Philippians 4:6 says that with THANKFUL hearts make known your requests to God. I always teach my children to say thank you for at least three things before asking God for something. This way we are not only teaching our kids to pray correctly to God but also how to identify blessings and things to be grateful for.
3. BUILDS COMMUNAL FAITH AND INDIVIDUAL CONNECTION WITH GOD. Praying together as a family creates a unique opportunity for deeper bonds and building up of family faith. At the same time while building a foundation of family faith, your children will also strengthen their individual connection and relationship with God. By listening to each other’s prayers we can learn from each other as well as encourage one another.
4. PROMOTES GOOD HEALTH- LOWERS STRESS, AND HEALING. Studies have proven over and over again how prayer and spirituality have physical benefits. It’s been proven that ‘spiritual people’ have the ability to better cope with stress, they heal faster from illness, and they experience increased benefits to their health and well-being. On an intellectual level, spirituality has the ability to connect people to the world, which in turn enables them to stop trying to control things all by themselves. When you feel part of a greater whole, it’s easy to understand that you aren’t responsible for everything that happens in life.
5. OPENS HEARTS TO FORGIVENESS AND ABILITY TO TOLERATE EACH OTHER’S DIFFERENCES. Connecting with God through prayer creates a level of vulnerability where one has to be honest and where one has to forgive in order to be forgiven. The Bible teaches us on forgiveness and grace – which are great ‘rules’ to have in any household. Praying also helps one develop a deeper level of grace and forgiveness towards each other.
6. CREATES OPPORTUNITY FOR TRUE CONNECTION AND LEGACY OF ANSWERED PRAYERS. Praying together as a family and being witness to prayers answered is a great builder of faith. If we want our kids to believe in the power of prayer, we need to show them that it really works! I suggest starting a family prayer journal and writing down prayer requests and them being answered is a great way to reflect back as a family on God’s faithfulness.
Praying can seem overwhelming and intimidating to children but teach your kids that prayers can be short and informal – like having a conversation with God. Actively praying together as a family is the most powerful tool we received from God in which we can teach our kids how to connect and serve our Heavenly Father. We have such a short space of time during which we have the ability to teach our kids the most important things of life.