Do you ever wonder what family prayer time looks like for someone else?
I sure do.
Now in all fairness, the girls were hamming it up a bit for the camera, BUT it isn’t too far-fetched from what family prayer time in our home looks like when the camera is off.
Family Prayer Time with Children
What it looks like:
I feel for family prayer time to be effective there are a few key components you need:
- Consistency – Have family prayer time around the same time every night. It doesn’t necessarily have to be right at 7 pm, but make it part of the routine: clean-up, bath time, story, prayer, bed. Or whatever works for you. Having it happen at the “same” time every night helps to establish it as something of importance.
- Modeling - The adults (and older children!) should model proper prayer time behavior. What I mean by proper is not necessarily hands folded and head bowed. I’m talking about not interrupting or talking during someone’s prayer, staying seated or standing during prayer time (or at least staying in the same ROOM for younger kiddos!), and being reverent as possible. After all, we are speaking to our Father.
What it does not look like
- Rigid, controlled – I am all for being reverent and respectful, but if you have young children, they may not understand what reverence is (or what it looks like!). I believe family prayer time should be a fun experience! (This is coming from Ms. Type-A, in-control herself )
- Rote memorization – We pray for pretty much the same people every night, but we also try to change it up some. It’s easy to fall into the thank-you-for-mommy-daddy-sisters prayer and leave it at that. We like to bring up specific prayer needs for our friends, family, extended circles, and even for the five of us.
For the record, I am an eyes open, observing the room around me type of pray-er. My children only see heads bowed/eyes closed in Sunday school and church. The girls have the option of bowing and closing their eyes, or not. If you are going to the Lord with a glad heart, that other stuff doesn’t matter. I will admit, eyes closed cuts down on the distractions! Ha!