Family Home Evening Prayer - A Great Time To Strengthen Family
By: Deb Cook
Prayer brings peace & strength to withstand trials.
Sometimes we may say our prayers out of habit not realizing the importance of prayer or what we should say in them. Prayer brings blessings and peace to your home. Something that Jesus taught is “Pray in your families unto the father, always in my name, that you and your children may be blessed” (3 Nephi 18:21).
Make time to pray together as a family, praying regularly during the day and before and after Family Home Evening. “Make family prayer a priority. When you and your family pray to God “with all the energy of heart” (Moroni 7:48), your family can receive strength to withstand the trials and challenges that too often tear many families apart. You can be filled with Gods love for each other and those around you.” (Why Is Family Prayer Important? | ComeUntoChrist, 2021)
Prayer fosters patience, humility & kindness.
Saying your individual prayers is important but when you are praying together as a family, the spirit can provide feelings of love and a spirit of comfort in your home. Family prayer can alleviate tension and bring a continuing joy to your family. It can help you become more patient and forgiving of others. Prayer also fosters humility and kindness.
Heavenly Father knows who we are and what we need. He is mindful of us in our journey here on earth and has a desire for us to talk with him and invite him and his spirit into our home. He hopes we will come unto him in prayer. If we take time to pray as a family, we can become closer to our Heavenly Father. As we are kneeling and praying as a family, we are experiencing more than just talking with our Heavenly Father. We are showing our faith. We are choosing to serve him through our daily prayers.
When we pray for the members of our family they know we love them.
When we pray together as a family, it strengthens the love we have for one another. When we pray for things specific to the members of our family they understand that we care, that we think about them and their success and wellbeing. We should all care about the things that are important to the members of our family. If it is important to them it should be important to us.. When we pray for each other together, our family members can feel how much we desire for them to be happy. For example your child might pray that their brother does well in his upcoming soccer game, or that their sister does well on her test. Maybe they pray that their Dad has a successful meeting, or that grandma's doctor helps her find a way to feel better. Whatever you have going on in your life there is nothing too small or too big to bring to the Lord. When we show the people in our family that we care about them by praying for them, and with them, something magical happens. They know we care, they know they matter, and they feel loved .
Prayer is a great way to serve others.
Prayers not only bring blessings to our families but when you are praying together as a family, it can also help to think of the needs of others. This can be a blessing for your children to see and focus on the needs of other not in your family who may be in need of help. Maybe they know someone who is sad, or a widow in your ward that needs some extra attention. Maybe a family you know had someone pass away and you decide to pray together for them to find comfort. There are so many people in the world who need our help and one of the most powerful ways we can help them is through prayer. When we teach our children to pray for others, they realize how small their own problems are. This type of service is powerful for both the giver and receiver.
“Prayer becomes more meaningful as we counsel with the Lord in all of our doings, as we express heartfelt gratitude, and as we pray for others.” (David A. Bednar)
We have an opportunity to pray for our leaders.
When you are praying, you may also want to remember the leaders serving throughout the world, in your area and within the church. When saying prayers together as a family, it can help bring the focus to those around you and help create a deeper love for others. Those serving in the ward or in the area can use all the help they can get to complete the tasks they have been asked to do by the Lord. When we pray for them we are mindful of their efforts and it helps us to think about ways we can help them as they serve. When we sustain the members of our ward in their new callings, we promise to support them, and one of the best ways for us to do that is by praying for them.
You are perfect in your prayers.
Never feel your prayers need to be formal or memorized or said in a certain way. We are all able to speak to Heavenly Father in any way that is best for us. We are able to speak with him as though we are talking with another person in front of us. He does not expect you to say your prayers the same way every day with your families. He wants you to take the time to sincerely talk with him and open your heart to him. A few ways that may be helpful for your family when starting or working on your daily prayer is remembering to make it simple and remind yourself that you are having a conversation with your Father in Heaven. Share your feelings and thoughts with him. Communicate your gratitude, ask for extra blessings you and your family might need.
When praying as a family, ask one person to pray for the family. You may want everyone to kneel together to show reverence. Or perhaps you hold hands together as a family while you pray. Be sure each person gets a turn every day and help them in their efforts, if needed, when they pray. If you set aside a special time every day to pray, you will find more success. Praying together as a family at the beginning of the day is a great way to start the day. You have connected with our Heavenly Father and you send your children out into the world with a level of protection. Praying together as a family at the end of the day is a great way to gain closure for the day. After you Pray together as a family, hugs are always the cherry on top, a great way to show you love each other at the end of a long day.
“God has counseled us to “cry into him in your houses, yea over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening” (Alma 34:21). This life is full of challenges, tough decisions, and temptations. He wants us to pray often to him, so he can always be with us and with those we love most. In other words, “let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually” (alma 34:27). Aim to pray as a family at least once, hopefully twice a day, and encourage the other members of your family to pray on their own as well.” (Why Is Family Prayer Important? | ComeUntoChrist, 2021)
Prayer not only blesses our families and brings peace, joy and love, but it is also a way for us to show our gratitude for our Heavenly Father and all he does for us. It gives us time to ponder about all the blessings he provides for us in our lives. In the process you will begin to feel the love he has for you and your family.
Think about family prayer.
Take some time to think about how you and your family can enhance your family prayers. What can you teach your family about prayer this week? Who can you pray for specifically together as a family? What time is the best for your family to pray together?
Why Is Family Prayer Important? | ComeUntoChrist. (2021). Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day-Saints. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/comeuntochrist/belong/family/family-prayer#:%7E:text=Prayer%20strengthens%20your%20family&text=You%20are%20demonstrating%20faith.,children%20for%20generations%20to%20come.