Recently, in a leading scientific magazine article, researchers showed a connection between longer life and prayer. The result of their investigation found that people who had faith in God and prayed lived longer than those who did not have faith and did not pray. This is really not surprising since a person who trusts in God will have fewer worries than someone who relies on their own strength.
Let’s look briefly at two kinds of family prayer – the prayer between husband and wife, and the prayer of the whole family together. Prayer between husband and wife is such a powerful tool to keep married couples together and growing, yet, couples too often neglect it.
The reasons couples say they do not pray together, “We don’t have the time,” “It makes me uncomfortable,” “We don’t know how to pray together.”
Put aside all of your excuses, and just start praying together, no matter how awkward or uncomfortable you may feel. Your awkward feelings will gradually disappear.
Prayer will give you quality time together. Prayer helps us move into the deeper part of our lives – the important part that often gets left behind in the shuffle of our daily busy-ness. In prayer we open ourselves to hearing the voice of God in our lives.
We should always make important decisions with prayer. When we bring our important matters to prayer, it often gives us a necessary context for discussion outside our prayer time. So, often in life, we decide something without asking for God’s guidance.
Prayer can help couples experience more intimacy in your relationship. Prayer requires an honesty that can bring a husband and wife very close as they journey though life together. As you share your thoughts and feelings in your prayer, you will come to know each other in a very deep and beautiful way. You will base your knowledge on a shared faith in a caring God who loves you both.
The second type of prayer is family prayer. When I was growing up, we used to have this saying, “The family that prays together, stays together.”
I think this is also true today. Jesus has told us, “Where two or three gather in my name, I am there among you.”
Prayer brings a special presence of God. God becomes the bond between praying family members.
Unfortunately, many families shrug their shoulders and say it cannot be done today. This is sad because we cannot allow our lives as believers to be dictated by the non-believing world. If we believe in something, we know that to achieve that goal, we must do whatever we have to do.
Your family prayer time could be once a week, a few times a week, or even every day. It is up to you to decide what would be best for your particular family. So, don’t use the excuse, “We cannot do it every day – that’s impossible.” Do it when you can, but make sure that you have some basic commitment about when that will be. Then, trust that God will help you be faithful to that commitment to prayer together.
Structure your prayer so that even the youngest member can participate. Prayer is basically a conversation with God. You have to experiment with some forms of prayer until you find one that is good for your family.
Prayer changes us. Prayer changes others and families. Prayer changes the church. Prayer changes the world.
Too many Christians are living off prayers prayed long ago. We, as families and individuals, need to talk to our loving God about what is happening in our world today. Talk as a family this week and decide to start praying very soon. If you do, you will be blessed.
Posted on Fri, January 16, 2015
by Rev. Wilmer L. Todd