Ask yourself, “Self, does my family look and act as they should towards their faith?” If you, like most of us answer “Self” honestly it would be a big fat no! It is comforting to know you are definitely not alone! Family prayer is not practiced enough!
In many years of working in RCIA programs in different parishes, I was able to get to know all sorts of backgrounds. Catholic fall away, Protestant fall away, separated brothers and sisters of assorted faith backgrounds. Consequently, they all had something in common. Most were good Christians but they did not pray as a family at all.
Family Prayer Mission Critical
Family prayer is a critical necessity in every Christian family. Our eternal life depends upon it. Pretty brave statement, I realize. But lets face it, we need to pray for our spouses, our children, our parents. I wrote in a blog a little while back on responsibilities to our children, and how we are examples of the faith. Most importantly is our coming together as a family, to pray and to do it daily.
Suggestions on Prayer
You can make it as simple or complex as you like. My advice however would be to start small. Simply begin with going around and asking everyone what they are thankful for then you can begin with the Sign of the Cross, a Hail Mary, Our Father and Glory Be. Keep it simple as you begin. You can add things like scripture readings, Saint Feast days, and assorted prayers as you go.
For example, we gather together and pray the Liturgy of the Hours Night prayer every night as a family. Once a week we pray a rosary in addition to our Night prayer. Additionally, we begin with announcing our petition as a family each evening. Make it a time of togetherness and let the children take part.
Call to the MISSION
In my recent 5 minute video series I spoke in regards to the Family. We all need to work on being the best. Every father reading this, and those who are not reading, represent God the Father. He is who gave Fatherhood its identity. Each of us are called to live out the image of Jesus and His love of the Church. Therefore, we should love our wives and our families like Christ loved the Church. Subsequently, we also are called to imitate and live in the image of St. Joseph. Those are three really big shoes to fill!
Below is a favorite prayer of mine. It is for Christian Families and I mentioned it in my video. Pray this prayer daily, include it in your family’s prayer. As we strive to be the best we can be, in the image of the True Father, and be the Image of the Holy Family to all around us, may God Bless and Keep you!
Prayer for Christian Families
O Lord God of goodness and mercy, Who in the midst of an evil and sinful world hast presented to the society of the redeemed the Holy Family of Nazareth as a spotless mirror of piety, justice and love, behold how the family is being undermined on all sides, every effort being made to desecrate it by stripping it of faith, religion and morals.
Regard the work of Thy own hands. Safeguard in our homes the domestic virtues, for these alone will ensure us harmony and peace.
Come and stir up the champions of the family. Bestir the modern apostles so that in Thy Name, bearing the message of Jesus Christ and exhibiting holiness of life, they may revive the doctrines of conjugal fidelity for married couples, the exercise of authority by parents, obedience on the part of children and modesty on the part of girls. Grant also through the efforts of these apostles, that the home favored by Thee with many blessings may again become an object of esteem and love in the minds and hearts of all.
It is through the examples of the Divine model of Nazareth that the Christian family is to be restored in Jesus Christ and to recover its former respect and dignity. Then every home will again become a sanctuary and in every household will be rekindled the flame of faith to teach patience in adversity and moderation in prosperity and to promote order, peace and harmony in all things.
Under Thy paternal gaze, O Lord, and with confidence in Thy Providence and in the loving patronage of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the family will become a sanctuary of virtue and a school of wisdom. It shall prove, as Christ has promised, a haven of rest against life’s burdens. In the sight of the world it shall render glory to Thee, O Father, and to Thy Son, Jesus, until the day when, through Him, we shall, together with all His members, sing the Divine praises in the eternal ages to come. Amen.