“In a home filled with prayer, God is tasted, prayer is as natural as breathing, and Holy Tradition is passed to the next generation less by preaching than by life example.” ~ Sister Magdalen of Essex (21 Century)
Imagine, if prayer were as natural as breathing? Praying together as a family takes commitment and effort. Our kiddos can often be squirmy and wiggly, yet once they witness the rhythm of prayer in the home, they too, will join along and experience one of the greatest gifts you will pass along to them – the practice of prayer and connecting to our Loving LORD.
How do you start a practice of family prayer when it hasn’t been a habit in the past? Start by gathering your family around icons with a small lit candle. Talk to your kids about how we light a candle before we enter the church for any service. Our home is a “mini church”, where Christ dwells, guides and is with us always. We invite Jesus to shine brightly in our lives, and ask Him to bless and protect those we love. By lighting a candle, we ignite the flame of the Holy Spirit and open our hearts to let God in.
One of the many blessings of the Orthodox Christian Faith, is that we have countless beautiful prayers for all seasons, all reasons, and all moments throughout the day. Start with the Trisagion Prayers, the Lord’s Prayer and then the prayer to the Holy Spirit.
“O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, who art in all places and fills all things, Treasury of blessings and giver of life: come and dwell in us, cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O gracious Lord.”
Take turns sharing one thing each member of your family is thankful for that day, and one thing you want Jesus to help you do better the next day. This is one of those family prayer practices than can take a bit of patience to get through, but it is a wonderful opportunity to engage and connect our family in prayer. Parents and older children offer an opportunity to model sincerity, openness and reverence before God and one another.