When our children were preschoolers we would have a regular scheduled time for prayer and Bible story time. Each evening the children would climb on the couch for daddy to tell a story, take prayer requests and pray with each one. Later on when my children grew to be teens, praying together as a family was a directive for their relationships, school work and other pursuits. Now, my children are married and have children of their own, what a great delight to know they pray with their children each night before bedtime.
The Gospels record Jesus inviting the children to come to Him. Family prayer has many benefits but let me name just a few:
It is a great time for the family to talk about pressing issues. Families don’t get enough time to have meaningful conversations about moral, economical or relational subjects and the time of Family Prayer can open up discussion of these vital topics. It is found among teens, they will follow whoever listens to them.
It is a great time to express our love for each other. My wife and I would often thank Jesus for each other while praying, reinforcing our love and commitment to each other at our family time of prayer. Holding the children in your lap and praying a blessing over them not only has biblical roots but can open the door for your child to receive what God has in store for each child.
It is a great time to uncover the purpose for each child. Each person has a unique calling and purpose for life. Family prayer time can investigate the gifts of each child and expose them to various callings for their life.
It is a great time to pray for their protection. Each time you send your child into the public school you risk not seeing that child return in the same spirit. We must pray protection over their body, mind and spirit. The Israel customs were full of symbolism and in Exodus the description of putting blood on the doorposts to protect the family from the death angel, reminds us to plead the blood over our children for their protection in an evil world.
It is a great time to memorize the Word of God together. With all the functions, activities and events of the local church, there is nothing as powerful as the family memorizing the Word of God together. En-grafting the Word of God in our mind and life is an awesome insurance for the lives of our children. Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.