The family that prays together stays together.
This saying is part of my subconscious mind. I have heard it so many times. It makes sense to me. I believe it. I want to follow it. I want our family to be as strong as possible, so I want to incorporate prayer into our life together. But how? Are there easy ways to pray with children?
Mealtimes offer an opportunity for prayer. When I was growing up, we said a blessing before dinner every day. We taught this blessing to our children when they were little. As they grew, we tried different ideas to try to make our dinner prayers a little more interesting. One of my favorites is to go around the table and each say one thing we are thankful for. Another is to each name one friend that we would like to pray for. These ideas have worked for our family because everyone can pray at a comfortable level.
Another great opportunity for prayer when the kids were young was bedtime. We would sit with each child and say a little prayer. This was a good way to hear what each child was thinking and worrying about and it often led into having nice talks in addition to praying. As they have grown too big to allow us to "put them to bed," this little prayer ritual has changed. Late evening is still a time of closeness and good conversation and prayer.
A wonderful way to pray together as a family is to worship together. We used to go to Mass together every Sunday, but now it is rare that we all choose the same Mass. I really cherish the times that we all go together to Mass. There is a special bond that comes from receiving Eucharist as a family. It feels like "the family that prays together stays together" is coming true.