Thursday, June 30, 2016

Turning Our Homes into Places of Prayer: Easy Family Prayer Habits (4 Keys Downloadable Worksheet)

This is number eleven in a series of downloadable worksheets to use at home, in small groups, or during break-out sessions with our Catholic marriage advice book, The Four Keys to Everlasting LoveTO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT, CLICK HERE.

Chapter 11

Turning Our Homes into Places of Prayer:
The Eternal Consequences of Everyday Family Life

In the day-to-day grind of life, it can be easy to forget that what we do now has consequences for eternity. This is especially true in family life, where we live out our vocation to sacramental marriage and, God willing, as parents to the next generation. Our families are "domestic churches," where we share God's divine love with each other and strengthen each other's faith. A rich family prayer life can bring great peace to our homes. 

As Manny and Karee say in Chapter 11 of The Four Keys, "When family members spend time together nurturing their friendship with God, they form a nearly unbreakable bond. In becoming closer to God, they become closer to each other. Evenings become filled with prayer instead of electronic entertainment, and Sundays become filled with praising God instead of hopping in separate minivans to drive different kids in different directions to various extracurricular activities."

In addition to explaining how spouses can deepen their prayer lives as individuals and as a couple, Chapter Eleven also shares easy prayer habits for families, including:

  • morning prayer (even in the car on the way to work or school!)
  • bedtime prayers (more than just rote recitation)
  • reading Bible stories (for adults, it's called lectio divina)
  • grace before meals (a wonderful way to incorporate multiple faith traditions)

Conversation Starters

You can use the following conversation starters to get a discussion going between yourselves or in a small group. If it helps, think it over on your own time, take it to prayer, and jot down your answers before talking about them.

1.  Do you have a favorite prayer? What is it, and what makes it your favorite?

2.  Do you feel comfortable speaking to God in front of each other? Why or why not?

3. What prayers would you most like your children to learn?

4.  Does your parish church appeal to you? Do other parishes in your area appeal to you more?

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  1. This year Catechetical Sunday is devoted to the theme of prayer. Free resources on prayer greatly appreciated. We have resources on traditional prayers. Resources for children's prayers that focus on relationship with Christ, daily events and struggles would be appreciated. Resource on how to write your own family prayer might be nice: a worksheet with some prompts but fill in the blanks might be best.
    I have young adult children living at home and there are beautiful devotional pillar candles available in the Latino food aisle of our grocery store. We have one of the Virgin of Guadalupe burning at the dinner table. My young adult sons both like the presence of our Blessed Mother at the Table and although we don't do anything formal as far as prayer ritual, it is a tangible reminder of our beliefs and our faith.
    Tips such as this for all ages would also be welcome.

    1. We love the devotional pillar candles, too! In our book, we talk about starting a habit of discussing the day's desolations and consolations at bedtime -- this helps your kids open up about their daily events and struggles and bring them to God with your help. As for family prayers, you might ask your own parents or older relatives about their favorite prayers. There might already be a family prayer that you don't know about!