Family Prayer Time

Very shortly after Kathleen and I started dating, actually within the first two weeks, I think, because it was just before she left for Honduras on a mission trip, we started praying together every day. Since I was in Special Forces at the time and was always heading off to this place or that place for training and missions, we agreed that 8:00 PM PCT was going to be our prayer time. We developed a very simple formula that we could easily maintain even at our busiest, and commenced to praying.

We have done this ever since. When I was overseas or in a different time zone I would set an alarm on my watch for 8:00 PM PCT, and pause what I was doing to pray our series of prayers where I was. If internet connection and schedules allowed we would pray together on the phone or

Since getting married we have not really worried about the 8:00 PM prayer time. Most often we are in the same house, and the same room so we pray when we go to bed. This week, however, Kathleen is working nights so we could not pray together as we usually do. We prayed together via facetime instead.

Talk about a blast from the past! Never had a baby in the picture before though.

Perhaps it would be fine for us simply to pray separately. Kind of like the little morning and evening prayers that we do with Evie when she gets up and is going to sleep at night. Evie doesn’t know what we’re doing, and it would probably be fine just to pray for her and not insist upon actually moving her little hand in the sign of the cross, folding them together, making eye contact with her, etc. God would hear our prayers and bless us just the same.

But then again, that is kind of the nature of family prayer, as opposed to individual prayer. Individual prayer is only about talking with God, but family prayer, and all the communal prayer of the Church, has a dual function. It is both our conversation with God, and our communion with each other. This is even more important for families, where the primary responsibility of Catholic parents, before any other consideration, is to introduce their children to God.

Evie doesn’t understand now, and probably won’t for a very long time. If she is like me she won’t understand for at least 20 more years, but she will do. She will act as she has been taught to act, and question as we will (hopefully) teach her to question, and understanding will come from that.

Besides, I think Jesus thinks it’s cute when Evie prays. So do we.

What do you think? Join the discussion.

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