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Family praying at a dinner table

By Sheri Wohlfert | Image by Getty Images/skynesher | November 2022

Family Prayer: Powerful and Transformative

“The family is called to be the temple, or house of prayer: A simple prayer, full of effort and tenderness. A prayer that makes life so that life becomes prayer.” – St. John Paul II

The Father who created us out of enormous love longs to hear our voice and make his voice heard in our hearts and homes. Family prayer is powerful, peaceful and transformative. It unites us, equips us and protects us. The habit of daily prayer is the most important and enduring gift we can give our children.

Jesus loves us so much that he meets us wherever we are on our journey, so don’t wait to join him. Dive into prayer as a family wherever you are:

Keep holy the Sabbath

Mass is the primary prayer we share as Catholics and the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life, so attending Mass on Sundays together is the perfect start to a prayerful, grace-filled week. Adding a weekday Mass is a fabulous next step.

Captive audience

Food brings the family together because we all have to eat. Start with a simple meal blessing and add an opportunity for everyone to offer a prayer intention that the whole family can pray for too. End the meal with prayer as well. It is the perfect time to ask for protection using the Guardian Angel Prayer or Prayer to St. Michael.

Morning huddle

At breakfast, in the car or huddled in a circle by the front door before everyone rushes out, have each family member share what they need prayer for that day. It might be a test, a game or a meeting. As a family, invite God to bring his grace and the power of the Holy Spirit into the events of each person’s day. The same thing can be done between parents or with each child individually if the morning routine doesn’t allow a group gathering.

Just ask

Connecting family members prayerfully can be as simple as getting into the daily practice of asking each other: “How can I pray for you today?” Asking and answering this question helps families invite Christ into all our worries, joys, celebrations and struggles. This habit helps us remember our need to turn to the Father with everything, and it offers assurance that we are being lifted up in prayer by the people who love us the most.

Spend time with Jesus

The Eucharist is the source of the Father’s love, strength and grace poured out on us. Spending time in eucharistic adoration or a quiet family visit for prayer before the tabernacle can be powerful. This practice is a beautiful way to pray together in times of family celebration or struggle.

The little things

Kids need to see their parents pray and pray together. Let your children help plan family prayer. Find ways to incorporate prayer such as the Divine Mercy Chaplet, a decade of the rosary or age-appropriate Scripture reading into the daily routine. Give everyone a chance to be the prayer leader, and make sure your home has visible signs of prayer such as holy water, prayerful images and a crucifix.

Remember, the Lord will meet us right where we are. It’s not about doing a dozen new things; it’s about starting where you are and moving closer to Jesus. Take some time to pray about what family prayer looks like at your house, and then ask the Holy Spirit to help you and your family take that next step toward him.


Sheri Wohlfert is a Catholic school teacher, speaker, writer and founder of Joyful Words Ministries. Sheri blogs at www.joyfulwords.org.

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