While corporate prayers in the church community are essential, praying together as a family is vital as well. It is important to note that prayer is just a part of family worship. That is why we pray to God—because we worship Him. God calls Christian families to worship Him. Worshiping God means reading the Scriptures, singing, praying, and breaking bread. In other words, praying together is just a part of family worship, which every Christian family should do. Family worship is essential because every-Sunday church worship is not sufficient. Worshiping is not just a Sunday thing but goes beyond that. That is why the early church worshiped God not just when the church gathered but also beyond, in their houses. If a family worships God just as they ought to, they shall also always pray together as a family.
And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Another reason why Christian families should be praying is that people who have been redeemed and brought by Christ from darkness to light pray. If a person’s heart was changed and they were born again to become a new creation, that person cannot help but pray to God. We pray to God not just because He commanded us to but also because we delight in dialogue with our Heavenly Father. Therefore, a Christian family should be a prayerful family. One example is the early church—the church prayed to God because they had encountered His grace, in which they were saved and redeemed through Christ. They also realized what a privilege it was to come before God. God’s people pray to God; if you and your family have indeed become part of God’s people in Christ, then you should also be praying together, not just as a church community but as a family.
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
Given that God calls families to worship Him, it is also a given that parents should raise their children in the ways of God and make sure that they become men and women who know the LORD. Family worship, which includes praying and the reading and preaching of God’s Word, is one of the great ways to disciple the next generation and teach them about Who God is.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
What is the importance of praying as a family?
Praying together as part of family worship is very important because God has commanded each household to worship Him. There is an individual command but also a household command. It is also important to note that in this particular aspect, it is the job of the head of the family, which is the father, to lead their household in worshiping God. This means doing devotions and praying to Him; in other words, fathers should lead their families in prayer. Similar to how God expected Abraham to command his children and household to keep the way of the LORD, so should Christian fathers.
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Another reason praying together as a family is essential is that you shall also benefit from it. Whenever God commands something of us, it is not for His good but for ours. One of its actual benefits is that praying together as a family reminds you and your family of Who God is and how holy He is. When you pray as a family during family devotions or family worship, you talk about God and Who He is as you read the Scriptures. As you pray, you pray out of knowing Who God is, based on the Scriptures that you have read. Knowing Who God is and how His holiness dramatically impacts how you live your life, you cannot help but respond in worship and adoration toward God, including through prayer. You get to grow as a Christian.
Another important reason you should gather together as a family and pray together is that God commands us to love others. If we are born of God and truly know God, we shall love other people. Loving others is how the world will see that we are Christ’s disciples. This love that we have for others is something we also put into action, and one of the ways we show it in action is by praying for others. When we pray for others, we carry their burdens with us. We pray for them as if their burdens are also our burdens. As we grow in loving others, we grow in Christlikeness in selflessness and love.
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
1 John 3:18
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
1 John 4:7
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
How often should a family pray together?
How often the family worships and prays together depends on each family or the household’s father. It would be too legalistic to set a specific number of times a family should pray together. That is a matter of family conviction; a matter between the family and God. However, as you decide how often you and your family come together to worship God and pray, there are certain Scriptures that you should keep in mind.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
2 Timothy 2:4
No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
You should remember that you should love God with all of your heart, soul, and strength. That means putting God above everything else and prioritizing Him more than anything in your lives. Sometimes, because they are entangled with the affairs of this life, families end up not having the time to have family worship and come together to pray together. However, the Bible tells us that we should never be caught up in the affairs of this life since we aim to please God. We should not be caught up with the trivial things in life and neglect the things that matter.
How to pray together as a family
First, you should set a time that works well for everyone in the family. It depends on you and your family regarding the schedule. It could be every day, every other day, etc. Remember always to remain consistent with your schedule for family worship and prayer.
Regarding the things you can pray for as a family, one is asking God for help with any matter that has become a problem. As Christians, we gather corporately to pray to God in humility, knowing that we can rely only on God and that He is our refuge and fortress. As a church, we pray to God for open doors for the Gospel, the well-being of our nation, the well-being of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and more. All of these we pray to God as a church community because God is the One Who works all things. It is the same for you and your family. Knowing that God works all things and that He is the only One you can rely on, it is Him to Whom you come as a family in humility—to pray for Him and ask Him for help. Also, if you and your family are going through tough times, that is something that you can pray to God. You can pray for God’s grace to continually preserve you through those hardships that you go through as a family and that He shall always help you endure and persevere. An excellent example that we have is Daniel and his friends. Together they prayed and sought the mercy of God when Nebuchadnezzar was about to put all the wise men to death because none of them could interpret his dream. God gave Daniel a revelation regarding the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams. The point here is that Daniel and his friends were in exile, and it was not easy; yet they depended on God and sought His mercy.
Similarly, we Christians are also exiles in this world. This world is not our real home, but heaven is. The Bible says that our citizenship is in heaven; while we are here in this world as pilgrims, we are to always pray to God and always seek His mercy. You, as members of a Christian family while pilgrims on this earth, should also always depend on God and seek His mercy. As you pray together as a family, you get to meditate and remind yourselves and each other that even if you are pilgrims here, you have a future hope in Christ.
17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
18 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Another thing that you can pray for as a family is the concerns and needs of each other. As mentioned a while ago, one of the reasons why praying as a family is beneficial is that you get to grow in selflessness and love for one another. Out of selflessness, you pray for the concerns, needs, and burdens of your fellow family members—taking on their burden as yours also. Just as the Bible says, we must weep with those who weep. We empathize with our fellow family members and pray with them with compassionate hearts as they go through tough seasons in life.
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
While praying together as a family, the other family members can agree and say “Amen” as one of the family members prays. Here is an example of a prayer that you can pray as a family:
Father in heaven, You are the God of grace and mercy, Whose love is steadfast. Always remind us of Your holiness and that we should live pure and holy lives for You. I pray that we shall always delight in doing Your will and hate what is evil. I pray for family member that, as he/she goes through a tough season in his/her life, You give him/her the grace to stay strong and continue persevering in the race that You have set before him/her. Always protect us from any harm and any sickness and diseases. I pray that You would cause the ministry that we perform to bear fruit and that we will continue to obey You and preach the Gospel to the lost. All this we pray in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
As you pray together as a family, your confidence is that God can hear your prayers since you are in Christ and Christ is the mediator between God and you. You can also freely approach God’s throne of grace to seek mercy. In humility, you can come before God to pray to Him because Christ has broken down the dividing wall of hostility between God and man. You have peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ.