Something that’s evolved a lot as we’ve grown as a family is prayer. From day one, I’m not sure my husband or I really knew what it ought to look like. Sure, we knew how to pray as a couple – we’d been doing that since day one in our relationship. We knew how to pray individually, too. But when the kids came along, praying as a family unit was a strange and awkward process we had to grow into.
When we had just one baby, our prayer was fairly close to what it was before – with the occasional baby interruption. Once we changed locations, jobs, and added a second child, our family prayer was all but dead. Though we prayed on our own and went to Mass every weekend and holy day, it was a rare occurrence if we sat down all four of us and prayed out loud together in the home.
I remember thinking and believing something along the lines of: “I’m such a loser. I double majored in Theology and Catechetics, worked in youth ministry full time, taught adult classes in the diocese, and I still can’t figure out a way to get this tiny family to pray together.” Discouraging isn’t a strong enough word for how I felt.
As I grew in my motherhood and went through dry seasons of family prayer, I began to realize a lot of family stuff done well is preparation. If I prepare by cutting veggies before dinner, cooking goes faster. If I prepare before we travel, the trip runs smoothly. It seems obvious on the surface, but I realized how easy it is to get lazy and not plan ahead for things when it would make sense.
Prayer is no exception.
When I was a youth minister, prayer happened with the teens because I planned it. It was written on the night’s outline and the whole team knew when it would take place. When it came to family prayer time, I realized I had to, at the very least, think ahead to the next day or coming week and make a conscious decision when and how we were going to pray as a family.
As seasons in our life change, the prayer routines change too, but I’m happy to finally be in a place where we can look at the week behind us and see a pretty good prayer pattern as a family. Some weeks are better than others, but being able to look practically and realistically at things and make prayer happen as a family has made an enormous difference.
Because of my experience and knowing how vital prayer is not only to the Christian, but to the mission of the Christian family, I wanted to create a tool to serve families in making prayer a consistent and fruitful part of daily living.
Introducing the Catholic Family Prayer Planner: a printable guide to lead you through some considerations to nail down times and places to pray as a family and create a consistent and fruitful family prayer routine. Enjoy this! Print it, share it, use it, and let me know how it works for you. I pray it is a useful tool to help create a more prayerful home!
Download to print here —> Catholic Family Prayer Planner