help...praying together with family is hard!

Hi everyone!

I was wondering. My family is basically Cafeteria Catholic. I’ve been trying to evangelize to them with gentleness and in charity, through respectful admonitions, through example (and persistent in constant failure of those things!) but I never realized how important it is that we actually pray together. wow. go figure! took me long enough to figure that out.

we pray before meals, which is nice, but that’s pretty much the only time and we don’t eat together often. we don’t even go to Mass together on Sundays. Only my mom goes, and most of the time she goes at a different time than I do.

So, starting prayer together as a family. Do you have recommendations? Something simple and nothing too hardcore. I thought of rosary together as a family, but that was hard for me even after I was newly converted/reverted.

I was thinking night prayer together, with spontaneous prayer, and a short Bible passage. What do you think?

Please, this is really important to me. :slight_smile:

(and thank you.)

(cross posted to get as much help as possible!)

I would advise that whatever you do, keep it short!

I like your idea of short prayers and a Bible passage. You can buy devotional books, including Catholic versions (e.g., Our Daily Bread), that have a short passage or Bible verse, a very short meditation, and a sample prayer. It might be a good way to start so that your family prayer time is easy and quick and no pressure on anyone. People can take turns reading the little book. Or if they aren’t in the mood for prayer, they can just sit back and listen.

Consider starting small. You pray at meals, great. How about the next step is a brif prayer before bedtime. Consider, as everyone is starting to go bed, you all gather together and say the Guardian Angel Prayer.

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love
commits me here,
Ever this day,
be at my side,
To light and guard,
Rule and guide. Amen.

I think this is particularly important when there has been a bit of conflict or on those times when the mood of the family is not so good. It is unifying without being tiring.

It will not be burdensome and will help develop the habit of more frequent prayer. Perhaps after a time, you can all gather together to pray an Our Father. Keep slipping in more and more frequent prayers. Maybe later, during the noon hour, you can start praying the Angelus, which is traditionally prayed at noon and add some of the thing that Cat suggested.

As the previous poster said, keep it short. I would like to add that as we change modes, stop evening activities, get ready for bed, wake up, leave the house for shopping/school/work, etc. The intent is to develop the habit of prayer when things change. In that way, when something happens, the immediate response is to pray first, then respond.

One thing I’ve tried with my reluctantly praying family is this: since we already say grace at mealtimes, I put a decorative bowl filled with prayer intentions typed on small slips of paper which one person draws out, and we pray a ‘Hail Mary’ or an ‘Our Father’ for that particular intention, before we say our grace for our meal. It’s a small step, but it gets everyone thinking and praying for someone or something else during the day and puts another focus on our brief time together in prayer. Once in a while, one of the family members will add another intention spontaneously when they feel a need to pray for someone whose name isn’t in the bowl, so we pray for that person too. :slight_smile:

Since you are not the parent in this house, you will have to work a bit harder to entice everyone into regular prayer.

Step 1 is for you to make the effort to go to Mass with your mom or whoever else in the house does go regularly.

Step 2 - Since you already say grace before meals maybe you can add a quick bit onto that. Maybe an intention from the day and then an Our Father.

Step 3 - If you can get a copy of Magnificat magazine or something similar (Our Daily Bread) you can use the readings there for evening prayer. Magnificat will have the readings from the Liturgy of the Hours as well as Mass readings of the day. you can all add an intention (aloud or silently) and then maybe say 1 each Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

If you family doesn’t usually gather together in the evenings, maybe you can ‘bribe’ them with brownies or another snack. :wink: Or if everyone is up together in the morning, do it then instead.

I’m glad to see your efforts, I’ll be praying for you!

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