HOW TO PRAY: 4 Ways to Prepare Your Family for Easter
The Lenten season is a time when many Christians think about their individual prayer life in a renewed way. No matter the church tradition, it is usually a time of reflection and response as people prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It’s also the perfect time to establish a prayer time to prepare your family for Easter. Together, you can take steps toward a more focused prayer life that can continue after the season is over. The simple habits that cultivate a deeper prayer life can become a permanent piece of an ongoing spiritual journey. Consider these 4 ways to prepare your family for Easter.
Prioritize Family Prayer
Prioritizing family prayer takes intentionality. Parents must be willing to set aside a time and place for prayer. Many things can become a deterrent to “Seeking God First” as a family. However, prayer should be a priority. Families need more than quick meal-time and bed-time prayers. While you might envision a full family prayer meeting, realistically try to carve out a 15-minute time for dedicated reflection, requests, and response. Maybe it is 15 minutes before bed or a meal, but you could probably find 15 minutes by limiting device, TV, or video game time.
Plan Family Prayer
Spontaneous prayer times are wonderful moments as a family. It’s important to pause as you get out of the car for school or share a moment of praise after avoiding an accident. We are all called to “Pray Without Ceasing.” A family can live a life of continual little prayers all day long. However, there is also a need to plan family prayer so that it is focused and intentional. Think in advance about the prayer needs of your family. If you need help, consider using our toolbox resource, “A Beginner’s Guide to Praying for Your Family.” During Easter, direct your prayer time around sections of the Easter story and the final days of Christ. Together, you can recount and reflect on Christ’s life and sacrifice.
Present Family Prayer
While it is tempting for parents to be the ones who pray, it is essential to allow the voices of the kids to be heard, as well. Prayers do not have to be perfect, but parents should take the opportunity to teach their children how to pray. A great resource to guide this instruction is the “Plugging into the Power of Prayer” toolbox. The Lord’s Prayer continues to be a perfect model for us to know how to present our family prayers to the Heavenly Father. Parents can disciple their children in different styles and ways to pray through actively praying as a family. Children need to learn that there are a variety of ways to present their prayers and requests to God. If you want to review a great list and explanation of different styles of prayer, take a look at this article: “What are the Different Types of Prayer?”
Process Family Prayer
It is critical to take the time to process the family prayer time along the way. As your family creates a habit of praying together, institute the spiritual practice of journaling your prayers and the answers you receive. Buy a simple notebook for the family or provide individual age-specific journals for each member to record requests and God’s response. These notebooks will become a family history book of your prayer journey together. As we enter this Lenten season, I hope you will implement these 4 ways to prepare your family for Easter through prayer. May these simple hints help you engage your mind and heart in the celebration of the resurrection! May Easter become a new and exciting family holiday of prayer!
Dan Istvanik has been working in youth ministry for 25 years, serving in churches in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Washington DC. He is a speaker, ministry coach, writer, and contributor to other ministry resources. You can contact Dan at www.mymresources.com, where he shares student ministry resources.
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