John Owens, Providence, RI — We emphasize prayer by example within our home. We pray with our children, now teens, before they go to school, before meals, and we pray for any needs that may arise. We also stress the importance of pre-service prayer and our weekly prayer meetings.
Due to our varying schedules, I don’t usually pray with my wife in the mornings, but I do pray for and with her at church and in prayer meetings. I feel it is important for my family to know that I am praying for them. I believe that Jesus’ words to “pray in secret” has more to do with having an attitude of humility in prayer rather than with actually praying in public or letting people know that you are praying for them.
Prayer is an extremely important element in my life, but I never feel that I pray enough. What is too much prayer, and what is enough prayer? I have grown to realize quality is better than quantity. Everything that I am and everything that I will ever be is directly connected to my relationship with God, and that relationship has to be solidified through prayer.
Ronnie Eaves, Lancaster, PA — I would have to say that our children know the value we place on family prayer and also private sessions of prayer. We want our kids to hear us pray, but not to rely on our prayers to see their needs met, so we also encourage a private prayer life for each family member as well. This teaches them to feel comfortable about a personal prayer life and an open one with the family. It is important that we teach our children at a young age what is most important in life. Prayer is the key to God’s will! On a scale of one to ten, I believe prayer is an 11!
Paul Lyon, Burlington, VT — I bring prayer into our home by personal example. Either we pray with or for our children every day, and I lift my wife up in prayer daily. At our table, we have family sharing and pray for expressed needs, and we all have an opportunity to tell about something good that happened to us during that day.
I feel it is very important that our family knows I am praying. As to the context of Jesus’ words to “pray in secret or in our closet,” he was referring to the necessity of private times of prayer. Three or four in the morning is a great time to pray in secret. Being an example of prayer is extremely important. We shouldn’t be instructing others about prayer if we do not pray.
Bobby Moore, Malden, MO — My wife and I pray every morning and every night. Our children are married and gone, but we prayed with them and had family devotion every day and family prayer at meals. I felt it was important for our children to know we were praying, and we knelt together as a family. I never felt it was wrong in any way for my wife or children to know I was praying. I believe Jesus’ words to “pray in secret” referred to times of private prayer which we all need. Prayer is our communication with our Lord; therefore, it is highly important to set an example of prayer before our family.
Robert Smithey, McClure, IL — My wife and I have personal time in prayer. We pray together at meals and have sessions of prayer for our family, the church, and for special needs. We had what we called “evening time prayer” with our children every night.
It was important for my spouse or our children to hear me praying. Jesus spoke of prayer in secret or a closet of prayer. Those are times of secret prayer when we talk to God on a one-on-one basis. My secret places are my office at church or in our bedroom at home. James 5:16 says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” The family that prays together usually stays together.
Ricky Bowen, Aberdeen, MS — We are very involved in prayer in our home. Our son commutes to college, but we go to church as a family to pray every night. Signs of moral decline at college bombard him every day from every direction! We lay hands on him every morning and every night for God’s protection over him and his mind. My wife and I pray together for personal and church needs, and I feel it has always been important for my family and spouse to know I am praying. It is important for them to depend on my prayers. Even my grandchildren asks Pappa to pray for them. Group praying is necessary, but there are also times of private secret prayer. At three in the morning, it is just me and God.
Being an example of prayer is irreplaceable! I can’t even describe the importance of prayer in our home.
Gerald Sherrill, Decatur, AL — Our family has always felt it was necessary to hold hands and pray together as a family and for prayer needs that come. We always made a point to pray with our children. They are grown now, but my wife and I still hold hands in prayer daily and have private personal times of prayer. Whatever the age, our children need to know we pray for them. When Jesus spoke of praying in secret or in our closet, I feel He was speaking of an attitude of prayer. The Pharisees wanted to be seen and heard praying.
We set the tone through our homes through prayer. The Bible says we are teachers, and we teach through prayer. We must pray against spirits that come against us so they know their limitations.