Raising faith at home as church leader – Prayer in the home

Shall I start by confessing something? I wish we had prayed more as a family, when the children were young. In fact, if there’s one thing I would go back and do differently, this might be it (although I have plenty of options to choose from!).

Perhaps because I wasn’t brought up in a Christian home myself, I didn’t always default to praying with my children as creatively or regularly as I would have liked to. But, gradually, we have learned to pray together and to speak more about the power of prayer.

As church leaders, working strange and extensive hours, we might often be busy praying for different people, writing prayer emails or encouraging folks to attend prayer meetings.

Let’s be honest, sometimes our homes might even feel like a refuge from doing constant ‘ministry’. But we also love our families, and we know that creating a house of prayer in our home might be the most important ministry we are ever involved in. And fortunately, it’s never too late to build habits with our children.

When they were small, we would pray with our children at night, and we prayed with them before exams or in everyday situations. We also always found ways to say (or noisily sing) grace before meals – the easiest way to integrate prayer and thankfulness into the day. But there is a temptation, perhaps, to shield our children from praying about things that might be more distressing or disappointing.

Prayers for the poor might unsettle them and experiencing unanswered prayers for healing can be hard to explain. But these are the moments which grow their faith muscles in unexpected ways. We just have to find creative and age appropriate ways to do it.

As I say, this has been a learning curve for us. I’m endlessly thankful for other families who have talked with us and for those who have modelled naturally praying in their homes to us.

None of us feel totally adequate about our parenting. But with our children, we need to be real and we need to navigate the good times, the bad times, the doubts and the victories and to stand in faith with them for the things they care about. What an honour to pray faithfully for and with the next generation.

Family time

This week can you think of a creative way you could pray together? Maybe you could go for a walk or drive and pray into the needs in your community or create a prayer jar and make time in the week to regularly pray together for those requests. You may take it in turns to each pray for one request or to pray for several out loud together.

Brand new resource

Want to explore more? The brand new book from Rachel Turner, Parenting as a Church Leader: Helping your family thrive is now available to buy from the Bible Reading Fellowship. This is an excellent resource to help you as you navigate family life and leading a church. Have a look now.

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