The power of prayer must not be underestimated. We often think about prayer as being an individual activity. But for the Orthodox Christians the prayer implies the entire community. This thing should be applied in family life as well. A family must pray together. If you are two persons in a family it’s easy to pray together. This is the situation of me and my wife who pray together both in the morning and evening. But when you have a family of four persons of different ages it is a bit hard to pray together.
In the Church we have the morning and evening holy services which we, the laymen, can find in the religious books and read. Elder Paisios considers that the children should participate at the family prayer. He says: `When they want to pray they should tell their children to pray with them: Will you stay with us for a while at prayer ?` If the children are big the parents can fix a rule so that these can pray with them for 15 minutes. If the children are smaller they should pray for 5 minutes. Then they can pray as long as they wish. If the parents will force the children to stay at the whole prayer they will begin to hate it. We must not force the children because they don’t understand the power and the value of the prayer.
The prayers must be made daily, in the mornings and evenings as well. But the evening prayer is the most important for the family because it reunites all its members together.
Even if you are sick or tired you must make your prayer. The morning prayers may be shorter, depending on the family’s schedule.
But it is better if you gather together you and your wife and your children and make some prayers before starting the daily activities. The prayer in the family made daily keeps the family united. The family life implies many small conflicts which can lead to bigger conflicts even to the separation of the family members. The divorce has become an important subject today. But if the family prays together it is less probable that it will be destroyed.
Elder Paisios tells us an incident from his family: `I remember when my smaller brother got sick my father said: Come and pray and ask God to heal your brother and take away this sickness so that he won’t suffer anymore.` We all prayed and my brother recovered. And when we eat we must pray.`
Unfortunately many of the families of nowadays don’t eat together anymore. It is a blessed thing to have dinner together in the family. Find ways so that your family may pray together. If you are a couple of two persons it’s easy. But for those who have children is harder to have a program of prayer. But when you pray you will be surprised of the benefits of prayer for your family.
Source: orthodoxwayoflife.blogspot.ro via ortodox.md