Throwback Tuesday: Making Family Prayer Time Happen

Do you struggle to make family prayer time happen in your home? Is it a goal of yours to pray together as a family, and yet you find yourself failing to make it happen? 

This week, I answer a question from listener Amy who is struggling to make family time happen, especially with a change in schedules as the kids have gone back to school.

I also respond to listener feedback about getting started with running (Jillian), and about coping with hard changes (Eleanor).


“Prayer is a very intimate thing. Sometimes people struggle to pray as a family or as a couple because it’s very intimate. There are parts that will remain very personal, but family prayer is a beautiful way to bond together as a family.”


Here are my thoughts for ways to make family prayer happen in your home and your family on a regular basis:

1) Plan ahead

It’s not going to happen if you don’t schedule it and make a plan for when it can happen in the first place. Take a look at your daily schedule and find a place where you can make prayer part of your family routine.

2) Know that it doesn’t have to look a certain way

Your family is unique, and so that means the way your family prays together will also be unique. Don’t compare yourselves to what others do. Do what makes sense for you and your family.

3) Know that family prayer changes over time

As your kids grow and your family life changes, so will the ways and times that you pray together. Don’t hold on to some outdated idea of what you should be doing. Do what makes sense for you, right now, with the kind of family you are, right now.

4) Start small and start where you are

Here comes that Girlfriends theme where I remind you: Do not let the perfect become the enemy of the good. Start where you are and make a small commitment to family prayer. Just starting is the hardest part!

5) Be creative

Vary the ways that you pray, the kinds of prayers you pray together, who leads the prayers, what books you might use, etc. There are so many different kinds of prayers in our Catholic tradition. Introduce your kids (and yourself!) to some of them during family prayer times.

6) Take advantage of small moments in your day

Driving to school? Waiting in a parking lot? Folding laundry together? Cooking dinner? Look for small opportunities in your day to offer a word or two of prayer. Thank God for good things, ask God for help, offer your work to him. This is ultimately what prayer is all about—cultivating a natural relationship with God whom we turn to throughout our busy days.

Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you!


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Danielle Bean

Danielle Bean is the author of many books on Catholic marriage, motherhood, and women’s spirituality, and a well-known Catholic podcaster and media figure. In all of her efforts, Danielle encourages and celebrates all women on their unique vocational paths. She is the host of the Girlfriends podcast as well as the author of Momnipotent: The Not-So-Perfect Woman’s Guide to Catholic Motherhood, Whisper: Finding God in the Everyday, and You Are Enough.

Danielle is a dynamic retreat leader and an engaging speaker on a variety of subjects related to Catholic family life, education, marriage, and motherhood. She has been married to her husband, Dan, for 26 years and together they have 8 children.

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