Family Prayers for Lent

by Andy Alexander, SJ, Maureen McCann Waldron

One of the real challenges that we too often find in our busy lives is finding time to be together as a family. It is especially difficult to find opportunities to pray together. Here are a few possibilities for praying as a family during Lent or at any other time of the year.

Prayer before Meals

Meals are a natural time to pray as a family. We can begin by simply saying, "Let's pray," or "Let's pause for a minute to give thanks." This can be a brief prayer. Brief prayer doesn't have to be without substance or power.

Praying at Other Times

In the Morning: It can be quite transformative of our family bonds, in faith, to pause very briefly to pray together in the morning. This might be a spontaneous prayer, such as while we are lying in bed. When we are rushing around one another in the kitchen and grabbing breakfast, it can be wonderful to pause to pray and simply ask the Lord to be with each of us in what we are about to do.

Other times: Such as cleaning up or in preparation for guests coming for dinner or for an overnight slumber party. We might share the responsibility for designing the family prayer for special occasions: birthdays, anniversaries, the beginning and end of a school year, the beginning of a new endeavor.

Simple Rituals

We can easily add gestures that bring powerful prayer to our family life. One of the simplest and most natural gestures is to trace a cross on a loved one's forehead.

Praying for One Another

The most important part of family prayer is perhaps the easiest to overlook: how we hold one another up to the Lord. Even when we are not physically together as a praying family, we want to pray for one another.

May our Lord bless our praying, especially at home, in the community of our family, in these days of Lent.

This is from Praying Lent by Andy Alexander, SJ, and Maureen McCann Waldron.
Andy Alexander, SJ

Andy Alexander, SJ

Andy Alexander, SJ, has spent many years of his priesthood in pastoral and ministry work.

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Maureen McCann Waldron

Maureen McCann Waldron

Maureen McCann Waldron graduated from Creighton University with a degree in journalism.

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