The Lord watch between you and me, when we are out of one another’s sight. Genesis 31:49
My husband, Mark, and I have six living children, and twelve grandchildren. Some live in different cities near us, and some live in other states. In years past, my family would pause each day and pray together at 3 p.m., which is the great hour of mercy when Jesus died on the cross for us. I think most of us had gotten away from it. But the Lord reminded me once more of the importance of family unity and family prayer…especially in times such as these, when families are being kept apart.
For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. Matthew 18:20
So, it was put on my mind and heart to revive this family prayer. Not just revive though, but extend it, and invite ALL of our family, and relatives. And then they can extend the invitation to THEIR families as well. Last night, I was looking at a map of the network of coronavirus potentially spreading, and it occurred to me that a network of family prayer can spread all over the world to unite, comfort, and strengthen us too. If some family member does not wish to pray, or cannot… it is okay, because the strength of the families’ prayer together still covers them. And God’s heart is so moved by our faith and love for each other, that He will even move mountains for us. When we pray together, our prayer is that much more powerful, because Jesus is there in our midst.
Some of us are praying the rosary (a meditation on the Life of Jesus), or Divine Mercy chaplet (a call to the mercy of God), which I strongly encourage, as these are powerful prayers given to us by Our Blessed Mother Mary, and Jesus. But for those who are not able, are not Catholic, or are in the midst of work or other important duty at that hour, it can be as simple, and short as praying the Lord’s prayer from the heart. This is the prayer that Our Lord himself gave us to pray, and it is also included in the Rosary and chaplet that I mentioned above. When you pray it, think of each word or phrase, and speak it intentionally to God the Father, and from your heart. This is how Jesus asks us to pray.
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! Psalm: 133:1
I believe it is so important right now to forgive, and mend any differences in your family. Strengthen the ties, and form your own family network of prayer. Do it in a way that works for your family.
The Lord always gives us a remedy for evil that assails us, and He hears our prayers. He is in control of everything, and often waits for us to open our hearts to Him in faith, love, and trust, before He pours out grace and healing. Sometimes He performs great miracles of physical healing (as He did with my friend Cheryle in this post). But even greater is the grace of salvation, conversions and spiritual healing. Because our bodies will pass away, and turn to dust. It is our souls that will live forever. And we want every member of our family to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, don’t we?
I think it is no coincidence that his trial has occurred in the middle of Lent. It is a wake up call and great reminder of what is important, and what isn’t. Who would have imagined that the entire world would be going through such a trial at the same time, and made to think of our mortality? Who would have imagined that most of us would be confined to home, and made to give up many of our wordly pleasures? Who would have imagined that the whole world might come together in prayer?
It is possible.
Let’s make good use of this time. If our family bonds, and prayer life needs work, we can begin to eat together, and pray for God’s blessing over our meal and family. Or we can open our dusty Bibles, and read God’s word together. We can get on our knees, and pray for all of those suffering, all of those taking care of the sick, and for the mercy of God to end this plague. Fathers, you can lead your family in reading Scripture and in prayer. It is from you they may learn faith, courage, and perseverance. Mothers, gather your children, teach them about God, how to forgive, and love each other. It is from you that they may learn mercy, generosity, and prayer from the heart. Grandparents, and all those who are single, you have an important role to play as well in building up the faith of your families and friends. Ask God to show you new ways to do this. Do you see all these generous, creative, unselfish ideas that people are coming up with in this time of crisis? The Holy Spirit is ready to inspire us!
Let’s call our entire family together in prayer, unite our prayer as God’s family, and see what amazing things He does!