I have a little confession to make. One that is embarrassing for someone who blogs about faith and family. Here it is: Our family’s prayer life hasn’t always been consistent.
There was a time, not too long ago, when I simply felt overwhelmed, and family prayer time was just one more thing to add to an already long list. And so it didn’t happen. Then the guilt would come.
You see, I wanted to be a “good Orthodox mother” who was able to seamlessly weave lessons and love into every moment of my children’s lives. A mother who would guide her little flock to the icon corner every night and serenely watch them as they kissed icons and fervently prayed.
And I was failing miserably.
Then one day in confession my priest said something that completely changed my perspective. After I had confessed this guilt, my inability to be consistent with our family prayer life, and my fear of being a bad mother, he said,
“Just start, and God will bless your offering.”
Just start. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be what some other mother is able to do. It just has to be your offering to God. And so I started.
We began praying for five minutes in the evenings with our (at the time) two little children. Many nights the prayers consisted of The Lord’s Prayer and venerating the icons. But it was a start, and God has certainly blessed it.
Now, our family prayer life is certainly not perfect. There are days when we forget to pray Morning Prayers. There are days when I lose my patience and yell at my children instead of praying for them. There are days when we have to ask forgiveness from each other and from God and start again the next day. But God blesses that new start.
If you want a little help getting started, I am excited to tell you about a new resource I have created:
A five day course called “Becoming a Family of Prayer: Orthodox Style“
In the course you will receive:
- 5 educational and inspirational lessons sent to your e-mail that will help your family become a “little church” as it prays together
- Specific action items for each day that you can start immediately
- 4 printable worksheets to help you reflect on and implement the lessons learned
- 1 pretty printable to add to your family’s icon corner
My prayer is that the course will help you start, and I know that God will bless your offering.