My son Abraham is twenty today. He is number thirteen of fourteen children. It seems no time since he was sitting on my armchair. I was nursing his younger sister and the next two boys were positioned behind me, perched on the back of the chair wanting to be close to me. We gathered in our living room with the older children and their dad at prayer time before they went off to bed. By the end of prayers some of the younger ones would have fallen asleep. All Brendan had to do was carry them up to bed; a sure way of getting active children relaxed enough to sleep.
I had learnt to pray with others. We simply asked the Father in Jesus name. I began to pray this way on my own at home. I took some time when the children were at school or sleeping or even in the middle of the night if I was awake.
My faith grew as I read the scripture for myself. I believed what the Word said. I did not think these stories were not to be taken seriously in this the twentieth century when man has advanced technology and medicines.
I would quiet myself, thank and meditate on God, for his goodness, his creation, his care for me and for answers to prayers. I would find a peace that would calm me.
As our family grew, Brendan and I would call everyone together at night to pray. If God promises to answer our prayer when two or three agree, how much more will he answer when a large family gather together? Jesus also promises when two or three gather together, he will in the midst of us. Matthew 18 v 20. He comes to us. We may not see him but I believe he is present.
Brendan had to be very patient as each child prayed in their turn from the youngest to the oldest. One might say simply, “Thank you God for a good day.” or perhaps another’s request would be for a friend at school or relative, or the poor in Africa, or a new pair of shoes? Our children learnt to be confident to speak to God without fear in front of others and their faith grew as prayers were answered.
Some people think you have to go to Church to pray or children are too young to understand. No, no, Jesus said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them for such is the Kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19 v 14.
Just imagine all the angels gathered in our living room as we prayed, one angel for each person. A little heaven on earth. In fact Psalm 8 says little children silence the foe and the avenger. Our enemy is the evil one, Satan. He cannot attack when children pray.
We are encouraged to have faith like a child. We adults know too much so our minds hinder us in having simple faith. A child will trust his mum or dad to care for him without asking. Our trust in our heavenly Father should be similar.
I am not a holier or better person than anyone else. I am just a sinner who knows I have been forgiven by Jesus. I accept his gifts of healing and faith. You do not have to be good to come to God, you just have to believe he is there. Some people think they are not worthy to talk to God. Some people think only men should pray, not women and definitely not children. Keep them away hidden so the “Holy” ones can pray.
Brendan and I taught our children to pray. When they grow up they can all upon God for themselves wherever they are and God promises to hear. It is said that a family that prays together stays together.
I am healed because my family and others prayed for me. They had experienced that God answered prayers down through the years. From small prayers like “Thank you God for a good day” to big prayers like “Help God, heal my Mum from cancer. Don’t let her die in Jesus name.” In my hour of need He was faithful and my children knew how to ask God, who they believe heals today. And He did.
A survey was taken by a Christian Leader from the people who attended his conferences. He asked the fathers “How many of you pray with your children spontaneously.” He found that only 3% of the fathers prayed with their children.
2 thoughts on “Irish Family Pray Together”
Thank you Angela for the memories of the prayer-times in your house in Captain St. Coleraine, when the children were young. They are etched forever in my mind. And they set a marker in my own mind about the cohesiveness of family prayer. In case I din’t say before…thanks for your encouragement after my last comment. What is your email as I might want to send you more private notes? Mine is email@example.com
Lots of love, Aine xx
instant comment. thanks and love