Use these eight creative ideas for praying with your family to help bring peace, comfort, and guidance to your family and the families in your church during this unprecedented—and often stressful—time.
And you can share with one another! Consider inviting extended family members to join you. You might include elderly parents, bachelor brothers, or a crew of cousins.
There are many digital resource options to help you connect with family from afar. And if all else fails, a landline phone call can do wonders to encourage absolutely anyone.
You’ll first want to grab the free download of The Action Bible Anytime Devotions here. Then read or print out this post for family together time activities that coincide with the daily devotions.
This resource is meant to bring your family together. The tools for prayer can be used at any time of day and can certainly be used over and over throughout the length of this health crisis and beyond.
When You’re Lonely
Gather together as a family, hold hands, and invite one person to pray:
Loving God, even though we are all together as a family, it can still feel lonely at times. We ask that you help us to remember that you are always with us and we can come to you any time—day or night. Thank you for always listening and loving us. You are part of our family, and we welcome you here. Amen.
When Hope is Hard to See
Begin by saying the words: God is always with me.
Then encourage each family member to finish the statement: God, you are with me when…
Continue taking turns until family members run out of ideas.
Close with: God, wow, you really are always with us, even when we might forget. Thank you. We need you and we love you. Amen.
For Impossible Times
Together as a family, make a list on a large poster board, dry erase board, or piece of paper of what feels impossible right now. Write absolutely everything down—no thought is unimportant.
Once all your family’s feelings are written out, explain that everyone’s feelings are right and important. Encourage your family members to work together as you take turns praying for each impossible item.
Family Member 1: It feels impossible when…
All Family Members: Lord, be with us.
Family Member 2: It feels impossible when…
All Family Members: Lord, be with us.
Go through each concern. Note that anyone can pray for any concern written down—it is powerful to pray for each other’s worries!
Conclude with: Just like you were with Gideon when he faced an impossible battle, Lord you are with us. Thank you for never leaving our side. Amen.
When You’re Anxious
Invite all of your family members to sit in a circle and hold hands. Explain that a lot of people in our world feel anxious right now and that is a very appropriate way to feel.
Even Jesus’ closest friends felt anxious at times, and they were learning directly from him, often while they were with him.
When we feel overwhelmed, or anxious, we can tell God and invite him to help us. You will start this family prayer by telling God what is making you nervous right now.
(Parents, this is a nerve-wracking time for sure. Be honest with your kids but be sure to not overwhelm them with emotions of yours that they might not be equipped to handle.)
For example: God, I am nervous that grandma is lonely at her assisted living facility. Then, gently squeeze the hand of the person to your right. It is their turn to share something they are anxious about with God.
This can be done silently, or aloud. They can then gently squeeze the hand to their right. Go around the circle until nothing is left to share.
Close with: Thank you for hearing us, Father God. We know you are with us. Amen.
Consider following up with each family member in the coming days and encourage continual prayers with God for what makes them feel anxious.
When You Feel Angry
Grab a bunch of paper and items to write with. Put the paper in the center of a table and invite each person in your family to write or draw what is making them angry right now.
For each item they record, have them crumple that piece of paper and toss it as far away from themselves as possible. Just be sure to avoid other people and pets.
As they toss it, encourage them to yell God, I am angry because _______________!
Once everyone’s feelings of anger have been tossed, carefully gather up each one as your family watches. Hold them close and place them all together on the table.
Explain that God hears us when we are angry. It’s okay to whisper, and it’s okay to shout. God will gather all of our concerns together—even when we are mad—and hold us close.
Ask everyone to stretch out their arms and hold their open palms, face down, over the crumpled papers as you pray: God, it is so easy to feel angry when so many things seem out of control. We are so glad that you always love us, and always hear us, even when we are angry.
Dispose of the crumpled concerns. If possible, safely toss them into a fire pit or fireplace and let them be destroyed while keeping the contents of each paper confidential.
When You Get Tired of the Rules
Share this prayer with your family: God, you are all-knowing and all-powerful. We are living in some strange times and right about now it can feel hard to follow the rules. We miss our friends. Virtual play dates and hang outs just aren’t the same. Sometimes staying at home feels extra hard, God!
We are getting on each other’s nerves around here. Working from home is getting harder. Doing school from home is weird when I can’t be with my friends.
Help us all to remember why these new rules are so important. Help us to know that we are actually helping other people right now. God, we know this health situation will pass. We know that you are with us every minute of every day.
Please continue to give us patience as we love our neighbors and follow these rules that are meant to keep us safe. Amen.
When You Feel Trapped
Grab a large piece of paper, dry erase board, or anything the whole family can see. Write the letters to the word STRENGTH vertically down the left side of the paper:
Brainstorm together as a family words that start with each letter relating to how it is feeling being ‘stuck’ in your home at this time.
When you are finished, share this prayer: God, you give all of your followers what they need to be strong. It is hard to spend so much time together at home, and we need some of your strength to help us as we feel:
Thank you for loving us so much and sharing your strength. Amen.
When You Think About Others
Gather any stationary you might have at home, along with several kinds of writing utensils such as markers, colored pencils, pens, and so on. This can be as simple as notebook paper and envelopes.
Explain to your family that everyone in the world is affected by this health situation. Talk about ways your extended family, friends, and neighbors might be having a hard time.
Invite everyone to write a prayer to someone whose name was shared. It might look like this:
Today I am praying for you! I hope _____________.
You can then address the envelope and mail the prayer!
As you seal each envelope, say this prayer together:
God, please bless ___________. Let them know they are loved. Amen.
OPTION: Do this prayer activity virtually! Create some online messages and load them up with positive emojis. Before you hit send, say the above prayer together.