In the last month we have made one more small change in our family life, and this decision came from my husband David, which made it easier to implement, to integrate the family prayer, which I always wanted in the family, but due to various reasons, we found difficult to come together at one particular time to spend time in prayer.
I made attempts in the earlier days of our marriage, and then gradually gave it up, as I could not get everyone together at a particular time, and after the arrival of children, the time schedule changed, we managed with individual prayers and only on some important occasions came together for prayer, that will be only a few times in a year.
One evening David came home early, and suggested we prayer together and Dorothy my daughter who has just learnt her prayers, was eager that she leads us into prayer, I was happy for I did not have to do anything, everything was falling in place. And so we prayed together and sang hymns, while we did that my mother in law also joined in, so now the whole family was praying together.
It was a beautiful experience, and the decision was taken that from now on every day we shall pray together as a family, its more than a month now, we have begun this habit, and gradually also bringing in changes in our prayer to make it personal and meaningful.
Personally I have always believed in prayer, and I have learnt this from my parents who always prayed, and took refuge in God for everything that happened in life. Even though later on it had become a ritual of saying the rosary at 7p.m. every day, it had helped me to focus my mind on to the creator and be thankful to him , and through a lot of questioning, reading the bible, sharing with friends I have learnt to move beyond rituals to actually develop a personal relationship with the creator.
Today I have a different style of praying, I do not much rely on written prayers, or prayers recited by habit, I just need to close my eyes and open my heart, and I communicate in silence, in a quiet way. I do pray in different ways, some times when I have walked for long and then rest quietly, I am fully aware of God’s presence, at other times, I am singing alone, and doing the ordinary chores, like sorting out clothes, cleaning the shelf, settling my cupboard and I sit down for a while all by myself and open myself to the divine presence and I am filled with gratitude, at other times I take a walk to the church and sit there in silence and I am filled with happiness.
In the last few days, I found my heart singing psalms of praise while swimming in pool, and I got out of the pool extremely energized and bubbling with enthusiasm and I knew I was connected to the divine, sometimes I am riding, and while I feel touch of the breeze and there is an auto response from my heart, a song on my lips and my riding becomes a divine experience.
When I look back, at all my varied experiences of the divine, it traces its root to the experience that began from the family prayers, which today has empowered me to believe in myself and to believe in the God who believes in me.
Be Happy !