“Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” – Matthew 18:20
The year 2020 will be one that I’ll never forget. Like so many other people experiencing the challenges of COVID, my world changed overnight and my family had to make some huge pivots. With my daughter transitioning to eLearning, my husband losing his job, and the world shutting down for weeks—and even months in some areas, my anxiety and stress levels were at an all-time high and my already fragile prayer life started to take a deep nosedive.
This all changed when my husband wanted to find a way to stay connected to our family and friends during the pandemic. One evening in late March, he asked, “What do you think about having daily prayer? I’ll give a short reflection, our daughter can read the scripture for the day, and we can end with the Our Father. Oh and how about we Livestream it on social media?”
Prayer was not a new thing for my family as we typically say grace before meals and always do bedtime prayers with the kids, but this was different. This would be public and more structured. I wasn’t sure I was ready for that.
Well, as it turns out daily prayer was exactly what my family needed! We later learned that so many of our family and friends needed it too. The simple act of praying together for just 5 minutes helped ease my stress and anxiety and revived my prayer life.
Sometimes as we pray, I am reminded of Matthew 18:20, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in their midst.” God is there, right in our little bedroom as we pray around that candle and God is there for all the people that join us on social media. What a powerful image this is for me.
Now I don’t pretend that every night is an amazing and peaceful experience. Many times the 2-year-old wiggles and chats throughout the entire prayer and even brings a truck or hot wheel car to our little circle. Then there is the arguing between my children as to who gets to blow out the candle. Needless to say, some evenings are more stressful than others.
It occurred to me one night that even with the arguing and the wiggling, our kids are witnessing my husband and I pray together as a family! This really hit home when I found my daughter, sitting in the corner of her room with her children’s bible and a paper cross that she had made taped to the wall. When I asked her what she was doing, she said, “I’m praying to God!” Children truly are amazing!
My family and I have been doing this little prayer every evening since last March. Sometimes we Livestream it and other times it’s just a private prayer between the four of us. I imagine as the kids get older, our daily prayer will evolve and it may not happen every night, but I am hopeful that two or three of us will continue to gather in prayer and feel the holy presence of God.
This Lent, I encourage you to spend just 5 or 10 minutes a day praying— either by yourself or with others— and let God’s peace and grace wash over you. It truly is life-changing!