During the Savior’s visit to the American continent, after healing the sick, He invited the people to bring their children forward. The children sat around the Savior, and the adults knelt behind the children. Jesus also knelt and prayed. After the prayer, He said, “My joy is full,” and He wept. Then, “he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them. And when he had done this he wept again” (3 Nephi 17:11-22).
Shortly after this extraordinary experience, Jesus gave the following counsel:
Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed (3 Nephi 18:21).
The importance of family prayer must have been absolutely clear to this group of people after seeing the way the Savior had prayed with and for their children.
Elder John H. Groberg gave the following words of encouragement:
I promise you that as you consistently and fervently pray as a family, and as each member takes his or her turn and sincerely prays for others, impressions will come as to what you individually should do to help others. Thus, you can, in family prayer, receive personal and family revelation as to how to love and serve one another (“The Power of Family Prayer,” General Conference, April 1982).
President Henry B. Eyring recently described how consistent family prayer can build unity:
Praying as a family can play a crucial part in making home a sacred place. One person is usually chosen as voice to pray for the family. When the prayer is clearly to God in behalf of the people kneeling and listening, faith grows in all of them. They can feel expressions of love for Heavenly Father and for the Savior. And when the person who prays mentions those who are kneeling in that circle who are in need, all can feel love for them and for each member of the family (“A Home Where the Spirit of the Lord Dwells,” General Conference, April 2019).
Today, I will recommit to consistent family prayer. I will remember the importance of praying together and the blessings that can come from praying for one another. I will strive not merely to hold family prayer but to make it a unifying and spiritually uplifting experience.