Thursday, September 6, 2012

Roommates Teaching me about "Family Prayer"

My first experience with “family prayer” wasn’t with my family, but with college roommates. I had joined the Church when I first started college, then for my junior and senior years I transferred from my California junior college to BYU. A couple of girls from our Institute invited me to live with them.

The house turned out to be a tiny, old house, but it was only a couple of blocks from campus. There was just enough room to fit two sets of bunk beds in one bedroom and two beds in the other bedroom. In such close quarters the six of us struggled our first couple of months as we tried to live together. Basically, we just came and went, striving to ignore each other as much as possible. After a few weeks something happened which changed how we were living – we all became very ill with a flu. After spending a week helping each other survive, we all knew we had to change. We each took responsibility for keeping some part of the house clean.
The biggest change we made was much more important than mere cleaning, we committed to having daily “Family Prayer”.  All the other girls had grown up in the Church, and said this is what we needed to do.  I’d never had  family prayer, but they all seemed so sure, so I agreed. Our first problem was finding a time when we could all be together for a few moments. It turned out that the only time was at six in the morning. I can still see one roommate who was more of a night person, sitting there half asleep with curlers in her hair, but she always made it. Actually, few of us were very bright at that time of day, but we were there.
Once for some reason we didn’t have family prayer. Up to that point, I had thought of this praying together each day as just something nice to do, but didn’t think it made much difference. Was I wrong!  That day we didn’t pray together was horrible! We snapped at each other, and everything we did or didn’t do got on the other’s nerves. Still I wondered if this had been just a “bad day”.
Another time shortly afterward, again we missed our “family prayer”. The day went the same as before. We could barely stand each other. Now, I was convinced that family prayer did matter. After that second rough day, we all committed to never allow another day to pass without our praying together.
I was astounded at the difference prayer made in helping six young women live together in a very small house. As we prayed together each day our love for each other grew. We shopped and cooked with each other. We showed concern for one another helping each other through difficult times, and we became friends.  After seeing the difference praying together made, I knew that “family prayer” was something that I wanted to have in my own family someday.
A couple of years later I graduated and was sealed to a good man in the temple. We began our marriage praying together and continued having family prayer as our family grew.  I know it has made a difference in our lives helping us grow in love for each other. Seeing how our family has been blessed through praying together has made me grateful for those five roommates who taught me the power of “Family Prayer".

part of this was published in

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