By Bill Tenny-Brittian

In my opinion, the most important time you spend together as a family is during your mealtimes. One of the ways to take your dinner (or lunch or breakfast) to the next level of spirituality is to get into the habit of Just-in-Time Prayer. Many families begin their meals by saying grace, but that’s the last mention of God for the next twenty minutes or so. Just-in-Time Prayer changes all that, but you – the parent – will have to take the initiative for the first couple of weeks until it becomes a spiritual habit in your family. The practice of Just-in-Time Prayer is simply listening for opportunities to take prayer seriously during the mealtime conversation and then praying for the need right then.

For instance, let’s say that Dillan tells you that his kindergarten teacher was sick and he had a substitute for the day. When your son finishes telling his news, you would say, “Dillan, let’s pray for your teacher to get better.” At first you will probably be the one who prays, but as you model Just-in-Time Prayer the rest of your family will learn to be pray-er. Generally, you will want to keep the prayer short (getting the family agitated by interupting their eating until the gravey congeals in not a helpful practice). However, don’t just limit your Just-in-Time Praying to the kids. Each time someone mentions some sort of a prayer need, from the trials at work to the accident you came upon during your commute, offer a brief prayer. By building this habit you’ll discover prayer becoming more important and more real for your family.