We've all seen the pictures of families kneeling in a circle in prayer, where all the children's arms are folded, eyes closed, and heads bowed. Yeah right! When does this happen in our homes? Arms are poking each other, heads are pointed at the ceiling while their eyes are rolled in the back of their heads. Prayer time can be a difficult time for children...and the parents who want to tape their arms together.
I'm not promising that this will transform your children, but I do promise that it brings the spirit into my heart towards my children. In family prayer, pray for each individual. I am probably preaching to the choir, but it helps in so many ways. It helps me to think about the members in my family and what their needs are, it lets them know that I love them and want to be a part of their lives, and it teaches them to think about and pray for others.
The Presidency Message in the March Ensign is given by Pres. Thomas S. Monson and is focused on praying as families. He says,
"As father hears his tiny son pray unto God that his dad will do the right things and be obedient to the Lord’s bidding, do you think that such a father would find it difficult to honor the prayer of his precious son? As a teenage daughter hears her sweet mother plead unto the Lord that her daughter will be inspired in the selection of her companions, that she will prepare herself for a temple marriage, don’t you believe that such a daughter will seek to honor this humble, pleading petition of her mother, whom she so dearly loves? When father, mother, and each of the children earnestly pray that the fine sons in the family will live worthily that they may, in due time, receive a call to serve as ambassadors of the Lord in the mission fields of the Church, don’t we begin to see how such sons grow to young manhood with an overwhelming desire to serve as missionaries?"
It also never hurts to pray that they will be reverent during the prayer and ask for the presence of the spirit or to pray that the kids will eat their food at meal time prayer. The possibilities are limitless.