How to Use A Family Prayer Jar to Bring Your Family Together

Finding quality family time is a challenge for most families. You have work, your kids’ school, your social life, and extracurricular activities for your kids that all compete. It can be hit-and-miss for many families.

How to use a family prayer jar to bring your family together - JackieBledsoe.com

Some families are able to spend time together, but they aren’t always present when they are together. It happens to us a lot. Our kitchen table is where it all goes down. We eat, we homeschool, we work, and we play games.

Unfortunately, sometimes that is all done at the same time. I may be writing a blog post, my wife may be sending an email to the other families in our homeschooling community, our daughter and oldest son may be doing school work, while our youngest might be tracing his letters, or playing on the iPad.

A family prayer jar will bring your family together

I sadly have to admit that even when we are all supposed to be eating dinner we can still be apart (ahem—cell phones and laptops and tablets). But, recently we have found a way that gets all of us to shut down any distractions, and stop doing what we are doing to quietly come together. A family prayer jar.

Using a family prayer jar truly brought our family together.

This has worked despite all the potential distractions we have that pull our family apart even while in the same room at the same table!

One of the best ideas for our family

My wife created the prayer jar and it sits in the middle of our kitchen table. It is filled with popsicle sticks that have prayer requests written on them. When she first created it and shared it with me I thought it was a pretty cool idea. But I didn’t know how powerful it really was, and the many ways it would benefit our family.

Now that we’ve used it for a few weeks, I love it! Through all the distractions we have, even while sitting at the same table, what we do around this prayer jar is amazing. First, let me tell you about the jar itself and how we use it.

How to create and use a family prayer jar

The prayer jar is nothing more than an empty jar, like what spaghetti sauce or some jarred fruit comes in. The label is removed, the cap is thrown away, and it is cleaned thoroughly. Next, you get a bag of popsicle sticks that have not been used. On each popsicle stick you write your prayers, and the prayer requests of friends and family.

The Bledsoe family prayer jar - JackieBledsoe.com

Our family prayer jar

Each time we sit down at the table together we all grab a random prayer stick and begin to pray. Prayer is pretty well-respected in our house, so once someone begins to pray everyone stops what they are doing.

We don’t limit using the prayer jar to only times when we are eating. Sometimes we are homeschooling, working, or just sitting there. Once someone grabs a prayer stick everyone else follows suit, and the next thing you know we have created a prayer circle together.

How using a family prayer jar will bless your family

  1. Using a family prayer jar eliminates distractions and brings us all together at least for those moments of prayer. The quote, “the family that prays together stays together,” sums this up so well. But like quality family time, family prayer time can be pushed out by other things. The prayer jar has been our solution to that problem.
  2. Using a family prayer jar reinforces the value we place on prayer in our family for our kids. I always say my wife is a prayer warrior. One of my goals is to make sure our kids know the value of prayer and consistently pray. The fact that we made prayer the center of one of the most important places in our home reminds them daily.
  3. Using a family prayer jar teaches our kids to not just pray before we eat and before we go to bed. A prayer circle can happen at any particular time, for no specific reason at all. I grew up praying before meals and occasionally before bed. We’ve tried to pray more than that, but sometimes prayer can become a reactive or crisis response. Proactively praying will show them prayer is not limited to certain events or issues. 
  4. Using a family prayer jar gives our kids and our entire family the opportunity to pray for others. Our kids pray for their classmates, friends, their grandparents, us, our Facebook friends, and even strangers they have never met. Prayers have ranged from sick friends, to a child who had to have brain surgery, to a family who lost a family member unexpectedly. Our four-year-old typically eyeballs the popsicle sticks so he can pray for his Nana and a particular friend he really likes. 🙂
  5. Using a family prayer jar helps instill the discipline of prayer, which is particularly helpful for me as I sometimes “forget” to pray. There was a time when I stopped saying to people, “I’ll pray for you,” because I wasn’t sure I would once I got away from them. I wanted to and had every intention to, but somehow it wouldn’t always get done. With the prayer jar it has given me a consistent way to record these requests, and actually pray for them.
  6. Using a family prayer jar allows God to go to work in our lives. We believe prayer is a way for us to directly communicate with God. We also believe He hears our prayers, and will answer them. I honestly think the less I talk to God, the less effective I am in handling the daily aspects of my life. I have noticed a direct correlation between my prayer life and how things are going in my life.
  7. Using a prayer jar is creating a lasting family tradition. Family traditions are great, and some of them last generations. Few of them not only last many generations, but also have an eternal impact. Having a family tradition centered on prayer will do more for my kids, more for their kids, and each generation that follows than any other family traditions we have.

Question: Do you use a family prayer jar or something similar? How does it impact your family? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

What is your LifeScore?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Lashawn reed

    Thanks for sharing. This a really great way to start my family praying together! I’ve just started reading your book and very much like you and your wife me and my husband have experienced some of the same things you speak about. I’m wondering if you can a share some marriage retreats that I should be on the look out for and share how I might me able to stay posted about them? Thanks!

    • Hey Lashawn. Thanks. The marriage retreat we go to each year we found out when some friends of ours invited us. I’d ask around to other couples in your area who are focused on growing in their marriage. My wife and I are also considering doing some retreat of our own in other areas of the country. If you are interested, or their may be a church in your area interested, let us know by visiting my “speaking” page or my “contact me” page.

  • dean

    I am here to appreciate the good work of this site for helping to locate my helper who is Dr Ekaka. I have been having misunderstanding with my husband which leads to divorce some few years ago, But i was unable to move on with my life because i have so much love for my husband and my kid love him too. I heard about Dr Ekaka whatsapp no +447597423935 here some few Weeks ago and i decided to contact him for help and he told me what i need to do which i did i was so surprised when i got a call from my husband apologizing to me as told me he was going to come back to me it all seems like a dream to me thank to Dr Ekaka i am back with my husband again and i am so happy.

  • Kelly Hill Smith

    Love this idea! We allow our children to lead the prayer before meals, but always ask if there are any special prayers. The jar is great; follow up to help us to remember how God answers prayers.

  • Avonna Formalejo

    This sounds great! What do you normally do with the stick once you’ve prayed for it? Do you put it back to be prayed for again or take it out?

    • We keep them in the jar and continue to pray for them when pulled out of the jar. We recently decided that once a prayer is answered we put a date (or estimated date) of the answered prayer on the back and put it in another jar. That way we can go back and reflect on how God has answered prayers. 🙂

  • This is a great idea and fun for the kids. I can see this being a great hit and help develop good Christian Disciplines in kids. I can see how fun this would be when family comes into town to visit and we can pray for each other and add to the jar.

    • Yes, indeed! Didn’t think about sharing it when family come to visit. Great idea, Kirby!

  • Marvin G

    I kind of got lost as far as the writing a prayer and a prayer request on the sticks. I’m assuming they are two separate things? Not sure what is meant by writing a prayer on the stick. Thank you

    • Thanks for asking, Marvin. Basically, you write your prayers or prayer requests you’ve received on the sticks. So, somebody has an illness, you can write “Healing for (person’s name)” Or someone is looking for a new job, write “New job/career for (person’s name).” Or if you are having communication issues with your wife or kids, write “communicate in love and with understanding with (your wife or kids).” All of the sticks in our jar have prayers on them. We pick one, read the request, then begin to pray about/for that issue.

      Does that make sense?

      • Marvin G

        Yes it does and Thank you very much got it

        • My pleasure! If you begin to use one in your family, let me know how it works for you all.

  • Love this idea, Jackie. Think we should try something similar!

  • Pingback: 3 Ways a Man Can Keep His Family Together | JackieBledsoe.com()

  • Pingback: The Ultimate Game Changer for Your Marriage | JackieBledsoe.com()

  • Pingback: Why Your Family Should Watch TV Like Your Parents Used To (Plus FREE DVD/Blu-Ray) — JackieBledsoe.com()

  • Tim H Swanson

    Tonight, in marriage counseling, my counselor suggested I make a list of 10 things I can do to be a better spiritual leader in my home. I came straight to your blog as I started making my list. Thanks for delivering Jackie!

    • My pleasure, Tim! I hope counseling is going well for you. We’ve gone through marriage counseling, and it was a blessing to our marriage.

  • Janis Meredith

    Jackie, great idea! Love the kind of dad you are being for your kids!

  • Great idea that my family may have to borrow. We’re always looking for new ways to liven up our devotional time or to include the whole family and this definitely fits.

    • Thanks, Devin! I encourage you to do so. It is great, and it makes good use of the natural time we are around the table.

  • Man, great idea. You should check out The Circle Maker book by Mark Batterson, then read Praying Circles Around Your Children. Two amazing books.

    • Thanks, Eric! I am familiar with The Circle Maker. I started, but didn’t finish the book. It was fantastic. I think I had to return it to the library or something. I may have to buy the Kindle because everyone has said great things about it.

    • Janis Meredith

      Absolutely positively LOVE The Circle Maker!