“The family that prays together . . .”: Relational processes associated with regular family prayer.

In the present article we explored how family prayer reportedly influenced family relationships. We conceptualized family prayer as a family ritual in religious families and used a qualitative methodology to interview a religiously, ethnically, and geographically diverse sample of 198 families (N = 476). Analysis of data revealed 7 related themes. Family prayer served important functions and influenced relationships in various ways including (a) as a time of family togetherness and interaction; (b) as a space for social support; and (c) as a means for intergenerational transmission of religion. Further, family prayer (d) involved issues and concerns of individuals and the family; (e) helped reduce relational tensions; (f) provided feelings of connectedness, unity, and bonding. Finally, (g) families struggled to pray together when there was disunity. Implications, applications, and future directions are addressed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)