May is Mental Health Awareness Month, an initiative that was first started over 60 years ago by Mental Health America. This year’s theme is “Tools2Thrive,” so we are excited to share suggestions each week of different types of prayer that can support a strong spiritual practice and a healthy mental state.
(See our earlier posts on Lectio Divina, Praying with Saints, and The Examen.)
The final tool we’re sharing this week is Community and Family Prayer. On this Memorial Day Holiday, we know that many people will be spending well-deserved time relaxing with their friends and family. This community energy can be just as beneficial in our prayer lives!
We believe that prayer helps build a strong personal relationship with God, and we believe that praying with and for others is an important practice that strengthens communities and helps to build God’s Kingdom. After all, we are all one body in Christ 🙂 .
From a mental health perspective, building and maintaining a strong community is incredibly important. Having close relationships with those around us help us build a sense of belonging and purpose and has been linked to increased health, happiness, and even longevity.
In our spiritual lives, community is just as important. We celebrate sacraments together because we want to share the joy of marriage and baptism with our spiritual companions. We look to others in times of sorrow for comfort and to know that those around us may have experienced something similar.
In the creation story in Genesis, God creates both Adam and Eve because humans are inherently social beings.
The Lord God said: It is not good for the man to be alone.Genesis 2:18
The Hallow app can be an important tool for building a personal prayer practice, but we also have several tools designed to build a prayer community and unite together.
Throughout the year, we host Community Challenges that invite our users to pray together in a particular type of prayer. Most recently, we prayed together with Chika Anyanwu the Holy Spirit Novena to prepare for Pentecost. Right now, you can join the Sacred Heart Novena with Jonathan Roumie. The Community Challenges unite us as one Church in prayer.
Did you know you can create your own family or group in the Hallow app? You can invite your friends and family to join you in a private space where you can share reflections on the sessions and ask for prayers from your group. (You can also schedule prayers for your family to pray together – simply select “schedule session” then choose the time and the Hallow Family.)
The app includes three prayers specifically designed for families to pray together – in the Morning, at Dinner, and in the Evening. Each of these are meant to be prayed together out loud, and we’ve included the opportunity to discuss together afterwards as well. Building a habit of praying together can strengthen your relationship with your family and open the door for further discussion and journeying as a group. (Family prayers can be found in the app under ‘Dailies.’)
We know that there are many communities praying together who use Hallow and have drawn closer together through prayer. We partner with schools, parishes, and other communities to help support their prayer life with Hallow accounts, events, trainings, and more. These community partnerships are an important part of our mission of one million people praying every day. (Interested in learning more? Reach out at email@example.com or read about our Educator program and School Partnerships.)
Wherever you are in your prayer journey, and whatever may be working through in your personal mental health, we believe that those around you can be an important source of strength, wisdom, and inspiration. The Hallow family is always here for you, and we continue to pray for each and every one of our users.
We hope you’ll pray with us!
Note: While prayer is an important part of strong mental health, it is not a standalone solution to severe mental illness such as depression, addiction, severe anxiety, etc. If you are experiencing any of these, we urge you to reach out to a mental health professional in your area.