For the last 2-3 years, I have been saving interesting and useful URLs in a Word document. Picked up a few from my stash for today's links. Amy and I have been trying various experiments with our family prayer over the last year and a half. Experiments in terms of place, timing and procedure!! Right before bed was not a good idea as our bedtimes differ by at least 2-3 hours!! By the same coin, as soon as we get up was not feasible either, as yours truly was not sure if he was reading from Generation or Revolution!! So we tried before meals - that did not work as sitting in front of the food was too much of a distraction for me!! And so, right now, when it happens, it is after our dinner (on the days we eat together - which are few as Amy has so many duties!). Here are a few links on family prayer which we hope to incorporate over time!!
SPIRITUAL FOOD WITH PHYSICAL FOOD: This farming (and home-schooling) mother talks about the more important food at each meal - the spiritual food. Every member has a Bible and in fact the children learn to read during these times of family prayer. Here are 6 activities they follow after each meal.
- We read 10-15 verses at a time, chronologically through a book of the Bible, less with little children, more with older.
- We want to savor, chew long. We give each person their own Bible, their own serving, so each person can see Words, what they're eating.
- We read the Words aloud together, eat like a communal meal. Like we help little ones eat with the fork, we help little ones with words -- oh how they smile, reading Scripture on their own...
- We discuss, serve the Words around. Children explain meaning, offer summaries, ask questions. Parents taste conviction, confess, repent.
- We meditate, listen to the Spirit, let each quietly chew the wordsWe close in prayer, voices around the table, sometimes too with a hymn
PLANNING AND CREATING TIME: This article is for people like us who do not always have meals together. It suggests planning a schedule for family prayers so that interruptions like duties do not cause disruption of the routine. So we look ahead to the days that Amy has night duty or I have a long list of operations and have our prayer in the morning on those days.
TOPICAL PRAYER SCHEDULES: This blog talks about specific prayer points for each day of the week and for ease of remembrance, they start with the same letter as the day of the week. So Monday is for Missionaries, Tuesday for Teachers (including Mummy who home schools), Wednesday is for Witness, Widows and Wisdom, Thursday is for Those in authority, Friday for Friends and Family, Saturday for Sinners and Sunday for Saints (ie. other Christians)
A BIBLE READING MOVEMENT: This blog talks about the wonderful possibilities that could come if reading the Bible and praying start in the family. If they are not a chore, but an excitement. If everyone is eager to read and discuss the Word of God. That it will spill over into everything we do. We will be talking and thinking about the Bible more and more till it affects our whole life. (HT: Z)
A WORD FROM DAVID WILKERSON: In this devotion, David Wilkerson talks about the importance his childhood family prayers played in his own life.
And finally, I end with a quote from one of my favourite spiritual heroes, Mother Teresa. She said 'Be sure to teach the families to pray all together - father, mother and children. For the family that prays together stays together, and if they stay together they will love one another as Jesus loves each one of them...I will be praying that the Lord will bring peace into the world through the love of fathers for their families...'