Always remember that God has entrusted your kids to you and therefore, you are the primary disciplers of your kids. Now, while there are no guarantees, we are still called to offer them every opportunity to come to Jesus and grow in their relationships with Him.
So, today we’re going to spend some time talking about family devotions. This is often a dreaded concept for some parents because they are afraid that their kids are going to ask some questions that they are not prepared or knowledgeable enough to answer. In previous weeks, we have discussed how to teach your kids how to have their own personal devotional time reading the Bible, praying and communicating with God, but this week, we’re going to more specifically address Family Devotions.
Remember, when it comes to prayer, it doesn’t matter who any of us are, how old we are, or how well-spoken we may or may not be, all of our prayers are equal in God’s ears. Therefore, it is incredibly important to teach your children, even at a very young age to speak with God about all the things in life that they are concerned with.
Now, if you have older children, you can simply gather together, read a passage or chapter of the Bible together, and then discuss any questions they may have and how the passage can apply to their lives. You can then follow up with some time in prayer together. You don’t need any lengthily preparation or study ahead of time. And, sometimes you’ll only get through a couple verses before somebody brings up a good question that leads to a great discussion. Other times, there won’t be any great debate or discussion, and that can be equally as valuable, so long as your family receives God’s truth from the Bible and takes time to pray.
It doesn’t have to be some ultra-spiritual, ultra-mystical experience. It’s simply a routine you, as a family, develop where you read the scripture, submit to it, apply it to our lives and pray.
When your children are younger, you’ll want to read from a Bible storybook with them and spend a little time with them in prayer. If you’d like, you can also sing a hymn or song from church together.
Now, regarding prayer, when you pray together as a family, it has a PROFOUND SPIRITUAL EFFECT ON FAMILIES. While it is important that we not be hypocritical (full of anger, greed, lust, or other unconfessed sin) when we lead our families in prayer, it’s incredibly bonding when we as parents and children gather together to pray for and with one another. Many people (especially adults) are not comfortable praying out loud. One way to overcome this is to get them talking with God out loud as early as possible.
Now there are more opportunities for prayer than just during family devotions. You can also pray together at regular times throughout each day, such as at dinner. This teaches them thankfulness for the day they had, the food that is provided for them and it brings everyone together.
Additional times throughout each day that are good times to pray together include:
– Emergencies and Times of Crises: This introduces them to seeing God answer prayer and praying with others consistently over time, through life’s valleys.
– Great Times (Vacations, Birthdays & Other Celebrations): This teaches them thankfulness and sharing joyful experiences with God.
– Moment-to-Moment Prayers: Teaches them an attitude and lifestyle of “praying without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)