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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Family Prayer Time/ Family Night

Family Prayer Time

Families should have a daily prayer time and Bible reading.  You may find great strength in getting up half an hour earlier each morning to come together to read one chapter of the Bible, or even just a segment of a Bible chapter for the longer chapters like Psalm 119. 

There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible.  If a family reads an average of one chapter per day, they should be able to read the entire Bible in a little under three and a half years.  Imagine, if a family starts reading the Bible together when a child is first born, by the time that child is 18 years old they will have read the Bible through over five times.

You may wish to have the children share Bible stories they have heard or read or what they learned at Sunday school, AWANA Club, or other church group.

When our children were growing up, we started our family prayer with the Lord’s prayer:

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 
Matthew 6:9-13 KJV
After that, we, David and Suzanne, would each say a prayer.  Following us, each child in birth order would say a short prayer.  As each child finished their prayer, they would say the word “Next” to let the next person know it was their turn to pray.  If a child did not have something on their mind to pray about, they would just say the word “next” and the next person in line would pray.

After the youngest child finished her prayer, she would start praying  the Prayer of Jabez.

“Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!"
1 Chronicles 4:10 New King James Version

Families need this time together.  We chose to have the family Bible and prayer time each night before we went to bed.  You may wish to do that or you could choose to have it every morning.

If you miss a day, don’t knock yourself out.  Just resolve to do better the next day.  You will miss some days.  Don’t let a one day miss get you out of the habit.  This time with God is important.

Family Night

While we talk about family time with God, we should also talk about family time overall. Let us throw out the concept of setting aside one night a week as family night.  Some people refer to this as “Family Home Evening”.

The family should set aside one evening each week when the whole family can be together.  It should be a certain night that is set aside each week when only the most drastic of circumstances would interfere. 

If there is one night a week when no one has ball practice, music or dance lessons, or church groups to attend, then that would be the night to choose.

Family Night is a great time for families to grow together.  There need be no formal arrangement for how a family home evening should go.  You could have a snack together as a family.  Have a word of prayer to open the evening. Then, maybe pop some popcorn together or bake some brownies together. 

What about making a churn of homemade ice cream together? Don’t know how? There has to be a YouTube videoabout making homemade ice cream. 

Families can watch a favorite movie together or sing songs together.  Take some time to discuss what is on your kids’ minds and really listen. 
Families can play a board game together or work on a craft together.   The key is to get the family together doing something that all enjoy. 
Family Night is a good time to have a family meeting or discussion during part of the time, but never the whole time.
There will be times when your kids have friends at the house during the time for family home evening.  That is okay, include them, too.
Remember: During Family Night, all cell phones are off and out of sight.  No one, including adults is checking email or social media.

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