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Simple Family Devotional Time - How To Have One

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by AVBunyan, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. AVBunyan

    AVBunyan New Member

    Aug 20, 2004
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    People ask often, “What was the difference between our families today and the families of yesteryear (from 1900 back or so)? I believe one of the reasons is these families had a consistent family devotional time. In the old days many did not have regular preachers or churches for the preachers had to travel circuits leaving families without an opportunity to have a regular worship service. So, a family along with servants got together under the leadership of the head of the household and had worship services themselves.

    Are family worship services scriptural? Can we find families in the Bible worshipping in their homes? I think the point here is that how could one say it is unscriptural? Families getting together in the evening gathered around the table with the father reading the scriptures with the intent of leading the family in the worshipping their Saviour cannot be unsound.

    Do families have family worship services today? I’m sure some do but not many unfortunately. We never did until our faithful preacher told us it was beneficial and a good practice to engage in. He learned this because he reads the old Puritan writers – he certainly didn’t get this truth from modern writers and churches.

    Let’s look at some objections to family worship services.
    1. Some would say, “Well, since we have regular services today why should we have a family worship service?” Let’s look at this for a moment. Churches are made up of families. Strong churches are made up of strong families. If a family has family worship all week then they are much better prepared for corporate worship service at their local church. Plus, what better way for a family to grow in grace together than by way of family worship serve on a regular basis? Show me how it will hurt – I’m listening!

    2. Some would say, “I don’t have the time.” Well, then, get your priorities straight. Jesus said: Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. My old mom used to say, “You always do that that you want to do.” Not scripture but scriptural. You will find the time for what you want to do. Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. We are to earthly minded and busy with the things you want to do. We must help our families to be more heavenly and worship minded.

    3. Some would say, “I don’t know how to hold a family worship service.” Well, then we will seek to show you how you can – it is very simple. This is part of what this article is for – how to have a family worship time.

    I will show you what we do – you can modify to make it yours – this is only one example.

    The Elements of Family Worship Service
    A. Bible Reading
    The head of the household takes a portion of scripture and reads it to the family and make comments on what was read.
    B Prayer Time
    Take some time to pray about matters
    C. Hymn singing
    Sing some of your favorite hymns.
    D. Close in Prayer

    See how simple this can be! Now let’s look at some ideas regarding the above:

    1. Keep the scripture reading short – especially if you have small children.
    2. Don’t preach – it is not a preaching service – leave that to your preacher – you family will appreciate it!
    3. Maybe ask some questions about the passage so instruction and participation can take place.
    4. If you feel uncomfortable expounding then read what a trusted commentator says on the verse.
    5. Keep the whole worship time short – no more than 20-25 minutes.

    Some answers to fears the head of the household may have may have:

    1. “I don’t know what to say.”
    Then read a verse, read one of CH Spurgeon’s “morning or Evening” Devotions for the AM or PM and sing a hymn and pray.
    2 “Why would they listen to me, they know I’m unspiritual.”
    It is still your duty to be the spiritual head and they are to follow your leading. They are no more spiritual than you. God will give you grace.

    So, a simple guide and examples for a simple family worship have been provided – there should be no excuse. Your self and the family should be the better for it and your pastor will notice a difference. Also, it is good training and discipline for you who have small children for them to learn to sit still and reverence the Lord and show respect towards the head of the household.

    There will more thoughts on this important subject as the Lord leads. I encourage you who do not have a family worship service to start one soon. God will bless you for it.

    May God bless!
  2. James_Newman

    James_Newman New Member

    Aug 27, 2004
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    This is a good topic AV, something I am having to learn how to do. My family was not religious at all growing up, family time was spent in front of a TV eating a pot pie. I have started reading to my family at night a chapter or two from the bible, and I ask my five year old questions as we go along. I try to keep it something he can pay attention to, like David and Goliath, or Jonah, something with a little action and a veggie tales reference ;) It has really been a blessing to me, as some days it is the only bible reading I get done.
  3. JGrubbs

    JGrubbs New Member

    Feb 4, 2004
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    Another great post!!

    After serving as a youth pastor for over four years and seeing how easy it was to fall into the thinking that my family was getting enough at church that I didn't have the time to be the spiritual leader at home. Since leaving the minitry I have been letting God show me how to lead my family in daily "family worship". I have found many great resources online, here is one that gives away a free Christian Leaders Family Journal, I think it is great:


    "Every Christian family ought to be, as if it were, a little church." --Jonathan Edwards