Early in 2016, our family began to gather together every Sunday for a time of bible reading and prayer with a little organization thrown in there. At 6pm every Sunday, our kids come inside from playing or riding their bikes, older kids get up from their Sunday afternoon naps, and everyone gathers in one place to pray.
For many years, I was intimidated by a family prayer time. Prayer? With the whole family? It seemed daunting and a little scary.
Since we have been doing it for a over a year, it has gotten pretty simple. We created a time which helped us and not hurt us. We have gotten about a 15 to 20 minute pattern down. Here is what we found works for us every week. I pray it may help you in leading your family in a small time of prayer and reading the Bible:
1. We gather at the same time each week.
Sundays at 6pm. That is our time. No matter what is going on or where any of our kids are, everyone knows Sundays at 6pm is the time when we pray. Having the same time every week alleviates the need for questions of when or where.
2. We read one chapter a week.
Unless our home church is doing a church wide Bible reading campaign, we read a chapter from Proverbs. Here is a our plan for reading through Proverbs: whatever date of the month the Sunday falls on, we read the numbered chapter. For example, if it is May 21, we read the 21st chapter of Proverbs. If you take the dates of the year where Sundays fall, you will discover you will read every chapter in the book of Proverbs with some reading twice.
We don’t have to figure out every week what we are going to read and you can never read too much from Proverbs. We want to build wise kids and Karen and I still need all the help we can get.
3. We then ask if there was anything anyone (or everyone) got from the reading.
With kids from early elementary age to college age, this can get pretty interesting.
4. We then ask for special prayer needs.
Upcoming test the kids are going to have or praying they achieve their school’s personal reading goals tops the list almost every week.
5. We pray every week for our three things specifically: our family, our spiritual family (our church), and our places of business.
We pray God blessings over our family – our family in Georgia sand our family in the Bahamas. We then pray over the families in our church. Finally, we ask God to continue to bless our places of employment and we thank God every week for where we serve.
6. When we pray, one person begins praying and I always conclude the prayer. We do this so they can practice the art of praying and to learn from one who is a little more experienced in praying. The one who reads the chapter is the one who begins the prayer. Occasionally, a kid will hit it all in prayer and all I say is “Amen.”
7. Finally, we coordinate calendars.
This was a BIG game changer. Football practices, school meetings, doctor appointments, out-of-town business trips, etc. For a family of nine, life gets crazy. Doing this prevented surprises and simplified our week.
I hope this breakdown helps you get an idea of how you may establish a time of prayer and Bible reading in your family. Keep it simple. You may just want to do one or two of these things. We had to grow into it and you may as well.
Finally, we will be getting together this Sunday at 6pm to pray. What can we pray for you about? Visit my Let’s Connect page and let us know what is on your mind.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14
There are four pillars to a happy marriage: respect one another as individuals; (give) soft answers; (practice) financial honesty; (conduct) family prayer. – Gordon B. Hinckley