Friday, November 14, 2014

family devotions

Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.

It has been almost 6 years since our family began one of the most important things we have ever done.  That is our family devotions.  Each night before we go to bed we stop and turn off as many distractions as possible.  We then read Scripture together and pray.  For Julie, our children, and me this is an important time.

I want to spend a few minutes sharing with you some of the pieces of our daily family devotions.  Some of these items have helped us be successful and to keep going.

DON'T STOP.  Keep on and make sure it happens every night.  Even if one of the family is gone, we still do our devotions.  One of the cool parts of technology that has helped us is FaceTime from Apple.  We can do devotions together even when I have to be away.

HAVE A READING PLAN.  Right now we are reading a devotion about great spiritual character traits.  We use reading plans from the YouVersion Bible.  It allows you to read certain parts of the Bible on a schedule.

PRAY OUT LOUD.  This is a big piece for me.  I love to hear my children pray, and it also teaches them and gives them confidence to pray out loud.  I love to hear my children pray for other people. 

We have missed some nights but only a few.  After the first few months our kids would not allow us to miss family devotions.  Some nights they just can't happen, like when we have to be out real late or when a crisis has occurred, yet that is very rare.

Like most families we will have one of our kid's friends over to spend the night.  We make sure to include them in our devotions.  When family visits or a church guest is here, they are included too.

You might want to hold right there for a minute.  Some of you are thinking that I am a bit hard or something like a tyrant to make this happen.  Folks, I have to guard against that because God called me to help my family see and experience the same grace and get the same 2nd chances that we offer people in ministry. 

Devotions are not something we are legalistic about.  There is not a right way or a wrong way to do it.  The biggest component is that everyone needs to have a part and to listen in.  Every child has a part of this. 

JUST DO IT.  Yeah.  Yeah.  This slogan belongs to Nike, but it speaks volumes to you and to me.  Start somewhere.  Start tonight.  Do it at the dinner table when you are eating or gather around one person in their bed as you all get ready for sleep.  We gather in the family room.

Want some more hints?  Just ask.  We have used some Scripture and some tools and books that have helped us along the way.  Read something that includes Scripture or just something from the Bible, connect with each other and then pray.

We are convinced that our family is stronger than ever because of our commitment to have family devotions together.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

NOTE: much of this post was first shared in October of 2011.

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