As a teenager, I remember groaning when Daddy would call the family to devotions after supper. Not again, I’d inwardly complain, then sigh as if my life were ending. Maybe you experience a similar reaction when you announce to the kids that it’s time for your family quiet time. Or maybe you’ve never had the courage to initiate devotions and don’t even know where to start.
Here are a few tips for enhancing your family prayer time, a vital practice. My counselor husband notes that the well-known axiom, “the family that prays together stays together,” is quite true. He’s never counseled a family yet that fell apart when they committed to praying together.
1) Pray for everyone on your block or on your road. To expand on this idea, take a “prayer walk” around the block, praying for each neighbor as you pass their home.
2) Write prayer requests on small pieces of paper and put them into a box. During prayer time have each one reach into the box and draw out one slip to pray for. If you have pre-schoolers, you might draw a simple picture of the prayer request.
3) Keep a journal of answered prayer. In our family, we call it "Our Memorial Stones"--significant times in the life of our family when God proved Himself faithful.
4) Design a prayer board. Tack requests on one side and move them to the other side when they are answered.
5) Make construction paper flowers for people to whom you have witnessed. Make fruit for those who have trusted Christ. Pin these on your bulletin board.
6) Say sentence prayers. Dad mentions a request, then one person in the family prays for it briefly. Follow this plan until requests are done.
7) One person mentions a request aloud and everyone prays silently for it.
8) Pray around the world for every country. Take one country each night and pray for the missionaries in that country, then take and mark an "X" on the map.
9) Have a "thank-you, only" night. Each person prays for as many things as he can thank the Lord for.
10) Pray in a different way each night of the week.
MONDAY--Pray for a missionary or read a missionary newsletter
TUESDAY--Pray for unsaved friends and relatives
WEDNESDAY--Pray for people in the church
THURSDAY--Pray for the kids in your youth group
FRIDAY--Pray for family needs
With a little creativity you can move family prayer time from blah to blessed.
Eileen Rife, author of Second Chance, speaks on a variety of topics for women’s groups. Her next novel, Laughing with Lily, was just released by OakTara. She is currently working on two novels: Seasons of Hope and December Sunrise inspired by the Sandy Hook shootings. www.eileenrife.com, www.eileen-rife.blogspot.com