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Starting a Family Devotion

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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7, ESV).

The best time to start anything was yesterday and the next best time is right now, so the saying goes. The daily commute, baseball practice, and homework can all become so overwhelming that for most of us, we are just trying to make it to the weekend! But we are called as parents to a holy vocation, indeed a vocation that many would-be parents envy as they struggle with infertility. This holy vocation is to raise our children in the covenant of God’s grace. I don’t expect this will come across very well but everything else is a distraction when it comes to our relationship with the Lord. But even tithing a couple hours of our day to the Lord sounds taxing when you have work, commitments, and then your children’s school and their extracurricular activities – what is a Christian to do?

Re-read the verse I started this article with. The modern hustle and bustle creates anxiety – but the solution is to seek the Lord who calms the seas through prayer and giving thanks. The promise God gives us is His peace – a deep and abiding, peace from the anxieties and distractions of this world. As parents, we are called to lead our children. This means starting at home by setting a time for family prayer and devotion. If you have never done this before, I know it can be awkward at first. But again, do not be anxious but be faithful. As a trivocational pastor with three little ones I can sympathize that the days can get away from you – so be encouraged by starting slow and growing from there.

We can pray or have devotion anywhere- even in the carpool line! While driving our kids to school I pray over them for the new day and during the evening they pray for tomorrow and give thanks for the day that has passed. If everyone gathers over a meal then end the meal with a short portion of the Gospel and reflect upon it. You will be amazed by what your kids take away from our Lord’s parables and teachings. Older children are fed a lot at school – so fill them with spiritual knowledge to benefit their soul. Use a catechism as a tool and work through a question a night and dig into the Scripture references to get your pre-teen or teen deeper in the Word and in their faith. Your grandchildren will thank you one day when they too are being raised in the faith. 

-Rev. Andrew Brashier 

Senior Pastor of the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd

Author of A Faith for Generations: A Family Prayer Guide in the Anglican Tradition

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