Monday, February 29, 2016

Ideas for Prayer During Family Worship in Training the Children on How to Pray
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Family worship may be defined as the regular coming together of a family to worship God in song, in reading the Word, and in prayer. It doesn’t have to be long. Nor does it have to be flashy. It shouldn’t be a sermon; nor should it be boring and dull. Family worship should be done by every Christian household because God deserves to be worshiped, in our homes, by our families, led by fathers, every day.

In this article, I want to provide some ideas for fathers in leading in the prayer portion of family worship so as to train the children on how to pray by employing different forms of prayer.

  • Adoration —  God is to be adored and praised by His people. To adore God means that His people extol His greatness and speak of His power and might. Families may adore God by speaking of His attributes and praising Him for who He is and what He has done.
  • Triune God — Christians worship a Trinitarian God. We worship One God who eternally exists in three co-eternal, co-existing, co-equal Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. The Father could instruct the family of each member of the Trinity in their particular roles, for instance, in salvation. The Father elects. The Son redeems. The Spirit regenerates. The Father picked. The Son purchased. The Spirit preserves. Pray Trinitarian prayers!
  • Thanksgiving — Families could spend much time, undoubtedly, in thanking God for many things. Families may remember how God protected them in hardship, how God delivered a family member’s life from a near-death experience. Families may thank God for providing the daily food, shelter, clothing, and salvation. Perhaps fathers may encourage the children to thank God for 2 or 3 things when it’s their turn to pray.
  • Supplication — Scripture commands us to present our supplications to God. We can bring our petitions to God who promises to hear when His people pray. So ask! Seek! Knock! Fathers may instruct on how to ask and for what to ask. He can model how to pray in line with God’s will.
  • Confession — All have sinned and, in the family, many have sinned against each other that very day. Use family worship not as a way of pridefully refraining from family worship out of shame but rather as an opportunity to confess sins to one another and to God. The father may choose to teach on what biblical forgiveness is and how it’s so important to repent of, confess, and forsake our sins. God hears and God lavishly forgives!
  • Holiness — A family may choose to spend a night praying specifically for holiness. Perhaps it’s praying for a closer walk with Christ. Maybe the father prays for more patience, or more contentment, or a greater, more sacrificial love for his wife. A family could pray together for holiness and earnestly believe that God will be pleased to answer these prayers.
  • Family (immediate, extended, church) — How many are the opportunities to pray for each other in the immediate family. Pray for every member in the household by name -- the youngest all the way to the oldest. Pray for grandparents, great-grandparents, and even relatives both near and far.
  • Local Church — A marvelous way that fathers can lead in the home is to model for his wife and children the importance of praying for the local church. The family can pray for their pastor as he studies during the week, or for the protection of the flock from division, conflict, and strife. God’s people can pray for the families, marriages, widows, divorced. Families might pray for the hurting & downcast. Don’t forget to pray for greater power.
  • Missions — The work of God and the gospel of grace spreads far beyond the immediate vicinity of the church. Teach your children this! Remind them that God’s fame extends to the ends of the globe. Pray for the persecuted. Pray for missionaries, by name, by region, specifically. Pray for fruit.
  • Friends — Pray for your friends whom you know, love, and care for. Pray for your neighbors that you want to see come to Christ. Pray for those on the sports team (and coaches) to repent and believe. Pray for teachers, professors, acquaintances, co-workers and others to be drawn to Christ.
  • Elders — Families should pray frequently for the shepherd-elders of their church. A father cannot instruct his children too much on the importance of godly leadership and integrity. Families can pray for the men to be above-reproach, faithful to their wives, pure, not given to anger, and not out of control. Families can pray for the elder-shepherds to lead the flock with wisdom & integrity before the eyes of God. Pray that God would give them joy.
  • A-C-T-S — Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. This simple acronym can help fathers teach a simple model or pattern for prayer.
  • Nation/leadership/president — The Word of God instructs all believers to pray, ‘first of all’, for leaders, and kings, and all those in authority. God’s people must not forget to pray for political authorities. Families must pray for God to save many and give godly leaders and to save from wicked, selfish leaders.
  • Police/fire — Families can and should praise God that He has given law-enforcement to serve communities and to provide a safe environment for people. Fathers can teach the children to thank God for the police men and firefighters and all the paramedics and related personnel who seek to serve us. Praise God!
  • Unsaved friends/neighbors — Undoubtedly you have unsaved friends and neighbors that observe you and your family interact. Perhaps as you sing on the back patio during family worship or have a church get together. Or maybe you have bible-studies in your home and the neighbors notice the get togethers. Pray that God would give you many opportunities to proclaim His glories and call the neighbors to forsake all and follow Christ to be saved from coming wrath. Pray specifically and by name.
  • God’s attributes — Our God is unfathomably glorious and ineffably wise. He has revealed Himself to us. Fathers should teach children to remember who God is and to praise God for who He is. Pray through His attributes: God’s love, holiness, righteousness, mercy, wrath, grace, patience, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, aseity, immutability, faithfulness, eternality, Fatherhood, sovereignty, goodness. Remember! Pray! Reflect! Worship! Exalt! Glory! Savor Him! 

More articles can be found at VassalOfTheKing.com

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