Family Worship

Having been brought up in a home where family worship was observed – at least once, normally twice a day – gathering as a family round the Word of God and hearing Dad’s prayers for us each, we have been shocked to find just how few families appear to still observe family worship. Family worship is such a precious thing. Many are the times we can remember our fears of school, exams, or spiritual concerns were stilled at the start of a day through the passage of God’s Word read. It was encouraging to hear our needs presented in prayer. At times it was formal, at times it dragged, at times as a child we wished it over; but it was worth being “instant in season and out of it” for those times when the Lord particularly blessed family worship to our soul.

Family worship is described in the Bible. Joshua expressed a lovely desire: “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) Family worship puts God at the centre of the family. It shows our children how much we, as parents, value the Word of God and the Throne of Grace.

Family worship means your children daily hear the Word of God which is appointed to salvation – how shall they be saved except they hear (Romans 10:13-15)? William Gouge, a Puritan, observed that “a nail that at one blow barely enters, with many blows is knocked all the way in.” So it is with repetition of the Word of God in family worship.

Family worship teaches children how to pray. Thanksgiving in prayer, for answers to prayer, teaches them that God does answer prayer, and encourages them to pray in their hour of need. If fathers feel unable to pray before their wife and children because they feel their prayers to be insufficient – what an encouragement insufficient prayers must be to children to come with child like petitions and express their needs just as they feel them to the God who hears and never turns away a coming sinner?

Family worship gives children a pattern for their own personal devotions.

Would you counter the worldliness and sin your child is exposed to for 6+ hours each day at school – family worship is the secret! Do you struggle with busy family time to find time for personal devotions as you would wish? – Family worship is God’s appointment to help parents in just that situation – a short time when the whole family is together round the Word of God.
Start small – a few verses of Scripture; the Lord’s Prayer if nothing else; possibly a verse of a hymn or Psalm if you like singing as a family. Slowly read the whole Bible through if possible. With very young children, be repetitive – singing the same verses, regularly read the same Scriptures – they will learn things quicker than you ever expect!

Finally, the rewards are great! “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

A solemn question: Can we really be concerned about our children’s education in schools; can we really be proactive in seeking to change the way schools function; can we rightly teach our children at home; if family worship be neglected in our homes?