One of my favourite times if the day is breakfast. Not because of the food (although lately I have been enjoying various arrangements of bacon and eggs...) No, because in my family breakfast time is family time. This is the time when we are all together at the same time in the same place.
We began the family routine thing many years ago when our eldest daughter Zoey started going to school. We found out the hard way that waking her up half an hour before catching the bus was no way to to get any of us off to a good start of the day. I was taught at a young age the importance of starting the day with God, and I knew I needed to instil this same value in my children, so I began the routine of getting our children up earlier each day so that they could be ready and awake enough in plenty of time for their body to receive food; both physical and spiritual. We would all come together at a set time in the morning and enjoy that half hour together over breakfast.
The breakfast table was where a lot of our family fellowship occurred. This is where we not only ate, but we talked. In our family we don't need much encouragement to talk, conversation flows freely, and especially at the meal table. Challenges are addressed, problems solved, victories celebrated and instructions given.
We would end the meal with a devotion, normally picked by my wife, Tambrey; something suitable for the kids to take with them into the day, and then we would pray together. Prayer is something we encouraged our children to participate in, at mornings together at the table as a family, and evenings, one on one with just parents and individually.
The interesting this I have found about praying together is that everyone has a different view of life, and therefore sees and prays from a different perspective. As such, I don't think there is such a thing as a bad prayer, especially when it comes to young ones. Sometimes we need to guide their thoughts and emotions so that they can learn to pray in accordance to the requirements as laid out in scripture. Obviously if my little son or daughter prays that the bully will shrivel up and die, God is not going to grant that prayer, but at that point we can take the time to not only teach them what to pray, but also talk about why the bully is a bully, and maybe address the issues that are going on in his life.
Our children are no longer children. All are adults, some have married and left home, I'm now a grandfather of 2, and the 2 remaining young adults in our home live very different time tables according to study, social and church commitments. But one thing we all still have in common, is that time around the table. We all pray. And when the occasion requires it, we pray together.
Tambrey and I pray pray together every day still. It has been our routine since before we were married nearly 30 years ago. What I love particularly about when she prays is how incredibly specific she is in her prayer. She details people, situations and circumstances and prays them through. I sit with her, we hold hands and agree in prayer, together. We have witnessed many prayers answered over the years and give God the glory for each one. And we are greatly encouraged to see that the habit of corporate prayer has been taken into our young people's families and they too are making it a daily practice.
The bible says in Psalms 133:
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing—
And in 2 Chronicles 7:14
"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
And in: Matthew 18:18-20
“ Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
“ Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Shall we pray? Together?
Have a great week!