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Simple Tips for Family Worship

Inside: We know there are great benefits to worshipping together as a family. But so often, it’s neglected in our homes because we don’t know where to begin. Here are some simple tips and resources to help get you started in this enjoyable and meaningful family time together. 

We know there are great benefits to worshipping together as a family. Here are some simple tips and resources to help get you started in this enjoyable and meaningful family time together.

So often, we can tend to overcomplicate or overthink things as believers, especially when it comes to pointing our children to Christ. One of the best examples you can give them is for them to see how Christ affects your responses and attitudes and your everyday life. But there is an important element we can tend to determine doesn’t work for our family, or it’s too complicated or takes too much time, so we avoid it, and it is family worship.

15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15

We are in a season of life now with grandchildren, and we want to continue to point them to Jesus in our time with them. We desire to come alongside our daughter and her husband and help raise these kiddos we love so much in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

I am usually the resource finder in our home, so I’m always looking for solid books to point not just myself but my whole family to Christ. One resource we’ve appreciated in our home and recommended to others is The Family Worship Bible Guide from Reformation Heritage Books.

This resource simplifies family worship time by giving short commentary, devotional thoughts, and insightful questions on the whole bible. You can work through one book at a time together and have a lively discussion time together as a family (we’re currently working through Ephesians with our grandkids when we have them over). All you need is this book and your bible to lead your family in a sweet devotional time together. This is a great resource for homeschool mamas too!

“If you do not worship God in your family, you are living in positive sin; you may be quite sure you do not care for the souls of your family. If you neglect to spread a meal for your children to eat, would it not be said that you did not care for their bodies? And if you do not lead your children and servants to the green pastures of God’s Word, and to seek the living water, how plain is it that you do not care for their souls? Do it regularly, morning and evening. It is more needful than your daily food – more needful than your work.”

Robert Murray McCheyne

Reformation Heritage Books recently shared some tips on their Instagram page to leading your family in prayer. These were taken from The Family Worship Bible Guide.

“Leading your family in worship is easier than you think.”

5 Simple Tips for Leading Your Family in Prayer:

1. Be Short

With few exceptions, don’t pray for more than five minutes. Tedious prayers do more harm than good. Don’t teach in your prayer; God doesn’t need instruction. Teach with your eyes open; pray with your eyes shut.

2. Be Simple Without Being Shallow

Pray for things that your family knows something about, but don’t allow your prayers to become trivial. Don’t reduce your prayers to self-centered, shallow petitions.

3. Be Direct

Spread your needs before God, plead your case, and ask for mercy. Name the needs of your family one by one on a daily basis. That holds tremendous weight with them.

4. Be Natural Yet Solemn

Speak clearly and reverently. Don’t use an unnatural, high-pitched voice or a monotone. Don’t pray too loudly or softly, too fast to be understood or too slow to hold attention.

5. Be Varied

Don’t pray the same thing every day; that becomes tedious. Develop more variety in prayer by remembering to adore God for His titles and attributes. Declare your humble dependence and need. Confess family sins. Ask for family mercies (both material and spiritual). Intercede for friends, churches, and the nations. Give thanks for God’s blessings.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

A Few More Tips:

I’m sharing a few thoughts that were a help to our family in establishing a time of worship together. We did not do this perfectly or every day, but the hope was to have it a fairly regular part of our lives together.

  1. Set aside time either in the morning or evening. Centering it around meal times can be helpful.
  2. Determine what elements will be part of your time together. Bible reading and prayer are the main parts of family worship but consider including psalms or hymn singing.
  3. Choose a book of the Bible and work through it together slowly and leave time for discussion.
  4. Involve the whole family. Your littlest ones will benefit too, and it is great training to help them learn to sit in church.
  5. Discuss the various doctrines that come up during your time in the Word and the application of the scriptures.
  6. Encourage your children to work hard to pay attention and focus, but all this must be done with great love for them, not with a heavy, demanding hand.
  7. Another area to possibly work through is a catechism. It’s a simple method of questions and answers to teach biblical truth. If you’re not sure which one to use, ask your pastor.
  8. You can also add in reading good Christian books that teach theology or some of the classics together, like Pilgrim’s Progress.
  9. Scripture memory is an integral part of working into your family worship time, even if you’re just memorizing one verse a month.

“Love is one grand secret of successful training. Soul love is the soul of all love.”

J.C. Ryle

Some Helpful Resources:

A Guide to Family Worship by Ryan Bush

Family Worship Podcast Episodes @The Whole Counsel

Getty Kids Hymnal Family Hymn Sing Playlist

Family Worship by Donald Whitney

Any of the books by Marty Machowski, but below are a few of our favorites:

The Family Worship Book by Terry L. Johnson

Hymns of GracePlaylist on Spotify