Ten Reasons for Family Devotions
By John McCoury
Roan Mountain, Tennessee
Let us begin by reading Psalm 19:9–11, especially verse 9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. I’d like to deal with a once-popular subject that has fallen on hard times—family devotions. This old phrase simply means praying together as a family. I believe we can still find a formula for having the “family altar” if we realize how important it is. I’d like to share ten reasons for family devotions.
- Devotions Provide Communication with God. They are the easiest, best way for your family to get together and talk to God (see Ps. 25:4, 5). When we have family devotions, we’re communicating with God. Communication in business today is so important that 90% of U.S. companies provide communication skills training in the workplace. Subscribers to the Harvard Business Review rated the ability to communicate as more important than ambition, education, and the capacity for hard work. We teach our children how to communicate with their playmates. When do you teach them how to communicate with God? (see Ps. 119:145–152).
- Devotions Satisfy Spiritual Thirst. We’re all thirsty for something (see Ps. 42:1, 2). we all have a God-shaped vacuum that only God can fill. That is true for our children, grandchildren, and spouse. Family devotions allow the opportunity to quench our spiritual thirst (see Ps. 84:2).
- Devotions Advance Personal Spiritual Growth. Yes, I know we can grow with private devotions. praying with other members of the family helps all the family do the same (see 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18). If you’re growing in God’s Word but your spouse isn’t, it makes for an unbalanced couple.
- Family Devotions Bring Us Together. Sitting down and talking about spiritual things provides a safeguard against carnality in our homes (see 1 Corinthians 3:1–3). If you want to put a hedge against worldly activity in your family, the best way is to get together each day to discuss how we relate God’s Word to our lives in the world. It’s a tradition your child will treasure later in life.
- Devotions Provide Insight for Daily Life. Take Proverbs 10:4, for example: “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth”. Kids need to know that. The Book of Proverbs gives specific advice on how to treat a mean neighbor, what to do when your wife is mad at you, how to invest properly, when to speak and when to be silent, how to know when you’ve angered someone, and what to do about it. And that’s just one book.
- Family Devotions Prevent Unstable Faith. It seems to me that some Christians who believe in God and come to church also believe in some of the wildest, wackiest things. They’ve mixed truth and error. They sing praise choruses at church yet hold beliefs that don’t square with Scripture. Family devotions counter that. A consistent time before the Lord enables us to grow.
- Devotions Provide Daily Comfort and Encouragement. If I didn’t have a Bible, I don’t know what I’d do. If I didn’t have it open, I don’t know what I’d do. And if I didn’t have it open every day, I don’t know how I’d face life’s challenges (see Ps. 119:81).
- Devotions Prepare Us to Share Our Faith. The more we’re in God’s Word, the more familiar with it we are.
- Devotions Provide Daily Marching Orders. When you get into Scripture, you find things that tell you what God wants you to do each day (see Deut. 5:27 and Ps. 119:105). God’s will is revealed in His Word.
10.Family Devotions Show Respect for the Author of the Word of God the Bible. The greatest compliment to pay an author is to say, “I read your book.” I wonder what we’ll say to God when we meet Him face to face, and He asks, “Did you read My book?” (see Ps. 119:127, 128).
How do you start? Well, everybody does it differently. You can start by reading a chapter every night and take a moment to discuss it. Then think of prayer requests and pray about them, and it’s a simple thing. It doesn’t take long, but never allow anything to disrupt that time. If the phone rings, we let it ring. If the doorbell rings, don’t answer it. Remember when spending time with my family, and we’re spending time with God, there’s nothing fuller of life. Having family devotions is important!