Family worship gives every family an opportunity to Rebuild the Family Altar of God daily. Rather than forcing families and children to have regular family worship, it is an occasion for family members to build stronger relationships with each other and with God. Family worship also offers family members an opportunity to make God central in their lives each day, replicating His love, forgiveness, acceptance, and grace.
Keys to Healthy Minds: Flourishing Families
The COVID-19 pandemic was a traumatic experience for the entire world. Many individuals, couples, and families had already been experiencing a level of distress, while trying to hold it together physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Within this context, the apostle Paul emphatically urges: “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). Paul is writing from a prison cell and clearly understands that in every life trying times will interrupt the normal flow of things. Yet, he knew there was no situation beyond God’s help.
Maintaining good mental health is vital for everyone. When fostered within a family, it can bring significant benefits: better communication, understanding, empathy, less conflict, higher self- esteem, and resilience among family members. Good mental health goes together with good physical health. When families prioritize good mental health, they tend to also prioritize good habits like adequate sleep, regular exercise, and a healthy diet. Parents or guardians in the home who care for their mental health are good examples for their children.
Karen Holford—the principal contributor of this year’s Family Togetherness Week of Prayer resource—will share how we can flourish as individuals and families. We hope this will be the experience of each of you as you allow God’s peace, joy, hope, and healing to abide in your hearts.
Rebuilding the Family Altar
How do we rebuild altars in 2022? What are the altars of Baal in our homes today that need to be destroyed so that God’s altar can be rebuilt? How can we teach our children and families to worship God and rebuild the family altar as Elijah rebuilt the altar in his day? In our homes today, there is a deep yearning for connection. Many family relationships have been broken and need to be restored. We need modern-day Elijahs in homes that desperately need hope, healing, and heart-turning. We need to restore our relationship with the one true God, Jehovah, the only one who can bring true peace, hope, and healing to our hearts and homes.
During this week of prayer, we endeavor to inspire new habits of positive and healthy communication in your home; heart-turning behaviors that are grounded in grace and the fruit of the spirit. When we rebuild the family altar daily, we make a statement that we are putting Jesus Christ at the center of our lives and in our homes. We pray this new or restored habit of family worship will become a regular habit that will bond our families closer together, deepen our faith in God, help us to share the good news of the gospel with others, and better prepare us for the soon coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Living Fruitful Love
Fruit comes in many different shapes, sizes, textures, and tastes. Farmers from around the world make great efforts to grow and produce fruit that will tickle our tongues and satisfy our tastebuds. Some fruits are round like oranges or blueberries. Some are fuzzy like peaches and kiwi. Some are large like papaya and watermelon. And some are tart like cranberries or sweet like mangoes. Producing fruit is no easy task. Many of us simply go to the local grocery store or market and pick up whatever fruit we like for a reasonable price. However, farmers have the difficult task of planting, nurturing, and cultivating the fruit we get to enjoy.
During this week of prayer, our desire is for every husband and wife, every father and mother, every family and person that loves Jesus to produce the fruit of the Spirit in their lives each day. This resource has been created with the entire family in mind. Each day has three parts: a reading, a prayer, and an activity. In the reading, you will learn about a different fruit from around the world and you will also learn about the Fruit of the Spirit. Each day there is a prayer emphasizing the fruit of the spirit for that day. You can pray this prayer together as a family asking God to cultivate that fruit in your hearts and in your homes that day. There is also an interactive activity that you can do with your family to reinforce learning and get all family members involved in worship.
We encourage every member of the family to memorize Galatians 5:22, 23 by reciting and practicing it each day, while emphasizing the spiritual fruit of the day. We have included activities to help you with memorizing the text so that by the end of the week you will have stored this text in your brain and in your heart. We hope every member of your family will allow the Spirit of God to grow His fruit in them as they diligently water, weed, and participate in providing the conditions that will allow this to become a reality in their lives.