Sing, Read, Pray: Family Devotions Made Easy

Family devotions are hard. Though the spirit is willing to do family devotions, the flesh and our calendars are weak. The kids are busy with homework, overtime at work can kill our stamina, and the football game is just too good to put down.

It is our tendency to over complicating family devotions. We feel as though we need to plan three point sermons, puppet shows, or orchestrate an entire worship service for our family, but the solution is very simple. For us to have more success in the area of family worship, we need a simpler and more sustainable approach.

The Charles and Susannah  Spurgeon had practiced a historical formula for family devotions that the puritan Matthew Henry had practiced. Kay Rhodes her book titled Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, gives the Spurgeon approach toward family worship:

“Family Bible reading and prayer were a priority for Susie and Charles from the beginning of their marriage, and this was at the heart of their parenting. Susie remembered that whether they ‘lodged in some rough inn on the mountains or in the luxurious rooms of a palatial hotel in a city,’ they did not neglect reading the Bible and praying together. The elements of family worship modeled by Charles included Bible reading/explanation, prayer, and hymn singing. As the Puritan Matthew Henry declared, ‘They who read in the family, do well. They, who read and pray, do better. But they who sing, and read, and pray, do best of all.” (Kay Rhodes, Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, p. 94).

Even when the Spurgeon family traveled, they still continued their family devotions together. They knew that these small spiritual investments over a long period of time would pay dividends for the spiritual life of their boys and their entire family.

Be encouraged saints. This simple formula of sing, read, and pray can fit any schedule and family. It does not matter the level of theological education or time availability, this can be done by anyone. Christian liberty with how these disciplines are applied to every family. Family devotions do not have to be so difficult that they discourage us from pursuing them. The Bible doesn’t tell us how long, how frequent, or when to do them, but it calls us to do all three. Let us not underestimate the power of God through singing, reading, and praying with our family.


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