Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Devotions at Dinner?

Question: Has your family ever figured out a time to have family prayer that's not at meal-time?

I realized recently that we are not having prayers as often as we did. Neither are we eating together as a family so much. If I'm busy and supper is "wing it, guys!" then we don't have devotions. If the kitchen table is littered with schoolwork or a sewing project, even if I cook a Real Meal, we eat in the living room and do not follow-up with prayers.

When we used to have morning devotions and evening devotions, morning prayers were after breakfast and at the start of our homeschooling day, and evening prayers were after supper but before the first kid's bedtime. Once upon a longer time ago, when there were only two kids in the house and thus some cohesiveness to Bedtime, Bible stories and hymns were at bedtime.

Regular family meal-times don't guarantee that we will get out our Bibles and hymnals and pray together. But lack of family meal-time almost certainly guarantees that we won't pray together.

I wonder if recognizing this trend will make it easier for me to focus on getting a Real Meal ready each day, and put on the table instead of plunking ourselves on the couch or the floor or wherever.

So when does your family have prayers together? Are we the only ones who need to eat together before we pray together?


  1. We read at bedtime most nights, even though the kids are 12 and 15. They still love the ritual and the read-alouds are part of the curriculum for a few more years. Even after that, I'm sure we'll find something fun to read before we do the Bible reading and prayer. We miss some nights when my husband is out late for meetings, etc. But, generally, it's something everyone enjoys. I can see, though, that mealtime would work better for other families.

  2. Good point. Now that you mention it, I recognize we seldom read aloud as a family any more. I read to this kid or that kid. But now that we're down to two kids, and their abilities and interests are SO different, reading is no longer something we do as a group, but only in pairs.

  3. We do best if we do devotions and reading immediately after breakfast. Too many people are in and out during the day, that this is the only time we are all together. Unfortunately, Mike isn't part of this because he's already at work. We've never managed to fit in his work schedule.

  4. I don't know if this helps or not, but I've heard that setting a very specific time for devotions is good. We just do them with Alia whenever we put her to bed, but I imagine that as she gets older, a specific time will be better. Then, whatever is going on at that time, you just have to be willing to say, "We're going to stop and pray right now." I know it'd be an interruption, most likely in the evening routine, but... if you want to do devotions consistently...