A Simple Approach to Daily Prayer: A Way to Teach the Faith at Home
By: Lisa M. Clark
Some of the best resources grow when someone sees a need. The result often blooms into a project that takes on a life of its own.
Pastor Daniel Galchutt and Pastor Philip Hoppe have seen this firsthand as God has used their life experiences in their vocations as pastors, husbands, fathers, and friends to create a resource to help people of all walks of life experience a rich prayer life.
A Simple Resource
“Step one,” Pastor Hoppe shared, “is convincing people they should be doing this. But once we convince people, what can we give them?”
The plan, then, was to create a basic resource that was simple to use so families could pray together on a daily basis.
“One of the things we were thinking about,” Pastor Galchutt adds, “as we look at home devotions with children, was making sure the good stuff was getting in. You don’t have to be trained in theology at the seminary to be able to share God’s Word with children.”
The resource that blossomed from their conversations is a two-sided, one-page PDF called “A Simple Approach to Prayer.” The beauty of it is that the material itself references great CPH resources that are often found in Christian homes already: the Bible, Lutheran Service Book, and Luther’s Small Catechism.
“As far as the resource coming together, we came up with the idea of having four main components: memorize God’s Word, sing together, read Scripture, and pray,” Pastor Galchutt says.
An added benefit of using these resources daily is learning all the tools that have been included for aiding a daily prayer life. Pastor Hoppe explains, “We wanted to make this as user-friendly as we could. And especially as our new hymnal has orders of daily prayer, we decided to use these orders as a structure. If you have ourchart, the Bible, and Lutheran Service Book (which includes the Small Catechism on page 321), you have everything you need.”
What started as a free downloadable resource is now bearing fruit in other ways as Pastor Hoppe and Pastor Galchutt spread the word to families in nurturing family faith life.
A Simple Plan
Once families are convinced that daily devotional time is important, what’s next? The question becomes “How?” With a busy life and parents who are new to devotional time, how can families get started? In addition to the helps provided on the printout, Pastors Galchutt and Hoppe provide the following advice:
- Pick a time.
- Have accountability. (Ask your pastor or friends to keep checking in to see how things are going.)
- Don’t expect perfection. Some may assume that the pastor’s family devotions are perfect with the kids all sitting nicely. Sometimes, it’s hard to find that time to do it. Sometimes, it doesn’t get done. And it’s not going to be perfect. Sometimes, it all goes smoothly; sometimes, a child is screaming on his mom’s lap during the Lord’s Prayer. And that’s okay. Keep at it.
“Our hope,” shares Pastor Hoppe, “is that people will give this a shot.”
A Simple Reason
Why is family time in God’s Word important? Their Living Planted site gives reason for this nourishment.
“We read the Scriptures together in order that we might know Jesus and His love for us. All of the Scriptures lead to this wonderful end. John 5:39 says, ‘You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me.’”
Pastor Galchutt shares his own experience with family prayer. “Children love having a part. It’s not just one person reading. There’s interaction as prayers and songs and responses are given. That’s been a benefit for my family: each of the children having a part. Try it because it’s beneficial. The more we do it, the bigger blessing it has been for my family.”
Click here to download the PDF resource.
Concordia Publishing House (CPH) is the publishing arm of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. For 145 years, CPH has provided individuals, churches, and schools with products that are faithful to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. From books and Bibles to church supplies, curriculum, and software, CPH offers more than 8,000 products to support the proclamation of the Gospel worldwide. Visit CPH online at cph.org.