Pray Without Ceasing: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to remember to take the time to pray.  Help our time together to be a holy time.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Verses:  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NRSV)
Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Questions to Ponder:

  1. What is tough about these verses for you? What do you have trouble understanding?
  2. What do you like about these verses? What is your favorite part, and why?
  3. What is a story you can remember as you think about these verses? It might be about a time when you were thankful, or wanted to do something all the time, for example.
  4. What is God up to in these verses? What is God calling you to do or to be because of these verses?

This Family God Time idea came about because my girls received Prayer Boxes from their godmother for Christmas.  They look like this:

IMG_20180123_100302567

She purchased them pre-made in a gift shop, but I am sure that you could easily make your own from an Altoids tin or a travel soap container and some stickers.

Since receiving these boxes, our girls have come up to us at all times of the day, on all days of the week, to ask us to write down a prayer that they would like to put in their box (two of our girls can’t yet read, and the oldest likes to make sure that her spelling is correct).  Because they are embodying this idea to “pray without ceasing,” I thought that it would be a good snow day activity to make some really special cards to put in their prayer boxes.

Song:  Pray About Everything
This is the song that we listened to as we made our cards.  I like this version because the actions are clear without being too much.  Enjoy!

Activity:  Prayer Cards
I am calling this a snow day activity because it involves more than one step with drying time in between.  You can choose to spread it out over the course of a day, or, as in the case of my family, do one step per day until they are complete.  If you want to go the quick route, you can simply color the background with markers, crayons, or colored pencils and then add inspirational stickers right away.  Here’s how we did it:

Materials Needed:
Water color paper, cut into small pieces that will fit, unfolded, into your prayer box.
Water color pencils
Thin paintbrushes and small dishes of water
Bible Journaling stamps (we used “Pray without ceasing” to fit our theme)
Black ink

Instructions:

  1. Use the water color pencils to color in the background of each piece of paper.  We used mostly stripes, with some on an angle.  IMG_20180123_100343891
  1. Turn the backgrounds into water color backgrounds using the small brushes and dishes of water.  Start with the lightest colors and move towards the darkest colors, washing out your brush in the water in between colors.  Allow to dry completely.  IMG_20180126_084222948.jpg
  1. Stamp the Bible Journaling saying over the top of the background using black, or another dark or complementary color of ink. Allow to dry completely.  IMG_20180124_104706040
  1. Place in your prayer boxes. The next time that you want to “pray without ceasing,” write your prayer on the back of these pretty cards!

Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith!  I hope that this time was holy time for you.

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you that you are always ready to listen to us, and that we are able to pray without ceasing.  Help us to rejoice in this gift of prayer always.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Advertisements

Daily Devos: An Unclean Spirit Mark 1:21-28

Here is a new section of Family God Time:  Daily Devos!  In our family, we read the verses for the day while the food is being served for supper, and discuss the questions as we eat.  We pray the prayer before we leave the table.

You can get the whole week of devotions in a pdf file here:  Daily Devos Book Unclean Spirit 18

I hope this time will be a holy time for you and your family!

A MAN WITH AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT:  MARK 1:21-28

Be silent

Prayer of the Week:  Dear Jesus, we thank you that you are powerful, and that you see us for who we really are.  Help us to hear your Word and gladly learn it.  In your name we pray, Amen.

SUNDAY

MARK 1:21 [Jesus and his disciples] went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught.

BIG QUESTIONS:  Do you worship God with your family on Sundays?  What is that experience like?  Why do you think that Jesus decided to go to church (the synagogue) and teach?

MONDAY

MARK 1:22 They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

BIG QUESTIONS:  What do you think it would have been like to be taught by Jesus?  Who is someone in your life who you trust to teach you?

TUESDAY

MARK 1:23-24 Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.”

BIG QUESTIONS:  Have you ever recognized someone who you haven’t seen for a long time?  What was that experience like?  Why do you think that an unclean spirit recognized Jesus?

WEDNESDAY

MARK 1:25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!”

BIG QUESTIONS:  Has anyone ever told you that you had to be quiet?  What was that experience like?  Why do you think that Jesus told the unclean spirit to be quiet and come out of the man?

THURSDAY

MARK 1:26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.

BIG QUESTIONS:  How do you think the man who was released from the unclean spirit felt about Jesus?  Why do you think that it matters that unclean spirits listen to and obey Jesus?

FRIDAY

MARK 1:27 They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”

BIG QUESTIONS:  Who are some people who have authority over you?  What is that experience like?  Why do you think the crowd was so confused by Jesus’ power and authority?

SATURDAY

MARK 1:28 At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

BIG QUESTIONS:  Who is the most famous person that you have ever met?  What was that experience like?  What famous person would you like to meet?  Why?  How do you think Jesus felt about becoming famous?

Daily Devos: Jesus’ Baptism Mark 1:4-11

My family openly rebelled when I stopped providing daily devotions for the dinner table.  Because I am moving on to other projects for Lent, and my younger daughters want me to reestablish weekly Family God Time, I have simplified the devotions from what we did over Advent and Christmas.  We read the verses for the day while the food is being served for supper, and discuss the questions as we eat.  We pray the prayer before we leave the table.

You can get the whole week of devotions in a pdf file here:  Daily Devotions Mark 1 4 11

I hope this time will be a holy time for you and your family!

JESUS’ BAPTISM:  MARK 1:4-11

And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

Prayer of the Week:  Dear Jesus, we thank you for the gift of baptism, which unites us as brothers and sisters in Christ.  Help us to live as your beloved children.  In your name we pray, Amen.

SUNDAY

MARK 1:4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

BIG QUESTIONS:  Have you ever spent any time in the wilderness?  What was that experience like?  Why do you think that John decided to appear in the wilderness, instead of a town?

MONDAY

MARK 1:5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

BIG QUESTIONS:  Do you remember a time when someone was baptized in your church?  What was that experience like?  How do you think it would feel to tell John about all of the bad things you had done, and then have them washed away in the river?

TUESDAY

MARK 1:6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.

BIG QUESTIONS:  Have you ever known someone who wore different clothes or ate different food than you did?  What was that experience like?  Why do you suppose that John was so different than everyone else?

WEDNESDAY

MARK 1:7-8 He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals.  I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

BIG QUESTIONS:  Who do you think John was preparing the people for?  What do you think it means to be baptized with the Holy Spirit?  What do you think of when you think of the Holy Spirit?

THURSDAY

MARK 1:9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

BIG QUESTIONS:  This is a time when Jesus and his cousin John were together in one place.  John had prepared the way for people to hear Jesus’ message, and now he was handing over the work to Jesus.  In what ways do you think you can prepare yourself and others for Jesus?

FRIDAY

MARK 1:10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.

BIG QUESTIONS:  When you think about the Holy Spirit, do you think of a dove?  Do you think of the heavens being torn apart?  Why do think that the Holy Spirit decided to show up in that way at Jesus’ baptism?

SATURDAY

MARK 1:11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

BIG QUESTIONS:  Who do you think the voice belonged to?  Why do you think it said what it said?  What if these words were addressed to you?