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Family AltarFamily Altar
by Muriel Larson

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Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again. Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NLT)

    Is your family altar one of enthusiastic expectancy — or does it draw yawns? What can we do to make it more interesting and spiritually rewarding?

Seek God’s Guidance

    He promised, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go” (Psalm 32:8) Our Lord was the most fascinating teacher who ever lived; thousands listened to Him for days! Certainly He can help us make our family times with Him a highlight of our family’s day. Gear the get-together to your family.

    If you have young children, you may wish to use a Children’s Bible or Bible story books written for children. Or you might read Scriptures and then explain in simple language what they mean. Or a scriptural book geared to your children’s understanding might be used. For one period of time we read daily from the “Children’s Pilgrim’s Progress Book.” Our young daughter eagerly looked forward to each reading.

Encourage Participation

    Sing a gospel song or chorus. Let old children take turns reading the scripture. Take prayer requests and have a round-robin of prayer. Encourage scripture memory and creative worship.

Gear the get-together to your family.
    Let each family member recite one of his or her favorite verse. Even more thrlling is trying to make a little song out of a favorite verse. Give as an example some known scripture chorus such as, “I Will Sing of the Mercies of the Lord Forever.” A key to composing a song from a scripture verse is repetition. Try it yourself first. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Encourage a Spirit of Praise

    Let family members tell of answered prayer and other blessings. Pause briefly to allow them to praise and thank the Lord for these. Recognition of God’s blessings along with spoken gratitude for them are powerful builders of faith and love toward our Father. And after all, isn’t that a main purpose of family altar? Psalm 92:1 says, “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High; to show forth thy lovingkindness in the morning and thy faithfulness every night.”

    Richard Monckton Milnes said, “The Christian home is the Master’s workshop where the processes of character molding are silently, lovingly, faithfully and successfully carried on.”

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      © 2002, (c) 2002 Dr. Muriel Larson, Counselor MKLJOY@aol.com. Used by permission.

      Title: "Family Altar"
      Author: Muriel Larson
      Publication Date: July 2, 2002

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