The week of January 21st – During the month of January, your family will focus on the virtue of commitment. Each week you will gather together and reflect on the nature of commitment and what you feel committed to. Find a time this week to gather as a family, say a prayer, read or listen to a prompt, respond as a family to what you have heard and then act on the suggestion for the week.
January Virtue Commitment: making a plan and putting it into practice
What is a virtue? A virtue is something that God does in us to change the world around us.
GATHER together in prayer
LISTEN through scripture; readings; stories; music; videos
RESPOND to what you have heard
ACT in service to what God is calling you to
Gather together as a family and pray this prayer:
A Prayer of Self-Dedication
(The Episcopal Church, Book of Common Prayer, page 832)
Almighty and eternal God,
So draw our hearts to you,
So guide our minds,
So fill our imaginations,
So control our wills,
That we may be wholly yours,
Utterly dedicated to you;
And then use us,
As you will,
And always to your glory
And the welfare of your people,
Through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Have one person in your family read Matthew 6:5-15 (Concerning Prayer). This Bible passage can be found online at Bible Gateway via this link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6%3A5-15&version=NRSV
Prayer is one way to bring ourselves into closer relationship with God. But as you read in the Bible passage, even Jesus’ closest friends didn’t know how to pray. Jesus taught them the prayer that we have come to know as the “Lord’s Prayer”. Jesus also warns his disciples to be humble in the way they pray and emphasized the importance of forgiving others in order to be forgiven themselves.
Is it easy or hard for you to pray? How does it make you feel (all feelings are valid)? Why do you think Jesus insisted that being humble and forgiving others is important when we pray?
The purpose of all forms of prayer is to be more connected to God. There are no right or wrong ways to pray. Here are some ideas that you and your family can explore this week. As you engage in these various forms of prayer, focus on quieting your mind and being receptive to God’s presence.
Go for a walk.
Sit in silence.
Draw a picture.
Sing a song.
Write a poem.
Say a simple prayer that includes the words “thank you”, “forgive me”, “help me”, and “help others”.
Use some of these techniques to pray this week and then talk as a family about your experiences. Which ones did you like? Which ones didn’t work for you? What are other ways you can think of to pray to God?
Make a commitment to pray together as a family each day.
Food for Thought
Anything you say from your heart to God is a prayer. Anne Lamott
Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference. Max Lucado
To try to pray is to pray. You can’t fail at it. It’s the only human endeavor I can think of where trying is doing. Rick Hamlin
We don’t pray to get God’s attention. We pray to turn our attention toward God. Christopher Knippers
The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays. Soren Kierkegaard
Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors. Anne Lamott