Stay and Pray: A Devotion for Families at the Close of the Day
Each week we feature two ways for your family to reflect and pray together. For families with older children there is an at home liturgy for your family to participate in together. It is a daily devotion for families adapted from The Book of Common Prayer.
For families with younger children there is a set of reflection questions to do at night before bed. Both are updated weekly with the week's scripture. Take time one night of the week or every night, whichever structure works best for you.
Bedtime Reflection for Younger Children (Ages 0-4 and 5-10)
During your bedtime routine, invite your children into a time of reflection about their day, maybe by saying, "Did you know that God really wants to know what happened in your day today, and that God is always listening whenever you need to tell God something?" Then continue with these questions:
1. What are some things that happened today that you want to tell God about?
2. What is one happy thing that happened today? What is one sad thing that happened today?
3. Did you see God or feel God with you when those things were happening? Where did you see or feel God when those things happened today?
4. Read to your children this week's scripture selection, then ask the question that follows:
A Reading from Matthew 28:16-20
Now, after Jesus' death and resurrection, the eleven disciples, Jesus' friends, went to a place called Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to meet him. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Did anything from this story remind you of something that happened today?
5. What are some things that you want to tell God that you are grateful for today?
Liturgy for Older Children (Ages 11-18)
Before you begin, take a few moments to decide who will read the scripture reading and who will read the collect and closing. Read the Psalm and Lord's Prayer in unison.
After a moment of silence, begin with the Psalm.
Psalm 139:11-14 (read in unison)
Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,
for in you I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
Let your good spirit lead me
on a level path.
A Reading from 28:16-20
(read by assigned person)
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Prayers For Ourselves and For Others (take this time to each offer one person/event that you would like to hold in prayer as well as one thing you are thankful for)
Dear God, tonight I ask your prayers for.......
and I give you thanks for ..........
The Lord’s Prayer (read in unison)
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
The Collect (read by assigned person)
Almighty and everlasting God, you made the universe withall its marvelous order, its atoms, worlds, and galaxies, andthe infinite complexity of living creatures: Grant that, as weprobe the mysteries of your creation, we may come to know you more truly, and more surely fulfill our role in your eternal purpose; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen