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Stay and Pray: A Family Devotion 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 Genesis 1:26-27,31

Then God said, “Let us make humans in our image, according to our likeness; and let them be responsible for the fish of the sea, and for the birds of the air, and for the cattle, and for all the wild animals of the earth, and for every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created humans in God's image, in the image of God they created; male and female God created them. God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.   

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 143:8,10

(Read in Unison)

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,

   and the light around me become night,”

even the darkness is not dark to you;

   the night is as bright as the day,

   for darkness is as light to you.

For it was you who formed my inward parts;

   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

   Wonderful are your works;

that I know very well.

 

A Reading from Genesis 1:26-27,31

(read by designated person)

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.        

        

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 ..........

Amen

 

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 designated person)

Almighty and everlasting God, you made the universe with

all its marvelous order, its atoms, worlds, and galaxies, and

the infinite complexity of living creatures: Grant that, as we

probe 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

 

Closing

The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen.