“Establishing the Family Altar”
By Fredi Trammell
In this era when the rate of families breaking is alarming; can we recall the old adage, “The family who prays together, stays together?” By observation, one can note that family prayer is obsolete. Could it be that returning to family togetherness in prayer would stave off much turmoil, trouble and crumbling of
homes? There have been great men of God who give credit to their success in living for God to having grown up in a home with consistent praying.
“Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice” (Psalm 141:2). “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding by knowledge the rooms are
filled with all precious and pleasant riches” (Proverbs 24:3,4).
The recognition of God and prayer in one’s home does not “just happen.” The responsibility lies solely upon the shoulders of the parent/parents of that home. They must have enough determination and commitment (both of which are rare), to discipline themselves to the cause of establishing a household of faith! Joshua said, “…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” The will must get involved! The family altar must be planted deeply within the word of God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
There are always foundational supports built within the foundation in order to continue building. We will call the family altar foundational supports for D’s: desire – A depth of “want-to,” which propels one into action; dedication – Seeing the need so great, that one is determined to accomplish a set goal; direction – Seeking information from the experienced and wisdom from God; diligence – disciplining one’s self to the point of overcoming every obstacle to make the family altar a lifestyle in your home.
Upon the altar, there must be fuel, a combustible matter used to maintain fire. The fuel is the family:
F — Faith (Hebrews 11:6)
A — Agreement (Matthew 18:19)
M — Mercy (James 3:17)
I — Integrity (Proverbs 20:7)
L — Love (1 John 2:5)
Y — Yielding (Romans 6:19)
The sacrifice offered to God is all prayer: Praise and Worship, Repentanceand Forgiveness, Petition, Intercession, Thanksgiving, Meditation, Praying the Word and Singing.
God always responds to a sacrifice offered to Him! When a family offers prayer upon the altar of sacrifice, God will: (1) Answer prayer (Matthew 21:22); (2) Command His angels for the benefit of that family (Psalm 91:11, 12); (3) Give “good success” (Joshua 1:8); (4) Give for an inheritance, the Kingdom (Daniel 7:27); (5) Show great and mighty things (Jeremiah 33:3) ; (6) Promise righteousness to the children and grandchildren (Psalm 103: 18).
On the rugged cliffs of the west coast of Scotland, a man once was gathering the eggs of the seabirds which rested there. He had been let down from the top of the cliff by a rope to the ledge where the nests were. In a moment of carelessness, he let the rope slip from his hand. The rope swung down and out, and sea-ward, and then came swinging again toward him. He knew the first swing inward of the rope was his only chance, and that the next swing would be beyond his reach. Tense and alert, he stood on the edge of the ledge waiting for the rope to come toward him. Just as it reached the end of its swing he stretched out his hand and seized it and was saved.
Everyday the swing of the rope of opportunity for leading your children to Christ gets shorter and shorter. Don’t wait for the next swing of the rope! Build and establish your family an altar of prayer.
“…I proclaimed a fast before our God, to seek of Him the right way for us, and for our little ones….we fasted and besought our God for this and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such that lay in wait by the way” (Ezra 8).
(The original publisher of the above material is unknown.)
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