Applying Spiritual Disciplines

First Steps:

  • Spend more time together playing, eating, or simply having fun. Remember, the research shows a correlation between doing lots together (including lots of food and fun) and doing spiritual activities together.
  • Insert an occasional short prayer into our life (like at bedtime or mealtimes). It could be something short and sweet and genuine. Even a nice memorized prayer (Now I lay me down to sleep...) might do the trick.
  • Get some words of Scripture on the walls. Just follow the Moab call (Deuteronomy 6:6,7,9) quite literally by hanging a note, sign, or piece of artwork that has a Scripture passage on it somewhere in your home or car - even on your doorposts or gate if you want.
  • Buy a new Bible that has a colorful, attractive cover, and leave it laying around the house.

Next Steps:

  • Start inserting short, momentary prayers into your common life. For example, if someone mentions they've had a bad day or are nervous about an upcoming event, just "go live" and say a quick prayer for them on the spot.
  • Pray a quick blessing for people who are headed out the door. Blessings can be as brief as "May God bless you and give you what your need for your big day." Simply start with the words "May God..." and then finish the sentence.
  • Do a daily or weekly Scripture reading during specific seasons like Advent or Lent, or during a family vacation.
  • Use memorized or written prayers together on occasion. Try praying the Lord's prayer together before a meal - many people already have it memorized! Or read aloud a written prayer from a church bulletin or hymnal. 
  • Ask a question at mealtime about the Bible text from the last sermon you all heard together.
  • Create a jar with "prayer sticks" - simple craft sticks that anyone can write a name on (one stick for grandma, another for grandpa, a stick for the new kid at school, a stick for each of your good friends from high school that are away at different colleges), and keep the sticks in a jar. At meals or bedtime have everyone grab one stick and say a prayer for that person.

Bigger Steps

  • Purposefully extend your household. Bring more Christians into your household by inviting people over for a meal or event.
  • Host a prayer event or regular Bible study in your home. Bringing the sacred into your own secular home can fight against the temptation of the sacred-secular split.
  • Together, volunteer for an event that will involve moments of prayer and time in the Bible. For example, you could all volunteer at your church's Vacation Bible School or go on a short-term mission trip together.
  • Take your entire household to a spiritually themed event. Many retreat centers offer retreats that different household types could engage in together.
  • Host a movie night, and watch a movie that is faith-based.
  • Go multi-generational. Whether inviting people to move in or simply come over, you can take steps to ensure that children and grandparent-types (whether they are related to your or not) are more a part of your household.
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