Family Curriculum Series: Habit #1 Rooted in Prayer & His Word
Mr. Robert Terry
“A family without prayer is like a house without a roof, open and exposed to all the storms of heaven.” - Thomas Brooks
The original meaning of our English word “orient,” when used as a noun, referred to the east, or the direction where the sun rises.
As a verb, "orient" meant to arrange something to face the east. When we attend an orientation, it is meant to set us off in the right direction for some new task or endeavor. Traditionally, Christians would literally orient themselves and their churches to face east when praying. This was a symbolic way to act out the turn toward Christ who is “the Sun of Righteousness” (Malachi 4:2). Ancient Christian hymns even refer to Christ as “the Orient from on high.”
One of the important ways that we daily re-orient ourselves toward God is the practice of prayer. When the entire family meets daily to pray, it also forms a habit and demonstrates with concrete actions what we believe is most important. Family prayer can take a variety of forms, but it is important to begin small and build the habit before attempting too much. A typical morning prayer time might include scripture reading, prayer, and singing.
For many years, while my children were small, we would gather together and read the prayers in a little book with prayers for each day of the week. We would also sing a favorite hymn or a hymn that was sung at church. It was remarkable how many times outside of our prayer time we would hear little ones singing “A Mighty Fortress is our God” or “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.”
At CDA our first through fifth grade Bible curriculum is meant to help facilitate this habit of meeting together to read scripture. Instead of having different Bible lessons for each child, families can do the scripture lesson together and even include older children.
This daily habit is one of the most important ways to orient our families toward Christ.
By Mr. Robert Terry, CDA's Vice President of Academic Affairs