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Family Sharing Time

Something wonderful happens as a family shares and prays about what the Lord is saying and doing in their lives. Here's a simple way to do this regularly. (In our family, dad leads this sharing. We believe this is best. But there will be some families where it is best for mum to lead, and that is fine.)

1) Dad shares the blessing he has written on his Quiet Time sheet, followed by each family member sharing theirs, one after the other.

Sharing blessings is a very significant thing for a family to do together because it develops gratitude for what God is doing.

2) Give thanks in prayer for the blessing.

Dad prays a one sentence prayer thanking God for the blessing he found, followed by other family members giving thanks for theirs. Keep these prayers short. Long drawn-out prayers spoil family sharing times, although it is beneficial to pray two or three times, perhaps adding to another family member's prayer of thanks as you go.

3) Dad then shares his Quiet Time, as written down on his sheet, followed by each family member sharing theirs.

Each reads the whole verse and then what they believe the Lord has said to them. "I believe the Lord said to me that ..." followed by what they have written down

Parents need to be sensitive to the fact that this process makes people vulnerable. Your children will not write down things if they know that what they write will always have to be shared. You must nurture an atmosphere that protects your child's privacy and gives them the option to "pass" if need be. And dads, their sharing is NOT a platform for you to preach at them - then or later!

4) Pray together in response to what God has said to each member.

It is very special when a family prays together over what the Lord has spoken to them about. It is also very powerful when family members pray, asking for the Lord's help and forgiveness for sin and failure in their lives. It is especially powerful when the dad or mum prays this in front of their family. Keep these prayers short. Dad should start, followed by the others.

5) Prayer can then shift to "asking" type prayers.

When appropriate, dad should then pray "asking" type prayers, followed by family members also praying such prayers. While these prayers can be slightly longer it is important to pray one topic at a time. For example, don't pray, "Lord please heal Grandma," and then in the SAME prayer ask, "...and please help me with my schoolwork." Allow other family members to add to your prayer for Grandma. When you've "prayed through" one topic, move to the next.

6) When appropriate, Dad brings the prayer time to a close.

He could do this by praying for God's blessing and protection to be with them for the day. It is also very powerful for dad to regularly thank God for his wife, and for each of his children by name.

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