A young girl, whose godly mother had passed away, had spent 6 years with friends of her mother, who were also believers. After that, she returned to her home. At the home of her mother’s friends, she was accustomed to having family devotions and praying together in the morning and in the evening, asking the Lord for whatever she needed, physically or spiritually. She found it to be quite different in her father’s house. When they sat down to supper, no blessing was spoken, and when it was bedtime, each of the members of the family went to bed without prayer. Her father’s house was without prayer. That made her very sad, and she could not feel at home there. Her father soon noticed. It hurt him, and he wanted to know the cause.
“Dear daughter,” he said to her one day, “you do not seem to feel as at home here as I wish you would.” After some hesitation, the young girl replied, “I do not feel safe here.” “Not safe?” the father asked, astonished. The girl replied, “I am afraid to live under a roof where nobody prays.” This remark struck deep into the father’s heart, and his house was soon transformed into a house of prayer, and light, peace, and blessing entered.
What a remarkable truth lies in the observation of this godly child: “I do not feel safe here. I’m afraid to live under a roof where nobody prays.”
Have you thought about this, my dear reader? You can certainly admit that in a house where no prayer is given to God, the blessing of God cannot exist. Will God’s pleasure rest on a family man who, with his family, receives the rich blessings daily from his heavenly Father’s hand and does not offer God thanks, together with his family? What kind of influence would such ungratefulness have on teenage children! They will certainly follow their father’s example, and in the end, he will reap the same ingratitude that he sowed.
What a blessing rests on a family in which prayer is practiced as an essential part of everyday life! What an influence it has on the whole house and the individual members of the family! The children will grow up “in the training and admonition of the Lord” and someday will show gratitude to their parents, who led them early to the Lord. If the blessing is not immediately visible, it will reveal itself later in life.
Oh, what a responsibility a prayerless father of a family loads on himself! Will he be able to die peacefully, knowing on his deathbed how little concern he showed for his family’s spiritual well-being? How is he going to answer on the Day of Judgment, when the souls entrusted to his care will accuse him before the throne of a righteous God?
The pretexts and apologies with which those who are chiefly entrusted with the duty of family prayer seek to escape are certainly many. But they all end up as one in the end. They lack the good will to overcome those slight difficulties that they encounter, however easy it might be to overcome them. Why is this will missing? It is because the righteous, God-centered heart is missing. “It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night” (Psalm 92:1-2). Where this heart is missing, the heart’s desire to pray is naturally missing as well, both in the family circle as well as individually.
“So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong” (Hebrews 12:12-13 NLT). May God give us more zeal and desire to pray and pour that spirit of prayer on our families! Then His blessing will rest upon us.