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How to Have Family Worship

Agatha M. Thrash, M.D.
Preventive Medicine

“In every family there should be a fixed time for morning and evening worship.” CG 520.

Formula for Successful Family Worship: (1) Scripture reading, (2) Singing, and (3) Praying.

“At family worship let the children take a part. Let all bring their Bibles and read a verse or two. Then let some familiar hymn be sung, followed by prayer.” CG 524.

The counsel quoted above refers to reading from the Bible for worship. This then is pointed out as the best source of study. Bible story books often tend to speculate. Several methods of Bible reading are suggested below to help give ideas on how to use the Scriptures in family worship so as to hold the interest of the children.

1. Select books from the Bible to read, perhaps not reading every verse, but reading a portion that teaches a single lesson. Often this is done in 5-10 verses. Reading from the Gospels is a good example of this method. After reading a section ask questions that further illustrate the lesson.

2. In the H.MS. Richards “Special Bible Subject Helps,” contained in the Collins Bible, there is a list of 149 “Interesting Bible Stories” giving the Scripture references for each one.

For your convenience some suggestions from the Old and New Testament are listed below:

Old Testament

  • Gen. 1, 2: Creation
  • Gen. 3: Fall of man
  • Gen. 15, 17, 22: Abraham
  • Gen. 6, 7, 8: Noah and flood
  • Gen. 24: Rebekah (Isaac)
  • Gen. 37, 39, 41, 45: Joseph
  • Ex. 2, 3, 13, 14, 16: Moses
  • Ex. 35: Children's gifts for the Lord
  • Judges 6 , 7: Gideon chooses an army
  • Ruth 1-4: Ruth
  • I Sam. 1-4: Samuel the boy
  • I Sam. 16, 17, 18: David
  • I Sam. 18:1-4; 20: Jonathan
  • I Kings 8: The people offer sacrifices
  • II Kings 2-9; 13:4-21: Elisha and angels
  • Dan. 1, 5, 6: Daniel and Hebrew youth
  • Jonah 1-4: Jonah

New Testament

  • Mt. 1, 2: Jesus' birth (also Mk., Lk.)
  • Mt. 6:28-33: Lilies of the field.
  • Mt. 13:1-9: The Sower
  • Mt. 13:47-52: Nets with many fish
  • Mt. 25: Ten virgins
  • Mt. 26, Mk. 14, Lk. 22, Jn. 13: Last supper
  • Mt. 27, Mk. 15, Lk. 23, Jn. 19: Crucifixion
  • Mk. 1:40-44: Leper cleansed
  • Mk. 2:1-12: Jesus heals the sick man
  • Lk. 2:49-49: Jesus’ trip to Jerusalem
  • Lk. 5: Jesus’ disciples catch of fish
  • Lk. 15:11-32: Prodigal son
  • Lk. 19: Zacchaeus
  • Jn. 4: Women at the well
  • Acts 12: Peter delivered from prison
  • Acts 27:22-24, 34, 44: Paul shipwrecked
  • Acts 28:16-31: Paul in Rome

“In arousing and strengthening a love for Bible study, much depends on the use of the hour of worship. The hours of the morning and evening worship should be the sweetest and most helpful in the day.” ML 30.

“How appropriate it is for parents to gather their children about them before the fast is broken and point them to the heavenly Father, who so liberally gives them the bounties of His providence. How fitting for them to thank Him for His protection during the night and to ask for His help and grace and the watch-care of His angels during the day. How fitting also, when evening comes, to gather once more before Him and praise Him for the mercies and blessings of the day that is past.” ML 31.

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