Praying with your Children – Family Discipleship Activity for the New Year

I love getting Christmas cards.  Each year during the Christmas season, I get the mail and look through the stack of bills and junk mail to find the Christmas cards and letters from family and friends.  It’s a time to catch up on what is happening in their lives, see pictures of their families and to enjoy the cards.  (I know in this electronic age with the world of facebook, increasing postage costs, and busy schedules that this tradition is one that is fading from the Christmas “to-do-list” of many families.)

christmas-cardAfter you have read all the Christmas cards and letters at your home and the new year has begun, what does your family do with all the cards, letters and photos?  I would encourage you to use them as a family discipleship opportunity.  For several years, our family has begun the New Year by using our Christmas cards and letters as a reminder to pray for our family and friends.  We go around the table and each of us draws out a letter or card from the Christmas basket/container we’ve placed them in during the holidays.  We take turns sharing the card, pictures, and highlights from the letters.  After each person has shared, we take time as a family to pray for each individual or family that we shared about.  We go around the meal table and pray for the person/family whose card we drew.  Some years we have also sent them a card or quick e-mail to let them know that they were prayed for.

Years ago I came across this idea and decided it was something easy that I could do with my boys to help in teaching them to pray for others.  It’s a tradition that we have continued.  As this new year begins and your family is packing up the Christmas decorations, I encourage you to take your stack of cards and place them near your kitchen/dining table so that you can take a few minutes to pray for friends and family as you have your family meal time.