1 Chronicles 16:43
And all the people departed every man to his house: and David returned to bless his house.
Public exercises of religion, when properly conducted, have a happy tendency to prepare the mind for those of a more private nature. Our text tells us that David returned to bless his house — that is, to present them to God in prayer and entreat His blessing upon them. This suggests the duty of family prayer.
I. THIS DUTY IS A PRACTICE BY WHICH GOOD MEN HAVE BEEN DISTINGUISHED IN EVERY AGE.
II. FAMILY PRAYER IS A NATURAL AND NECESSARY ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE DEPENDENCE OF FAMILIES UPON GOD, and of the innumerable obligations they are under to His goodness.
III. THIS DUTY IS ENFORCED BY ITS TENDENCY, UNDER THE BLESSING OF GOD, TO FORM THE MINDS OF CHILDREN AND SERVANTS TO THE LOVE AND PRACTICE OF RELIGION.
IV. Family worship may be expected to have A MOST BENEFICIAL INFLUENCE ON THE CHARACTER AND CONDUCT OF THE HEADS OF FAMILIES THEMSELVES.
V. PROBABLE PLEAS WHICH WILL BE URGED FOR THE NEGLECT OF THIS DUTY.
1. Want of ability. Answer —
(1) Forms of prayer may be used with advantage.
(2) The plea of mental inability will not stand the test of examination, unless it include an incapacity to read.
(3) It is more than probable that those who complain of this inability have never made the trial, and consequently never can form any accurate judgment of their qualifications.
2. Want of time. Consider on what principle this plea depends: that religion is not the grand concern; that there is something more important than the service of God; that the pleasing and glorifying our Maker is not the great end of human existence — a fatal delusion, a soul-destroying mistake.
3. It has been neglected so long that they know not how to begin.
VI. HINTS ON THE PRACTICE.
1. Let it ever be joined with reading the Scriptures.
2. Let it be constant.
3. Attend with a full decision of mind, with the utmost seriousness.
4. Seek the aid of the Spirit.
(Robert Hall, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And all the people departed every man to his house: and David returned to bless his house.