Family Prayer
Homiletic Monthly
1 Corinthians 16:19-21
The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.…

This is a general custom in the households of evangelical Christians. No man ought to consider his piety of an active stamp who neglects to institute "the Church" in his house.

I. IT IS A DUTY. The Bible nowhere directly commands it; but —

1. It is a duty by inference. When Abraham moved his tent to the plain of Mamre, he built there an altar unto the Lord (Genesis 13:18). The pious take their religion with them wherever they go. When David says, "Seven times a day do I praise Thee," remember there was no temple, and that at least two of these times may refer to morning and evening worship in the household. Daniel "prayed in his house, sometimes himself alone, and sometimes with his family about him" (Daniel 6:10). Cornelius was a man that prayed in his house (Acts 10:30). Paul delighted to honour Priscilla and Aquila, and twice spoke of "the Church that is in their house" (Text and Romans 16:5). This is interpreted by some to mean "that their home was a sanctuary and their family a Church"; but if others may assemble in the home for worship, how much more may not the family? We may certainly claim that family prayer conforms to the command, and is entitled to the promise contained in James 4:8.

2. A duty by example. It can hardly be doubted that the deeply pious in all times have prayed with their family in their households. Abraham, Joshua, David, Job, Daniel, all worshipped God in the family, and our Saviour confirmed the obligation; for He often prayed with His disciples, as His family or household.

II. IT IS A PRIVILEGE, Family prayer binds the household more closely and lovingly together. It is a great boon to consecrate the day with prayer before the household separates on its divers ways and on its manifold duties, What if they should never all meet again? To have omitted it on such a day would prove a lasting regret. How precious at night to commit our souls and bodies to that Guardian of Israel who neither slumbers nor sleeps! This gives a gracious opportunity to pray with our children and for our children. Says Cecil, "It may be used as an engine of vast power in the family. It diffuses a sympathy through the members. It calls the mind off from the deadening effects of worldly affairs. It arrests every member with a morning and evening sermon, in the midst of all the hurries and cares of life. It says, 'There is a God!' 'There is a spiritual world!' 'There is a life to come!' It fixes the idea of responsibility in the mind. It furnishes a tender and indictors father or master with an opportunity of gently glancing at faults, where a direct admonition might be inexpedient. It enables him to relieve the weight with which sub-ordination or service sits on minds of inferiors."


1. Are we prayerless Christians?

2. Do we keep the fires burning brightly and continually upon the family altar?

3. Do we excuse ourselves because of non-ability and lack of confidence? Remember the man who hid his talent in a napkin.

4. Do we make it cheerful with song, instructive with Scripture, hallowed with prayer and precious with all its memories?

(Homiletic Monthly.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

WEB: The assemblies of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you much in the Lord, together with the assembly that is in their house.

Closing Words
Top of Page
Top of Page