Raising a God-Fearing Family
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Scripture Reading: Acts 10: 1- 2 (NIV)
7th May - 13th May, 2018
At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.
The story of Cornelius in the Bible is full of lessons that we need to meditate on, particularly in our current social climate. Our Scripture reading shows that he and all his family were God-fearing, and fully committed to the Lord. Although he was a Gentile (non-Jew), he had a great relationship with God, exerted Godly influence around him, and became a Biblical model of a godly family.
We are told in Scripture that Cornelius and his family were devout and feared God. The word “devout” means to live a Godly life or to live a life of total devotion to God. Therefore, we see that Cornelius was totally committed to God and he lived out that life. The Greek word for “fear” when used in relation to God, means that Cornelius and his family were in awe of God, and had profound respect and reverence for Him. It also means that they worshipped God.
Cornelius’ devotion to God and his fear of God resulted in two things: he gave generously, and he prayed regularly! These two elements are very important for family life, and they are essential attributes of a God-fearing family. Members of a family that pray together or for one another will always find the time to invest in each other, and to love and support each other.
Prayer is the foundation of Christian home. It is one of the best ways to help your family thrive, and to influence your society for Christ, as the ambassadors that He calls us to be (2 Corinthians 5: 19-20). Many problems in homes and even in society can be attributed to lack of family prayer altars. The state of the society begins with the state of the family. Therefore, a “prayer-less” family will ultimately produce a “prayer-less” society that does not have the fear of God.
I encourage you to be deliberate about setting time aside for your family to pray together, because the system we live in does not support family prayer time, unless direct, deliberate action is taken. Here are some key benefits of praying together as a family:
(a) It is a platform where the weaknesses of family members are addressed, and Godly values are instilled;
(b) Praying together strengthens communication, support, care, love and transparency;
(c) It releases corporate blessings on the family (Psalm 133);
(d) It creates a hedge of protection over the family, which the devil cannot cross (Deuteronomy 32: 30);
(e) Praying together in agreement invites the presence of God (Matthew 18: 20);
(f) Praying together helps the family to fight and overcome their common enemy (Acts 12: 5-11).
Your success in raising a God-fearing family begins with building a family prayer altar…!
For further study:
1 Samuel 2: 12, 2 Corinthians 5: 19- 20
Psalm 133: 1-3, Deuteronomy 32: 30
Matthew 18: 19-20, Acts 12: 5-11
Acts 16: 31
Prayer: Dear Father, I thank You for the gift of family. I see that family is Your idea and that the one I come from and the one that I will build are platforms for me to share Your love and blessings with the world. I ask Lord for the grace to build a family altar with my family members, and for the strength to regularly pray and seek You together with my family members, in Jesus’ name, Amen!
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