Family Altars That Have Blessed My Life

These busy professional people have emer­gencies, long hours, life and death are in their hands continually, yet they make time to wor­ship with their families regularly. If they can find the time, can't we?

RAYMOND KNIGHTON, Reprinted from "The Family Altar Crusader

It is my privilege, as executive secretary of the  Christian Medical Society, to be entertained in the homes of some of the outstanding medi­cal and dental men in America. In most of these homes practice of family devotions is consist­ently maintained. As you might well imagine, life in these homes is very busy, perhaps even more so than in the homes of non-professional people. The constant call of the needy public does not allow the father in the home much free time. Distractions of all descriptions seem to be on every hand. Yet, these men consider noth­ing to be more important than their family worship.

In one home where I was a guest, the father, a prominent surgeon, his wife and three chil­dren gathered together to worship God as a family. Each child read from his own Bible and then attempted to explain what he had read from God's Word. All of them bowed in prayer, thanking God for His goodness, remembering the many missionaries who have been guests in this Christian home, asking God to strengthen them for the tasks that lay ahead of them. I wish I could tell you the feeling of joy that surged over me as I was privileged to participate in the family worship service. The father is a great sur­geon, yet, more important, a priest to his fam­ily.

 While I visited in another home, that of a nationally noted medical research teacher, I asked the father what suggestion he could give to teach our children to learn to pray more in­telligently at the family altar. His answer was, "Explain what prayer is, and is not; it is not a religious exercise, it is not necessarily a form; rather it is talking to God and listening for God to speak to us. Before the children pray, I ask them to think out loud of things they are thank­ful for and what they want to talk to God about. You'd be amazed at the spiritual insight even the small child has. Encourage them to talk to God as they talk to their earthly father."

Can you see the wisdom of this advice? God does not have to be talked to in set patterns and forms or in certain quality of voice. This father has caught the idea, and if you could hear his children pray, you would understand how prac­tical his suggestions are.

The bitter cold and snow of a Midwestern city offered a striking contrast to the warmth of a prominent dentist's home which I visited. The warmth came not only from the furnace, but also from the spiritual glow I felt as I joined this large family for its regular period of early morning worship. Before Dad, Mother, and the children started their busy day, at the office, home, school, and play, they met together to fellowship with God in His Word and in prayer. I've been in that home many times since, and am always aware of the fact that in spite of the normal stresses and strains of a large family, Christ is honored daily and that because of this faithfulness, this home is like heaven.

These busy professional people have emer­gencies, long hours, life and death are in their hands continually, yet they make time to wor­ship with their families regularly. If they can find the time, can't we?

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RAYMOND KNIGHTON, Reprinted from "The Family Altar Crusader

April 1956

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