A collection of the sweet lessons God teaches in the midst of a busy life full of joys and trials...
Monday, November 4, 2013
Family Altar- First Round!
I've been increasingly aware of the evils of the world lately, and how Satan truly is like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). He looks for any door that is kept even a tiny bit open to enter and destroy. He tries to creep into our minds, tries to lure our children, and tries to destroy the family. It is quite anxiety provoking even just to think about, and I must admit that there are days when the thoughts and the worries can almost be paralyzing. In those moments, I am reminded that Christ promises, "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you." What an amazing promise! But how can we get this authority? We are blessed with a richness in our Church that gives us various means of receiving the grace of the Holy Spirit that can fill our hearts and our homes with this protection against evil and also bring us to the presence of God.
The "Family Altar" is a designated area in the home where we as a family can come into the presence of God together. We made ours pretty simple for now (picture above) with an icon and a candle, since our boys are still little. We set up the ipad with the prayers from the Coptic book of hours (the Agbeya) and for today we just said the Our Father and the Thanksgiving Prayer that our six year old was able to read for us. We also tried to do some meytanias (prostrations) while saying "Lord Have Mercy". I say "tried" because our 1 1/2 year old was with us and thought we were all trying to play a game with him, but after a while he was really trying to get up and down like his older brothers :)
Overall, it was a good first attempt. The boys of course were laughing at times, trying to play around and pretty distracted overall, but I know that just being in the presence of God together as a family is powerful. When we pray in His presence, we put ourselves in the posture to receive His Grace, His peace, His joy, His protection, His love. Regardless of what is happening around us (even when 3 monkeys are jumping all around us), He is there and ready to give to us.
I pray that these moments would plant seeds in the hearts of my children, and build walls around their hearts and minds to protect them from the evil that is fighting all around them.