The golden opportunity for families (2) (27)
-“Dad, did you read the golden opportunity for individuals’ pamphlet?” my son said.
-“I did, it was very good, but when will you bring the part which is intended for families?” I replied.
He said: “Dad, I think this could be a great opportunity to go meet my spiritual father, he will talk to you himself about the golden opportunity for families.”
“Okay I’ll see, I’ll try to go and meet him.” I replied with some hesitation.
Then I thought about my life which I have wasted in work, away from God, from praying and from the gospel, so I decided to care more about my spiritual life because now is a golden opportunity to consider my eternity and my family’s eternity, truthfully what is the benefit of being tired and miserable, and have no relationship with God?! What would I benefit if I won the whole world and I lost God’s kingdom?! I really need to think seriously about this.
May God did all these situations to let me think about my spiritual life, maybe he is sending me messages instead of letting me die suddenly and lose everything. I need to be changed because sooner or later I’ll die.
The next day I went to meet the spiritual father. I told him that I read the golden opportunity for individuals’ pamphlet and I wanted to know more about how we can benefit from these days, me and my family, and how can we start a spiritual life together? Because for many years I was consumed by my materialistic life.
He said: Actually, this world is very consuming and full of troubles, and if we don’t be vigilant about our spiritual life, our life will be gone before we notice. And at the end we will find ourselves very far away from God’s Kingdom and the love of Christ.
I asked: How do I start with my family, I want to make up for the years which I wasted?
I said: “Forgive me, father.” What should I do?
He replied: simply get together every day to pray and read the Bible, I believe if every Christian family do this, all the world will be blessed, miracles will happen, and we will be the true witnesses of Jesus.
I wondered: could the family altar cause all this?!
He said: the family altar is not just a word, but if every Christian family has a life of praying, heaven will be opened with goodness and grace for us and for all the world and all our sons and daughters will be blessed (ITimothy 4:5) but if we just care about the news of this world and let God disappear from our houses, we won’t be the salt of the earth neither the light of the world anymore, so we won’t be good for anything  anymore and we will be just like the sons of this world instead of being their light. 
Therefore we will be stranger to our father’s kingdom and we will fear death just as the world does.
I said: you are right, father: but we feel shy to pray together and each of us prefer to pray alone.
He wondered: what is the reason for being shy to pray together. Does you feel shy to talk to Jesus in front of each other or you feel shy to open the Bible with each other? What is the reason which make you shy in this?!
I answered: maybe because we didn’t used to do it.
He said: haven’t you sometimes watch television together even if it shows inappropriate scenes for your family?! Do you feel shy to watch them together?!
I said: no.
He asked: so why doesn’t watching television with our families make us shy and praying with them does?!
So the things we have to feel shy about we did them as if they are normal and we are getting shy when it is related to our relationship with Christ!!
And then we weep for our sons and daughters when they move away from God!!
I am sorry but the whole thing is twisted, what is wrong seem to be normal and what is normal isn’t.
I replied with regret: truly father all these years are wasted because of shyness. And instead of raising my kids to pray, I left them to be raised by the Television and media. I failed them and instead of making them, children of Christ I let them and also let myself to be children of the world, and when the hard time came, we recognized our weakness and our mistake.
Is there a solution for this disaster my father?
He said: the solution is to start immediately, take advantage of the current opportunity, it’s a golden opportunity. The churches are closed and fear is surrounding us. It’s the most appropriate time to start praying together. Start now not later. As the Bible says; “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (II Corinthians 6:2 NKJV). These opportunities are rare, it’s not wise to lose our life away from God and at the end lose our eternity. If we don’t start now at this hard time, we will not start after it, because then we will return to our ordinary life and we will forget our need for God and for talking to him. And eventually we all will die but the important thing is to establish a relationship with the Christ before dying hence we have a share with him in his kingdom. Because whoever don’t have a relationship with Christ here, will not have eternal life.
I asked: what are the practical steps to start, I want to not waste time anymore, what is lost is enough and also my life is not guaranteed. How do I start?
He answered: firstly you have to realize the importance of family altar, it’s about the eternal life of you and your family. Saint Paul said “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (I Timothy 5:8 KJVA)
So who won’t be concerned with his own family will be worse than who denies his faith and denies the Christ.
I said but I provide for my family, and I never delay what they need.
He said, it’s important to be concerned with their earthly needs but it is not enough. What is the benefit of providing them with food and clothes and not teaching them how to pray? What is the importance of helping them succeed in this world and at the end they don’t go to heaven? What is the benefit of providing them with good education and not telling them what is in the Gospel?!
I said: so don’t I need to care about their earthly needs?
He said: no, you have to care about their earthly needs but you have to care more about their spiritual needs. You have to be concerned with their relationship with the Christ to guarantee their eternity. You are responsible about your family and you will be judged before God for this responsibility; did you raise them to pray and read the Bible or you let the media and the internet raise them?!!
Without the family altar Christ will not be in your house and someone else will be there. Without the family altar you are not in the path for God’s kingdom but you are in another path.
I said: I was really missing the whole point, the world was consuming me. I was not in the path of God’s kingdom, and I dragged my family with me in the path to perdition. Now I have understood the importance of family altar for saving myself and my family.
He said: now after you have realized this point, we can move to the next one, which is;
2- The decision:
After realizing the importance of family altar, the decision must be made before your eagerness fade away. It’s necessary to make firm decision to start right now. You have to overcome the feelings of shyness and take your first step, then your shyness will fade away and you and your family will feel that praying together is normal and it is a blessing which you were missing. You will know that you was missing the grace of Christ presence in your house because of shyness.
I said: with the grace of God we will start today, we will start the family altar. I mustn’t waste more time away from Christ.
He said: there is another thing that you have to consider if you want to continue and not just start for one day or two and stop;
3- Progression and timing:
To be able to continue your family altar you need to progress gradually with timing.
I asked: what do you mean by graduate progression and timing?
He answered: I mean by progression is to start with small steps and gradually progress so that you can continue. Don’t start to pray for a long time to avoid the boredom.
I asked: what do you suggest?
He said: for the first three days just pray the Lord’s Prayer.
I said: this is a very small prayer should we add something else?!
He said: just for the start and then for a week let everyone say a small prayer.
I asked: what if anyone of the children feels shy and doesn’t want to pray?
He said: let him and don’t pressure him, just start and let whoever want to pray, prays and with time they will get the courage to pray.
I said: what do we say in these prayers?
He said: this is the second part which is timing, set a time for praying so that you won’t forget. For example before sleeping or before dinner because setting a fixed time will make it unforgettable.
I said: before dinner is a good time so “no food until praying”.
He said: also determine a thing to pray for each day. For example at one day you pray for the safety of your family and for God to protect them and all the world from the devil. And your wife prays for your earthly needs and for the needs of every poor man or woman. And your son prays for God to sanctify your family from any evil and sanctify all the world. Your daughter prays for God to preserve the life of redemption, forgiveness and the trust in eternity. And let the one who prays mentions the members of the family with their names, and when there is any special needs for the family, add them to the prayers, and thank God when He answers.
It also important to shorten the time of praying if any one feels tired or stressed, as saint Isaac said ” The power of pray is not in its quantity but in its continuity”.
I said: those are great ideas, but what about the Gospel and Agpeya (the prayers book of the hours)?
He said: start this week as what we determined and the next time we will start adding things step by step.
I finished with my spiritual father and thanked him.
At the road to my house I said to myself that all these years have slipped away and if it wasn’t for these circumstances I would be lost. I thought I am alive but I was actually dead. I thought I am taking care of my family but I was actually losing them.
What are the benefits of eating, drinking or having good education and not having a relationship with God and not knowing his words in the Gospel?
All this because of some fake excuses. What were I doing?!! If any of us died right now, he wouldn’t go to heaven. As long as he didn’t have a relationship with Christ here on earth, how will he have a relationship with him there?
Thank you God for the circumstances that makes me think about eternity and the relationship with you. Help me and my family to start the family altar and help us to continue. Bless us with your grace to not get haunted again by earthly things and continue our relationship with you, so we won’t move away from you again. Help me God in the name of your son Jesus Christ.
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 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.(Matthew 5:13 NIV)
 And be not conformed to this world. (Romans 12:2 KJVA).
 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. (Mark 13:33 NKJV)