DAY FOUR OF THE RETREAT
Topic: PRAYING AND PARTAKING OF HOLY COMMUNION TOGETHER AS A FAMILY
· Why does God want us to pray and take communion together as a family?
· Why is it important to pray together?
· Why should a family set aside time to pray together?
· How does it feel to bond together as a family in prayer?
· What does it mean a family that prays together stays together?
· “Pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16).
Prayers always reach God under all circumstances and are heard regardless of whether one prays in solitude or with others.
What did Jesus say about praying alone?
· “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them. (Matthew 18:20 )
· Psalm 133:1-3 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.
Prayer is a communion with God.
Praying together brings us:
· A special form of communion with one another.
· prayer helps the family to deal with stress as well as reduce tensions in their relationships.
· Enables them to focus on shared beliefs and hopes for the future.
· Allows them to deal constructively with challenges and problems in the family, and in the life of members.
· Brings family closely bonded together and create a sense of family unity.
· When we pray together as a family we are essentially asking God to show up. We may desire that He teach us His Word as we discuss it and reflect upon it. We may need Him to affect some situations we are facing. We may simply hunger for more of Him.
· Family prayer provided sacred time and space to connect with God and with each other. It was a time of togetherness and interaction and a space to express love and concern for each other.” … Family prayer provides feelings of connectedness, unity and bonding. Family prayer helps reduce relational tensions.
· Jesus taught, “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men … but when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen.” — Matthew 6:5-8
OF WHAT RELEVANCE IS COMMUNION TO FAMILY PRAYERS.
1. What does family Holy Communion mean?
2. How much communion have we taken together as a family?
3. How does taking communion together help the family to grow in faith and love just like the body of Christ.?
· “Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing, it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”- Matthew 26:26-30 (ESV).
· But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. – 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)
· “For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.” – Romans 3:25 (NLT)
NOTE THESE IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF FAMILY COMMUNION
· The most famous story of communion in the Bible is the story of The Last Supper. It was Jesus’ last dinner with His disciples before He was crucified. You can read the story (and if you’re going to have communion at home, you will certainly want to do this. I encourage you to read all of Matthew 26 beforehand. Or, if you prefer, Luke 22 or Mark 14.
· Communion or the Lord’s Supper is the breaking and eating of bread to symbolize Christ’s body broken for us and drinking wine to remember the blood he shed for our sins. … We are symbolically intermingling Christ’s blood with our own, sharing a meal together as friends, making him a part of us and us a part of him.
· Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread. 1 Corinthians 10:16–17
· This principle, that every believer is a minister of God, is called “the priesthood of all believers” by theologians. It is the idea that as a follower of Jesus, we are all called to serve God and are responsible as his children to read and observe the teachings of Scripture. This would certainly include following the Scripture’s command to regularly observe communion in our gatherings-
1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)
When we receive the Holy communion, we commune with Jesus and build a closer relationship with Him. When we accept Him, He became our spiritual Bread of life who gives us physical strength nourishes our soul and purifies our heart.” We also experience communion in the family through having closer relationships, participating in family affairs, promoting harmony and sharing their blessings with one another. The Holy communion is important to strengthen one’s relationship to one another. If we make the Holy Communion the centre of each Christian family, it might build unity and strength within the family.
Today, some of the families are breaking apart. There is a weakening of family ties. Some of the factors that diminish the family ties are misunderstanding, self-centeredness, envy, neglect or lack of love and unable to receive and ask for forgiveness. Today’s situation is really a great challenge for most Families in the world to look at their spiritual life, the life that should be nourished and nurtured in the Holy communion. Therefore, communion can be one of the sources to deepen and strengthen family relationships. It is a life that is centred on Christ. There is a need to be more aware of how the communion may deepen and strengthen the family life. Knowing that it is the source and summit of the Christian life, we are called to have a deep understanding of how communion can be a help for us. Being commune with Jesus is also being commune with others. This can be done by eating together, providing for the needs of others and doing an act of charity. By doing those activities, it can strengthen family’s relationships.