For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?
Almost two-hundred years ago, it was stated, “… error and worldliness make inroads upon the church” and there are increasingly “… the wants, temptations, dangers, and sins of the family state.” Sounds like today! The most potent defense against such trends was family worship.
Every child was an innocent lamb, and every father a shepherd. But he alone could not protect his little ones. The only place of safety was to gather them regularly to the Lord – and he, the Great Shepherd, would be their guardian. Prayer was a means of family commitment, a daily rush to the refuge of God’s shadow. The exercise alone, apart from the catechism learned, was invaluable. “The universal voice of the Church, in its best periods, has been in favor of family-worship.” And yet, the higher call to family worship was as “a service due to God, in regard to his bountiful and gracious relation to families.” 
Despite the valiant efforts, family worship was dwindling. The world, they would say, “has especially invaded the household. Our church cannot compare with that of the seventeenth century in this regard … family worship has lost ground. There are many heads of families, communicants in our churches, and … some ruling elders and deacons, who maintain no stated daily service to God in their dwellings.” For any man, to not lead his family in daily times of prayer and Bible reading was unthinkable. For such a state to exist in the homes of church leaders was intolerable.
Free us from the ‘guilt’ motivation to pray – and move us to run to your mercy seat, taking our families with us! O God, save America – one home at a time. Raise up again, the family hearth!