New Dover United Methodist Church

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

Tips for Starting Family Devotions


Make time in your day.
Block out time on your calendar and stick to it. Make choices about how your family will change its schedule to make space for prayer time.

Create a ritual.
Choose a specific time and place for daily devotions — whether it’s breakfast, dinner or before bedtime. Keep your devotional supplies nearby as a visual reminder.

Start simple.
Begin with a simple, one-sentence prayer at meal like “Thank you God for this food” or a Bible story at bedtime.

Repetition is key.
Your devotional time might feel messy and awkward, but keep practicing. Creating a habit is the goal, not perfection!

Begin with story or verse.
Introduce your kids to the stories and concepts of the Bible. Choose a verse to read and discuss or read a Bible story.

Pay attention.
Look for God in everyday life. Ask your family to share where they experienced or felt close to God during their day.

Practice Sabbath.
Start small and spend 10-15 minutes as a family to be with God. Turn off screens, pause from chores and do something fun.

Create a space for prayer.
Provide a quiet, comfortable place with materials for writing or drawing along with a Bible and other devotional books.

Start a prayer journal.
Use a simple notebook to write or draw pictures of what you want to pray about. Create a family journal or provide one for each member.

Model your own faith.
Let your children see you reading Scripture, writing in a prayer journal and praying aloud. Watching your practices will reinforce the importance of devotional time.  

For more great suggestions and prayers:
Jenny Youngman,
Scrambled Starts: Family Prayers for Morning, Bedtime and Everything in Between

Kara Lassen Oliver,
Passing It On: How to Nurture Your Children's Faith Season by Season

Copied from United Methodist Communications