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DEDICATION

This Manual of Family Prayers is affectionately dedicated to my companion for a generation, who has labored and sacrificed with me during all these three and thirty years, and to whose helpful criticism all that is good and abiding in this book, she has been the inspiration.

September 30, 1913.

P. A. HEILMAN.

PUBLIC
LIBRARY

PREFACE

The author has long felt the need of a book of family devotions, such as is contemplated in this manual. There are many books on prayer, many volumes of prayers, manuals of family prayers, prayers for every day in the year, without regard to any special order. But nowhere is there a book fitted into the religious life of the Church throughout the whole year, with appropriate passages of Scripture for the particular season through which we are passing. It is often difficult, even for ministers, to find an appropriate lesson to be read at the family altar. These selections have been made by our godly church fathers long ago, and are printed in our Church Hymnal. Only enough of the selection is inserted here, to make a short devotional service for the family that is hurried. The lesson ought always be read from the Bible, the whole selection if possible.

The Church Year is an old arrangement that has grown up through the centuries. At first only a few events, like Christmas, or Easter, were celebrated. But the wisdom of the church fathers through generations has developed a complete system, that takes in the essential truths of the whole Word of God in a year; so that one who follows the daily lessons will not only be in line with the Church, but will have absorbed from the Word, most of the important truths of our holy religion. This is one of the great benefits of the Church Year, beginning with Advent, and following the succession of festivals throughout the whole year. There ought to be perfect harmony between the Church and the home. Both should work together for the saving of the soul, and the building up of Christian character. No Christian home should be without a family altar, a place and time for morning or eve

ning worship. This should consist of a few verses of Scripture, and a short prayer, conducted by the head of the family. Should he be unwilling to assume this responsibility, then let the wife assume it, or one of the children. A verse of a hymn may be sung if there is time. Should the family be too much hurried for formal worship, let this manual be placed beside the plate, at the morning or evening meal, and the lesson for the day read, with the prayer, and such other petitions as may be desired. Also one of the short prayers, inserted in the rear of this book.

Two Scripture selections are given; either one, or both, may be used. Even these may be shortened if necessary; but let no day be begun without prayer, and a little of the Word. It is the Bread of Life, as necessary to the soul as the physical bread to the body. No family can plead "No time for prayers." The few moments spent in quiet devotion, before, or after, the morning meal, will be gained many times over, before the day is done, because of the calm it brings to worried hearts, and the rest to tired nerves. better than all, the blessing of Almighty God, “which maketh rich and addeth no sorrow with it." Besides it is due Him from whom cometh every good and perfect gift.

But

It is the aim of this little manual to help Christian people to establish a home altar: to place before you these choice portions of Scripture, in harmony with the seasons of the Church Year, and to suggest, in the brief prayers, causes for gratitude, and subjects for prayer, and help you in expressing them, leaving opportunity always at the close of the prayer for any petitions of your own.

To those who follow these readings from day to day throughout the whole year, only blessing can come from Him who hears and answers prayer; who speaks to us through His Word, saying, "Them that honor me I will honor."

May He who "setteth the solitary in families,"

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