Teach Us to Pray: Scripture-Centered Family Worship through the Year

This daily prayer book guides families in both listening to and speaking to God through songs, Scripture readings, guided action, and quiet contemplation, organized to follow the life of Jesus through each season of the Christian calendar.

Elizabeth Vander Haagen, Lora A. Copley
Calvin College Press, 2016
Prayer, Devotions, and Study, Christmas

Illustrations by Matthew Plescher

Read the Introduction.

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Book endorsements

Peter Choi, City Church, San Francisco, California

Teach Us to Pray reminds us that prayer involves both discipline and delight. Copley and Vander Haagen have poured their hard-earned wisdom as pastors and parents into these pages, inviting us to pray as a way of re-narrating our lives into the story of Scripture, as modeled in the Christian calendar. They have found a way to do so with grace, simplicity, attention to a wide range of human emotions, and passages from every book of the Bible. To use this resource is to be led by wise pastoral guides into daily, active devotion as well as unexpected moments of sweetness in friendship with God. My family and I will be reaching for this cherished book every day for many years to come.

Laura Keeley and Robert J. Keeley, 14th Street Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Michigan

In Teach Us to Pray, Lora A. Copley and Elizabeth Vander Haagen have given families a wonderful daily devotional that takes the profound truths of Scripture and makes them available to people of all ages. They have created a resource rich with rituals and practices that follow the liturgical year and reflect what is important in worship and our daily Christian walk. Teach Us to Pray provides short, child-friendly readings and activities that bring families into God’s presence in a way that speaks to all, from children to teens to adults.

Lisa Weaver, Catholic University, Washington D.C.

In their book Teach Us to Pray: Scripture-Centered Worship through the Year, Copley and Vander Haagen provide a wonderful pattern for daily family devotional time throughout the year. With the Christian calendar as the structure around which the book is organized, the authors present a robust and thoughtful pattern for this daily family prayer: preparing, inviting, stilling, singing, Bible reading, dwelling, praying, and blessing. Each family member participates bodily and in stillness, silently and aloud, making the home the first place that children experience deep spiritual formation, with parents or guardians as tutors and guides of that experience. Influenced by the ancient practice of lectio divina, each week also includes a psalm or biblical song, and special days are accompanied by an additional Bible passage. Intercessions provide the seedbed for instilling care and concern for others personally, locally, and globally. Geared towards families with young children, with built in flexibility in time and structure to account for fidgety little ones, Teach Us to Pray shapes and reinforces habits and postures of prayer for the entire family.

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