Last Sunday afternoon marked the 15th year of a beloved annual tradition... Halverson Family Prayer Day.
I've written about it before (I've actually mentioned it every year since I started blogging), and I've decided I like that... having it included here on my blog... to remember.
We started family prayer with Russ's parents, aunt, and siblings back when the kids were babies, some not born yet, and us adults would try to get as far away from the noise and crying and chaos as we could and then make it real quick before someone got injured. And now we have seniors in high school and everyone is involved, and man, is that something special.
It always starts with gathering for a meal.
(We really like to eat.)
We talk and visit and shake our heads at what happens every single time the cousins get together (mass ipod/ipad gameage).
And then we casually begin, reading the things that we prayed for at the start of the previous year (that we wrote down and stored in a jar to remember), and sharing how those things turned out... all the kids included. We have found that nothing is more encouraging than looking back and seeing how faithful God is in the big and in the little. Sometimes our prayers are answered quickly and incredibly. Sometimes they end up taking all year, or several years, or are still continuing. And sometimes it seems like they weren't answered at all but the looking back makes us realize God did or is doing something even better.
Next we share any other praise reports of cool things God did over the course of the year.
And then we share what (and often, who) we are lifting up in prayer for the new year, and write them down and put them in a jar.
Everyone shares. Everyone opens up their hearts. Everyone feels supported and unashamed and hopeful.
And then Gary, my father-in-law, prays.
And then we jump and shout and hug and dance when the Seahawks come back from behind and win to make it into the Superbowl because we totally waited till halftime to start prayer and then turned the game back on to watch the end the second we were done.
It's a very solemn occasion.