How to Pray for Families
Families are the building blocks of society and the church. We cannot afford to sit idly by and allow Satan to destroy our families.
When Sanballat heard that Nehemiah was building the walls of Jerusalem, he was filled with great wrath and conspired to fight against him. Today when we seek to build godly homes, the enemy continually seeks to hinder. Our only hope is to follow Nehemiah’s example: “Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God and set a watch against them day and night” (Nehemiah 4:9). The determined Israelites held in one hand a tool with which to build and in the other hand a weapon to fight the enemy. Only vigilant, intercessory prayer and spiritual warfare will lead us to victory for our families. Let us take courage from Nehemiah’s advice: Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great . . . and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses . . . . our God shall fight for us” (Nehemiah 4:14, 20).
Pray for husbands to:
1. Be spiritual leaders in their homes (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). It is difficult for a woman and children to find their proper place in the divine scheme for the family when the father is out of his place. He is designed to be the spiritual head of the family. When he fails to be the spiritual leader, his wife is unfairly forced to assume this role. Pray that the husband’s love and devotion to God and his steadfast faithfulness will set the example for his family to follow.
2. Love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). Love is not a gushy feeling of the moment. Love is commitment—through the good times and bad. Pray that the husband’s love for his wife would be as pure and eternal as Christ’s love for the church. Raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Fathers teach children how to bait hooks and how to drive the family automobile. However, the greatest lesson they can teach their children is to fear the Lord and to walk humbly before Him. Pray that fathers would teach Christian principles to their children by precept and example.
Pray for wives to:
1. Seek God and love His word supremely (Matthew 6:33). Just as diet helps to determine our physical health, what we read, watch, and listen help to determine our mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Pray that the wife’s love for the Word would keep her thoughts pure and holy.
2. Be subject to their husbands as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:24). Eve was created to be a helper suitable for Adam. Although she was not inferior to him, she was to follow his leadership. Pray that the wife would have a godly respect for her husband.
3. Teach their children to have faith in God (II Timothy 1:5). The mother is a child’s first teacher. She instills many of her values subjectively through her priorities and actions. Pray that the mother’s example of holiness and dedication would transmit her faith in God to her child.
4. Be content and not given to covetousness (Hebrews 13:5). Modern advertising and the values of a new generation have made what once was luxuries now seem necessities. In such an environment it is easy for the wife to want what the family cannot afford and put undue pressure on her husband and family. Pray that she would be thankful for the bounty that God has already provided.
Pray for children to:
1. Become sensitive and responsive to God at an early age (I Samuel 3:1-14). Samuel’s childhood and youth show that children can be sensitive and responsive to God at an early age. Pray that they would keep their hearts attuned to God. Pray that parents would have the wisdom to recognize their children’s sensitivity and guide them.
2. Be obedient to parents (Epesians 6:1). The fifth commandment is the only one with a promise. Pray that the parents would have the wisdom to discipline their children properly (Ephesians 6:4). Pray that the children would receive the discipline as an act of love (Hebrews 12:5-8).
3. Heed their parents’ godly teaching and example (Proverbs 1:8). Although parents are still the greatest influence in a child’s life, school, media, and friends are also sources of influence. Pray that children would be more swayed by the example of their godly parents and the teachings of the Word of God than by peer pressure or worldly environment.
4. Follow Christ’s example and grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). Luke wrote that Jesus was subject to Mary and Joseph and that He grew mentally (wisdom), physically (stature), spiritually (God), and socially (man). It is God’s will that our children be well-rounded individuals. Pray that they would develop in each of these areas as they grow. Families are the building blocks of society and the church. We cannot afford to sit idly by and allow Satan to destroy our families. We must be vigilant and pray for our families to be protected from evil and to be a place of safety. As Nehemiah built the walls of Jerusalem, so can we build walls of prayer and faith around our families. We must do it for Jesus’ sake and our own.
Prayer for family can transform into powerful prayer with more meaning and depth with 3 simple approaches…
Tags: how to pray, prayer request, family, scripture, selfish, pray with others, prayer for family
We live so close to our family members, and we live so much of our lives with our families, we often find ourselves praying for them.
Before we begin, I want to state that it is true that there is no ”right” way to pray for your family. In fact, if you are mentioning them in prayer at all, it is honoring to them and God is pleased.
That being said, there are some guidelines that, when followed, may bring those prayers to a new level… resulting in much deeper, meaningful discussion between you and God about your loved ones – much more powerful prayer for family.
Use Scripture in Your Prayers
The FIRST top way to pray for family is to use scripture in your prayers. Whatever the issue is, there is scripture that speaks to that issue. For example, if your loved one is struggling with an addiction, you can find a piece of scripture that encourages us in times of temptation. For example, in the book of 1 Corinthians (1 Corinthians 10:13), scripture says – ”No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind; and God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
In speaking this verse in your prayer, you will “remind” God of what He promises in scripture as proof that He will deliver your family member from that temptation. Of course, we don’t really “remind” God of anything… but the practice helps remind us of God’s promises and the opportunity to see His faithfulness in delivering the promises of His Word.
Avoid Being Selfish
The SECOND main principle can be very difficult to implement! It is very easy for us to pray for family members (and people, in general) to act in ways and do things that support what we actually want for us! ”Lord, please help my wife understand that we just don’t have the money for new furniture right now” or…“God, please help my daughter to score the most soccer goals on her team today…”
While these can be noble requests and certainly have their own merits, they have an element of what WE want to happen more than what is best for our family members. So how can we easily parse out the difference?
The key to focusing your attention on what may be more appropriate prayer is this… Ask yourself if you are praying to further spiritual growth. Specifically, you will want to ask God to reveal to you how this issue advances your family member’s spiritual growth. In addition, we may need to ask God to reveal to us what He wants us to see about our own spiritual growth!
For perspective, our prayer above for the furniture might turn into the following: “Lord, thank you for providing my wife to think about the comforts of our home. While I do not want to spend our money on furniture right now, help me understand how this purchase might serve You. Perhaps not having this furniture is a barrier to sharing our home right now. In addition, please reveal to me any selfishness in my heart about this purchase, and any opportunities to serve with it. Am I actually resistant because I’d rather spend our money on a new TV or am I unwilling to cut back in my own spending to sacrifice for her. Help me understand the blessings you have in store for us should we buy this furniture.”
Our prayer for our daughter may become this instead: “God, thank you for the athletic skill you have given my daughter. She amazes me with all she is capable of with the gifts you have given her. However, I know that she was ultimately made by You to glorify Your Name. If it is Your will, I pray that you help her succeed mightily on the soccer field today by scoring goals. Ultimately, however, I pray that on this stage, she finds ways to glorify Your name, whether by her athletic accomplishments or her attitude on the field.”
Pray Out-Loud, With Your Family Member
A THIRD way to maximize your prayers for family is to pray WITH your family member! Admittedly, this is not the typical way we pray. Also, prayers for intercession are generally between God and us. More typically, we tell our family members we will pray for them or we are praying for them to encourage them in their struggles, our exact dialogue with God about them remains private.
That being said, imagine if your loved one could actually hear you implore God for their relief, or their wishes to come true, or their struggles to be over… if they could hear how deep your own emotion is on their behalf!
Again, it is not always the right approach for family members to hear the words you are praying about them. However, there may be opportunities to more deeply move or encourage your family member in their time of need when they can audibly hear the depth of your own investment in their success or relief.
Please share your own powerful ways to pray for family in deep and meaningful ways below in the comments section!
Prayer for families is the very foundation that keeps a family unit together. Have you heard the phrase “A family that prays together stays together”? The concept is true – a family that has their focus on praying to the Lord Jesus Christ has a foundation that may be shaken at times, but it will withstand all that comes against them.
It’s important for parents to have their children involved in family prayer because this helps build the children’s relationship with the Lord and also teaches them the importance of prayer. Families that pray together establish trust with one another, learn to pray in a fellowship, and come in agreement through Jesus. These disciplines help bring unity to the household.
The family is a small church and our ministry first starts at home. In 1 Timothy 3:5 we read, “If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” Managing your family is caring for each member, teaching them God’s ways, leading them to grow in the Lord, and equipping them for adult life. Prayer is an important element in this process. A family who has a heart of prayer for each other will have a heart of prayer for the world.
Prayer for families can be done in a variety of ways – by you in your prayer closet, by praying together with your spouse, praying together as a family unit, and praying with friends. Praying for your family not only lays a foundation for family life, it also surrounds your family with protection and peace.
In many cases, the Lord reveals specific needs for your family members. He reveals pain that they may be feeling or certain things that are drawing them away from fellowship with Him. Praying for your family can give you insight from the Lord and most of all, prayer will bring you comfort as God reminds you of His promises. Perhaps some members of your family do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Prayer for the unsaved is vital.
Prayer for Families – Sample Prayers
- Prayer for protection and provision – Father, Thank you for my family. I ask that you bless them with Your favor. Provide for all of their needs. I ask You to protect them from harm and evil. Surround them in the shadow of Your wing. Go before them and prepare the way for them. If any path is crooked, I ask you to make it straight. Protect them from the schemes of the enemy and keep them from deception. Bring Your perfect peace to their hearts. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
- Prayer for unity – Father, I thank you for blessing me with my family. I ask you to bring us into unity through You. I ask that anything that is hidden in darkness – to cause disunity – will be brought to light. I ask You to lead us into Your perfect truth and help us to be the family You intend us to be. Lord, help us to be a blessing to one another and to others. Reveal Yourself to us and let us come into agreement with You. Lead us in Your ways. Grant us compassionate hearts, fill us with Your love that does not keep records of wrong, and bring joy to our hearts when we think of one another. Bring Your perfect peace and unity into our family. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
– We have all
and deserve God’s judgment.
, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him.
, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He
for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was
rose from the dead
according to the
. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your
, declaring, “
Jesus is Lord
,” you will be saved from
and spend eternity with God in heaven.
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow JesusYes, I am already a follower of JesusI still have questions
Would you like to know how to pray for your family? Welcome to Day 3 of our 7 day prayer challenge. Since Heather and I are both moms, our conversation about prayer drifted to a question a lot of women ask: How can I pray for my family? You don’t have to have a husband or children to wonder how to effectively pray for those you love. In our own home, Jeff and I are about to send JoHanna back to college for her sophomore year, and Jacob is about to start his senior year of high school. I’m motivated to be in prayer for them both!
In EVERY season of life, we want to know how to pray for our loved ones. We would love for you to listen in to today’s devotional conversation about how to pray for your family.
How to pray for your family
Jules – When I became a mom, I had no idea how much it would drive my prayer life. At every stage, I’ve found myself crying out to the Lord for patience, wisdom, direction, and intervention over things I can’t control. My mama-prayers have swelled up early in the morning, in the midst of nap time, or deep in the night. Motherhood motivates me to pray!
Since children have a way of filling our hearts, how can we pray for our families?
Heather ~ Motherhood does change us, it challenges us and sometimes we think we are in over our heads. In the trenches of motherhood, God taught me he hears my cries, my groans, and my “Oh no’s!”
Key Verse: Isaiah 30:19 says, “How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you.”
Read the rest of today’s Day 3 Prayer Challenge Devotion at Heather’s blog right here.
Something to equip you to pray
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