QUESTION: How important is prayer for families?
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
CINCINNATI, Ohio — A few weeks ago after Mass at our local parish, I spoke with David, a young Guatemalan father who was anxious about the future. His concerns were understandable.
David is a devoted Catholic, a hard worker, and a family man. “I have been here for several years now, and my children are citizens,” he told me, gazing warmly at his chubby son in the stroller. “I worry that someday (the immigration authorities) will deport me and send me far away from them. This DAPA thing — it is the only hope to keep my family together.”
In a ruling due before the end of the month, the U.S. Supreme Court could dash that hope — all David’s hopes — and those of thousands of other men, women and children we should be proud to claim as Americans.
But the court could also take the high road, the better path and take a moral stand for the rights of the undocumented in our communities.
David was referring to a 2014 program known as DAPA, which also has a 2012 predecessor known as DACA. They are acronyms for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, respectively.
The policies aim to grant renewable work permits and exemption from deportation to nearly 4.3 million immigrants who came to the United States as young children or who have lived in the United States since 2010 and have children who are American citizens or lawful permanent residents.
The DAPA program is the result of an executive order issued by President Obama after Congress failed to pass immigration reform; his order also expanded the earlier DACA program.
It was a laudable effort that would have enabled minors brought to this country by their parents to live securely and freely, and to help their parents and families come out of the shadows. It would have put David’s mind to rest so he could concentrate on the things that really matter — living a dignified life, caring for and supporting his family and his community.
Instead, governors and attorneys general from 26 states across the country, led by Texas, filed a lawsuit to reverse this program and a federal court blocked it. The governors and attorneys general do not have a solution or a better way to serve those in need in our community; it is strictly a political move.
As a result, the Supreme Court has been weighing whether Obama followed the appropriate rule-making process when he directed the administration to create the Deferred Action program and whether such a decision is really the president’s to make.
If the justices rule in favor of undocumented immigrants and their families (and the president) a program that will help millions find the security and opportunity to thrive in this country can move forward.
If the justices rule otherwise, these families, many of whom have suffered greatly already, will be forced to continue living in a very dangerous state of limbo.
But if the Supreme Court is tied in its decision, a lower court ruling blocking the program would stay in place.
As a religious sister ministering with a large Guatemalan community, I know countless loving mothers and fathers who share David’s very rational fears.
Schools with immigrant students have worked with them to create “deportation plans”– contingency plans for what to do if a child arrives home to an empty house because mama or papa was deported. This is a horrifying contradiction to the family values we claim to embrace as a nation.
It is also an assault on human rights, as deporting these mothers, fathers, and young people means sending them back to destitution and even danger.
Although approving DAPA and expanded DACA will not solve all the problems these families face, it will at least grant a reprieve.
Most Americans, and certainly people of faith, agree that these families, our sisters and brothers in faith and community, should not be priorities for deportation. As the U.S. Catholic Bishops consistently remind us, we must pass comprehensive immigration reform.
In the meantime, DAPA and expanded DACA represent an urgently-needed short-term solution. Immigrant rights are family rights, and I pray that the Supreme Court continues our country’s long tradition of upholding both.
(Sister Tracy Kemme, a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati nun, has lived and worked at the El Paso-Juarez border volunteering at a shelter for migrants and at a Latino parish. She now works with immigrants in Cincinnati.)