Our Father, we thank You for our Church Family
5 Powerful Prayers that Will Help Your Family Flourish
Do you pray for your family?
Most of us can say that we pray casually for our families.
We ask God to bless them and keep them safe or to help them in a time of need.
But I believe we can take prayer for our families a step further.
I have found that being specific and strategic in my prayers for my family can have a greater impact.
Several years ago I began praying and declaring God’s Word over myself and my family.
At first it seemed a little…..legalistic.
I had my list written out and every day I prayed through it.
Until one day I had the thought that maybe my repetitive prayers weren’t really “doing” anything. The idea crossed my mind that perhaps I was just being redundant and just maybe God was tired of hearing these same requests and declarations.
I’ll never forget His response as I spent time talking with Him about it.
“You have no idea how powerful it is when you pray and declare My Word.”
As I’ve continued to strategically pray for my family over the years, I can’t count the amount of specific requests that have been answered.
When we pray specifically, our faith grows
We see the hand of God move on behalf of the request that we make.
It builds our trust in Him, knowing that He answers us.
Perhaps this is a new concept to you. No worries…
Today I’m sharing a few prayers I use to pray specifically and strategically for my family.
A Heart for God
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30 NIV
Above all else I pray that my kids will do this one thing….to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.
Their relationship with God is most important.
We teach our kids the Bible, spend time as a family reading and praying, but at some point, they have to have their own relationship with God.
As my children get older, I realize how hard it is to let them walk this relationship out. When they aren’t reading their Bibles or spending time with God, I want to “make” them do it. But as they become adults, they have to have the “want” to do it on their own.
So what I do?
Prayer to Have a Heart for God
Father, thank you for each one of my precious children. Lord, you know their hearts. You know their strengths, their weaknesses and every tiny detail about them. God, I pray that You draw them closer to You. Show them who You are. Let them see their need for you, Lord.
Capture their hearts and fill them with Your Spirit. Lord, I pray that they would seek You above all else. That as they wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night, You would be on their minds and hearts. That everywhere they go and in everything they do, they would see You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. Psalm 133 NIV
As the new year began, I felt God planting the word unity in my heart….specifically for my family. This scripture from the Psalms came to my mind. The ending really grabbed my attention.
The blessing of the Lord dwells in unity
When we are united as one, there’s nothing that can’t be accomplished.
Remember the tower of Babel?
At that point in history, the people of the world spoke the same language. A certain group had come together and decided to build a city in Babylonia. However, they were building it for their own fleshly desires. But even in the midst of their carnality God had this to say about them and their efforts:
The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! Genesis 11:6 NLT
This is what I want for my family. I want us to be united, speaking the same language and having the same values. Because when we do, nothing will be impossible for us! We will fulfill everything God has for us.
Prayer for Unity
Father, we thank You for Your blessing over our family. Help us to be unified. Help us to speak the same language and share the same vision that You have for us. Lord, guide us and keep us on the right path.
I pray that NO weapon formed against my family will prosper. No plot, ploy or scheme from the enemy will divide us or cause dissension in our house.
Help us to stand in unity…preferring one another over ourselves and loving You above all else. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Fulfill God’s Purpose for My Family
The Bible clearly shows us that God has a purpose for us.
But did you know God has a purpose for your family as well?
Think about your ministry, your business, or even your church. God has a plan for each one of those organizations, right?
So why wouldn’t He have a plan for your family?
He carefully chose each person for each family and handcrafted the personalities, gifts, and abilities that each person would have to complete that family.
My prayer is that we would discover His purpose for our family and walk it out daily.
A Prayer for Fulfilling God’s Purpose for My Family
Father, thank you for creating our family with a purpose. We know that you have plans for each of us individually and for our family as a whole.
Lord, I pray that you would reveal this purpose to each one of us and help us to walk it out daily. Help us to have an appreciation for each other’s personalities, gifts and even our weaknesses.
Lord, teach us and guide us in all that we do, that we may glorify You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 NLT
Friendship are so important.
Not just for us individually, but for our family as a whole.
We have several family friends. The kids get along, and so do we as parents.
There’s something special about having another family over where everyone connects.
This is one area that I want our family to continue to grow.
Prayer for Godly Friendships
Father, thank You for the family friends that You’ve given us. Lord we are so grateful that You’ve knit us together with other families to do life with. Lord help us to always be reminded of how blessed we are to have them.
We pray blessing over these relationships. That no weapon from the enemy could cause division between us. Lord, we ask that You give us more relationships these.
Connect us with minded families that will sharpen us and bring us to a new level of faith in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A Heart to Serve Others
A few summers ago, our family and some friends arranged a retreat with a wonderful organization called Family-iD. The founder, Greg Gunn took us through an exercise to discover what our core values are as a family.
Each family member was given a list of values and we were to select our top 30. After we were finished, we met as a family and circles all the ones that we all had in common.
One of the values that emerged was LEADERSHIP.
Our family loves to serve others.
My husband and I know the value of investing in others and were thrilled to find out that our children felt the same way.As a family we want to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
My prayer for my family is that we would continue to have a heart for serving others.
Prayer for A Heart to Serve Others
Father, thank You for the opportunity to serve others. I pray that You would continue to instill this value into us and our children. Help us to see others the way you see them. Lord, we pray that You show us the needs of those around us.
Help us to be others focused and in tune to Your Spirit, so that we can help those that are hurting. Lord, give us the grace to serve when it’s hard. Give us the strength to keep going when we are worn out from our own situations.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
What do you pray over your family?
Do you have specific prayers that you pray?
Feel free to share them in the comments below.
**If this is an area where you are struggling, I’ve included a printable bookmark of the prayers for you to store in your Bible.**
This weeks feature is from Esther Hosea @ His Dearly Loved Daughter.
In her post Finding My Identity Through the Fog, she shows us the importance of declaring God’s Word over our lives.
Dear Parents: Thank You for Bringing Your Children to Church
“I can’t think of a better way for God's family to enter the church building on a Sunday morning than by shaking your hand and receiving a high-five from your child. “
Survival in the Sanctuary
I’ve seen them. You probably have too. Exhausted looking parents walking from the church to the parking lot as their children walk, run, hop, cry, fight, or refuse to make their way to the car. I’ve been one of those parents. When my kids were little, Sunday mornings were wild as struggled to get the kids dressed, fed, and out the door in time for church.
We’d stuff Steph into her snowsuit and realize she needed a diaper change. We’d insert Sam into her car seat and notice she was missing a shoe. Kailey and Tara would tease each other as they waited in the back seat. All this and we hadn’t even left the driveway.
Sometimes Sunday worship services felt ‘survival in the sanctuary’ for my husband and I as we tolerated the twenty minutes it took before the children were invited to leave for Sunday school.But I also remember how my heart would leap during those services when I’d hear our kids singing along, when I’d watch them shake an extended hand during the passing of the peace, and when they’d carefully place their own quarters in the collection plate.
Although I’m now the shortest one in the row when I stand beside my grown children on a Sunday morning, my eyes still well up when I watch them worship.
Children in Church
As people engaged in communicating the love of God to children, we know the value of age appropriate learning led by loving teachers using pedagogically sound resources. And we also understand the importance of including children in intergenerational worship.
Too often I’ve witnessed parents, weary and worried about disrupting the service, apologize to the people around because their children were wiggly or loud. They shouldn’t have to feel that way. Parents, grandparents, and other caregivers may wonder at times if it is worth all the effort. This letter is for them:
A Letter to Parents
Thank you for bringing your babies to worship. When I was a young mom, we were encouraged to bring our babies to the nursery, not the sanctuary, so I missed out on cuddling my newborn while Psalms were read and songs were sung. Seeing you rock your little one to sleep from across the aisle reminds us that God’s family includes all ages.
I’m glad you’re taking your toddlers along too. One Sunday during worship I saw a 2-year old-girl passed lovingly from one set of arms to another all the way down the row from where she had been sitting with her mom.
Everyone wanted a chance to hold her as she waved her hands to the music and watched her father play the keyboard at the front of the sanctuary.
Watching each person extend their arms toward this little one and ask, “me too?” was watching our baptismal promises come to life.
Thank you for including your preschoolers.
When little Dakota and Ayo spontaneously held each other’s hands last week and began dancing in the aisles to the beat of the music, they showed us what it means to worship God with joyful abandon.
And when Lily makes her way over to her grandpa, climbs up on his lap, and looks at him while he sings songs of praise, the two of them are painting a beautiful picture of one generation calling to the next.
I’m so glad you’re looking for opportunities to involve your children in worship.
I can’t think of a better way for God's family to enter the church building on a Sunday morning than by shaking your hand and receiving a high-five from your child.You taught your child what it means to give back the day he opened his zipper sealed plastic bag and poured the coins he'd collected into the offering for the hurricane victims he’d seen on the news.
During baptism, when your child joins the crowd that comes forward to pray for and lay hands on the person who was baptized, he knows he belongs and we're getting a live snapshot of what it means to be an intergenerational body of believers. Thank you for making morning announcements, while your son clings to your leg and your daughter holds your hand. You’re teaching them that talking to God’s family isn’t so different from sharing a story around the kitchen table.
Speaking of supper, participating in the Lord’s Supper with your kids nurtures our faith as it nurtures theirs.
Lining up with believers of all ages to receive the elements, and observing an adult get down on one knee to make eye contact with a child to say, “Jesus gave his life for you, Evan,” reminds us that Jesus died for all of us.
Watching a girl balance her pink plastic purse on one arm, as she carefully walks back to her seat while carrying a precious piece of bread and a ready-to-overflow cup of juice, reminds us what a special and abundant gift we’re receiving.
Parenting is hard work. I know that some Sundays you’re just longing to sit in silence. And I suspect that there have been times when you’ve felt your wee ones weren’t always welcome in worship. Please persist.
Because, in addition to the blessings your children bring to us as God’s family when we worship together, you’re training your child to do the one thing we get to do forever: worship (Robbie Castleman, Parenting in the Pew).
Children learn by observing. But they learn even more by participating. So keep coming. Keep trying. We’re glad you’re here.Karen DeBoer works in Discipleship and Faith Formation Ministries for the Christian Reformed Church of North America. She and her family live in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.
Karen helped shape the curricula Kid Connection and Dwell, published by Faith Alive Resources. She is also the author of the Home Grown Handbook for Christian Parenting.
You can read more of her thoughts at the CRCNA Network.
Karen's letter to parents was originally posted here on the CRCNA Network. It has been republished here, with Karen's additional introduction for Building Faith.