What’s up team? We’re in week three of our February theme of relationships and I hope by now you’ve gotten to have some good conversations about the greatest relationships in your life. No earthly relationship is more important than the ones we build at home. So I hope you’re being intentional about the time you invest in your spouse and kids. This week, we’re talking again about or families, but in a slightly different way.
We’re gonna talk about how we pray for them.
I’m not going to waste any breath on the importance of prayer. You guys know that already. You’ve seen the power and difference it can make. But how many of us really devote time to praying for our family? Now I’m not talking about the generic, “God bless my family” or “God, take care of my family.” That prayer is weak. And if I hear it, I call it out. Seriously. I really do. Every night, we pray together as a family and we take turns leading it. Just the other night, Owen was tired and gave one of those half-hearted prayers. And without even waiting for him to finish, I interrupted and blurted out, “Weak!” It led to a short, but good conversation about what we give to God. Do we give Him our best or do we give Him our leftovers? And when we pray, are we having a conversation or are we just saying words. A good litmus test is asking yourself this question: would anyone enjoy this conversation? If it’s not good enough for a friend, why would we offer it up to God?
…I’m getting off track. Anyway…
So often, when we pray for our family, we’ll pray generalities. Keep them safe. Keep them happy. (Like safety and happiness are God’s ultimate concern for us). But our prayers often look like a list of things we want. And so often, it’s hard to pray this way. Because we wonder, does this honor God? Could this move His heart? Am I even moved by what I’m praying?
A couple weeks ago, we had a conversation as a staff about bold prayers. What they look like and why we don’t pray them enough. And one of the things that was brought up was that we often don’t pray boldly because we’re afraid they won’t be answered and we don’t know if it’s what God desires. And that led to another cool conversation about prayer that I want to share with you.
Of course we want our kids to be safe and happy. Of course we want them to grow. We want them to have good relationships, we want them to be challenged, …fill in whatever blank you want here. But what does God want? How can I pray God’s will for my child when I’m not even sure what God’s will is for me?
One of the greatest things that we can do is pray scripture over our family. Because here’s the cool thing with that: it always honors God. We don’t have to question, “does God want this?” They’re His words! It’s what He’s telling us He desires for us! So when we pray scripture over our kids, we’re not asking God for things that He may or may not want. We’re asking for things that God delights to give! We’re not strong-arming God into getting our way, we’re asking for His will to be done.
So thanks to the help of Pastor Jeff, here’s a list of prayers that God delights to answer. There’s one for your spouse and one for your kids. And I encourage you to make this a part of your daily prayers. That every morning, you cover your family with prayer, not just prayer that benefits them, but also honors God. And watch how God will move as you do this. Bonus points to the parents who also pray these over their kids’ future spouses! It’s never too early! And feel free to copy and paste this. Print it out and put it on your nightstand. Or bookmark this page so you can access it easily every morning. But if we say we believe in the power of prayer, let’s put our money where our mouth is. Nothing has the power to benefit our family more than this. So join me and lets get after it!
17 Prayers for your spouse:
Pray For His/Her Strength “The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” (Psalm 28:7)
Pray For Increased Faith “And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain,‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.” (Matthew 21:21)
Pray For His/Her Peace “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
Pray For His/Her Work “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…” (Colossians 3:23-24)
Pray For Encouragement “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13)
Pray For Freedom From Fear “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Pray For His/Her Health “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” (3 John 1:2)
Pray For Self-Control “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls” (Proverbs 25:28)
Pray For Grace “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;” (Hebrews 12:15)
Pray For Confidence “Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” (Hebrews 10:35-36)
Pray For His/Her To Recognize Her Purpose “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Pray For His/Her Needs “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Pray For His/Her Influence “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8)
Pray For Transformation “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
Pray For Sexual Intimacy “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:5)
Pray For Rejuvenation “but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Pray For A Humble Spirit “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2)
8 Prayers for your kids
Bless and keep them throughout the day “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
Let your light will shine through them “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Give them a spirit of power, love, and sound mind “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
They will not be anxious about anything “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
They will know that You are with them “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
They will grow in the grace and knowledge of God “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
They will stand for what is right “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place” (Ephesians 6:14).
They will know Jesus Christ more intimately “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11).