Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. – Colossians 4:2 NLT
For the first decade or so of being a Christian, I would say about 90-95% of my prayer life was focused solely on my needs and wants. It rarely crossed my mind to pray for others.
Then one day, a pastor at my church spoke about the importance of prayer. He shared that one of the most loving things we can do for the people in our life is to pray for them regularly.
I came home after that sermon convicted. I decided then and there to pray more for my family. The only problem was I still had no clue how to do that.
Have you ever had a hard time praying for your family? Are there moments where you draw a blank? Do you have days there’s so much to pray for that you don’t know where to start?
If you’ve ever struggled to pray for your family, you’re not alone. Most of us were never taught how to pray. Sometimes we make it more complicated than it is. Over the years, I’ve learned a few simple ways to pray for my family that’s helped us in our everyday lives. Here they are.
Make a list of needs.
Want to know what your family needs prayer for? Ask them. Write down what you hear. I keep a list on my phone that I update as needs come up. As you talk with them, listen for their unspoken burdens, struggles, and setbacks. Add those to your list. Also, pray for your family’s relationship with God and each other. Pray, they find good friends and mentors to help them succeed at school/work and improve each person’s overall health.
Schedule time to pray for those needs.
Decide where and when you will pray for your family. Maybe you pray for one family member a day, first thing in the morning. Perhaps you pray for your family one day a week at lunch or right before bed. Sometimes it’s essential just to pray whenever a particular family member comes to mind. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Even just a few minutes a week can make a world of difference.
Check-in periodically with your family.
Follow-up with your family about the prayer needs they shared with you. Ask how you can continue to pray for them. Spend a minute praying with them if they’re open to it. This could be once a month, once a quarter, or right before/after something they need prayer for.
Make a list of how/when God answered their requests. Take time at dinner to review the list with your family and thank God together for his blessings.
Don’t give up.
You may have days or seasons where it seems like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling. You may feel like you’re doing this whole prayer thing wrong. Don’t quit. Talk to God like you would a trusted friend. Remember he hears you; he loves you, and he is working on your family’s behalf (Psalm 34:17-18).
1. What is one way you can be more intentional about praying for your family this week?
2. Pray this prayer: Lord, I know you didn’t place me in my family on accident. You have me here for a reason. Strengthen me to be a faithful prayer warrior for my family. Teach me how to best intercede on their behalf. Help us to grow closer to you and to each other. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.