Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Power of A Family That Prays

Jackie and I recently attended a regional prayer conference. It was an excellent gathering time overall with excellent speakers and lots of resources to help individuals and churches make prayer more meaningful and impacting.

However, I noticed something pretty quickly. We were some of the youngest people there and we're not exactly spring chickens anymore, though we'd like to think we are. We're grandparents so you get my point.

I had to wonder why more young adults were not attracted to activities and resources that would help them grow their prayer life. Now let me first say that I know there are many young people who value prayer. One conference's attendance isn't exactly a scientific study. However, I think it's fair to say that prayer in general is sometimes lost in those whose lives are filled with so much more to do and experience.

And I do wonder if our marriages and families aren't hurt in a way because prayer isn't more prominent in our homes. So rather than beat us up or make us feel more guilty, I simply want to offer up some practical reasons for praying more in your home and suggest a few ideas that can help you continue or get started.

First of all, prayer helps keep us focused on what's most important. When we pray for our spouse or children, we're thinking about the things that really matter and God will help keep our minds aimed at what those close to us really need.

Second, prayer will help our family stay strong even in the hard times. Prayer is no magic wand that automatically shields us or our loved ones from harm, illness or even tragedy. But when we pray, we're talking to our Heavenly Father and the Bible does say that prayer makes a difference. Prayer is like adding more fuel to the lives of each person we pray for so that when they need extra endurance, strength or guidance it's there for them to pull from.

Third, prayer helps bring us together. When your spouse knows that you pray over him or her or are praying for them during the day, they feel an extra spirit and soul bond with you. You're touching them in the deep recesses of who they are. In the same way when our kids know that mom and/or dad are praying for them, they feel more loved and important. Why would we not pray if prayer can make us closer?

So, how do we get better at this personal, important and powerful praying for our family? Let me suggest a couple of ideas. One, keep a prayer list that includes what day or days of the week you will pray for your spouse or kids. Lists help us remember. Two, as often as possible pray over or with your spouse or kids before they leave in the morning or when they go to bed at night.

Three, pray for them during the day as you think of them or when there is a particularly big request or need they have at a certain time of the day. Four, make praying about tough issues or situations the norm in your home. Sometimes, stop right in the middle of your discussion and ask God for wisdom.

Finally, use some resources. Stormie (yes that's the name she goes by) O'Martian has written a series of books anchored by one called The Power of A Praying Wife. There's also a similar book about husbands.

My boss, Will Davis, Jr., has written a Pray Big series that includes books on praying for your wife and childen as well. There are lots of other good helps out there. Find them and apply them in your home.

In fact, prayer for our family members is both fun and inspiring. It will humble you and it can change your home. How about starting now if you haven't before? And if you are praying, keep on!
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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