This week, as we continue our series inspired by the Kendrick brothers’ book. The Battle Plan for Prayer, we’re focusing on how to do pray for family.

So how do we engage in praying for the ones we love?

If you are married, you start with your wife or your husband. Your marriage is to be a real-life application of the gospel to your children, friends and everyone else who knows you.

Ephesians 5:25 reminds husbands to “love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Wives, in verse 22, are asked to support and honor the leadership of their husbands as they would honor the Lord.

What this all means is that we run to Christ for love, joy and peace, then take all of that and pour it into our marriages.  We pray for each other, asking for God to direct when disagreements happen, which they inevitably will.  When that happens, we should be committed to listening respectfully, confessing openly and extending patience and kindness. We should be hard to offend and quick to forgive!

The example we are setting in our marriages is too valuable to let the voices of other people become more important than our spouse’s voice.

We can also pray that our spouse is devoted to Christ, surrendered to following His Word and His lordship. We can pray that each of our spouse’s relationships are marked by love and unselfishness, especially the ones that are strained.  We can pray for peace, healing and restoration where things are broken.

We can pray that God would keep our spouse clearly aware of God’s desires, knowing how to handle each day’s decisions. We can pray that God keeps us, as their partner, attuned to their needs so we can be a voice of clarity in their lives.

We can pray David’s prayer in Psalm 20:4 for our spouses: “May He give you what your heart desires and fulfill your whole purpose.”

The Lord will guide our marriages as we are more specific in our praying for them.

Satan is in the business of causing confusion in our families, so we must pray against that.

The enemy also wants to confuse our kids, distract them, apply unneeded pressure to them and doubt their sense of worth and identity.

Our role as a parent is to stand in the gap of these areas, listening to our children and knowing the condition of their hearts.  Praying with our kids, with our arms around them and then praying for them even when they are not physically with us.

We are to intercede for our children in prayer for their protection, their friendships, their character and their ability to stand up to temptation.  Our children may not realize the level of spiritual opposition to claim their eyes and their interests.  Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

But WE KNOW the level of opposition. We’ve felt it. So…defend your kids in prayer. Claim God’s promises of victory in their lives. Pray for God’s spirit to go ahead of them wherever they may be. That they may draw others to Him.

If your kids are older, then pray that they will remain faithful to God in their generation, love him and keep His commands, like it talks about in Deuteronomy 7:9. Oh, and all of this also applies to our grandchildren!

Alex and Stephen share in this chapter that the Psalmist was thinking about multiple generations when he wrote:

“so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
 Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.”

Just like we’ve shared throughout this series, we can ask God to ‘unlock’ the Word so that we can pray specifically for our family and future generations.

The battle plan for prayer for your family is simply awaiting your dedicated attention to it!  To make it a priority…to make your family a prayer target.  Prayer is the most effective investment we can make along with all the other ones, like love, time, physical and emotional support, sweat equity and financial generosity.

Today’s prayer:

Lord, I bring my family before you today – their needs, struggles, their goals, their concerns, their present and their future.  These loved ones of mine are actually yours, Lord, and you have graciously shared them with me. Help me to best express my gratitude to you by never failing to pray for them, to seek your will for them, and to ask for your wisdom as I relate in love and loyalty towards them.

Give me discernment as to their physical and spiritual needs in each season, and help me faithfully lift them up to you in faith, love and in the power of the Holy Spirit. May many generations be blessed because of my prayers.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Our Christmas Gift Exchange winners are Jeff from Mount Vernon and Brenda from Fredericktown – congratulations!

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Hannah