Fortify Family with Fervent Prayer

I’ve been working my way through Priscilla Shirer’s book/prayer guide, FerventIs it possible for a book to be an easy read and a challenging read at the same time? Shirer’s conversational, “I get you, friend” style makes me want to devour the book in one night. But this book isn’t meant to be read and stuck on a shelf. It’s a battle guide and a battle cry to cover every aspect of our lives with prayer.

She divides the book into 10 categories of strategic prayer…10 areas of our lives the evil one loves to wreak havoc upon.

So far, I’ve covered strategies 1-3: Passion, Focus and Identity. If you missed those posts, scoot on over and get caught up if you’d like.

The fourth strategy is family, a bittersweet topic for me these days. Divorce has a way of tearing the family portrait into jagged pieces. Sometimes, the grief tells me my family is destroyed, but I don’t let that lie linger.

Just because my marriage ended doesn’t mean my family isn’t alive and well. Different but well. I have my beautiful sons who still love their momma even though we don’t get to see each other every day. I have my spunky mom who still shops ’til she drops at 83. I have my sweet sister and brother-in-love who opened their home to my little Riff and me. I have nieces and nephews making their marks and making me a great aunt. I have one public servant uncle, two Mississippi aunties, and a pile of amazing cousins.

I have an incredible family to love, and the best way I can love them is to take them to Jesus in prayer. Not generic, “God bless my babies” prayers, but specific, strategic, Scripture-packed prayers.

Priscilla Shirer calls family prayer “fortifying the lives of those you love.” I like that.

With my sons becoming more independent, I don’t have as much day-to-day influence over their lives. But I can pray.

I can’t do anything about my mom and aunties getting older and less steady on their feet. But I can pray.

I’m unaware of all the inner struggles my family faces. But I can pray.

Like all families, mine has its share of problems and more than its share of well-meaning advice on how to fix them. If you listened to our family phone calls, you’d hear a lot of “you oughtas,” “if I were yous,” and “I told you sos.”  Spouting off advice feels powerful, but fervent prayer is powerful.

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16 NIV).

Priscilla Shirer says, “The family is one of the key axis points of God’s purposes on earth. And your family, at the point of your sphere of influence, is a major component of what He is doing right here where you live. In order to make sure you’re fully cooperating with Him and with the enormous opportunity embodied in your family structure and its people, they need you to not be on their backs, not be up in their faces, but be down on your knees. Assume a new fighting position.”

I need God’s help to restrain myself from worrying about my family and to retrain myself to pray for them.

Lord,

I’m so grateful for the beautiful, quirky family You gave me to love. Please forgive me for not praying for them enough. I spend plenty of time worrying about them and “problem-solving” for them, but I barely dabble at fighting for them in prayer. With a full heart, I bring my family to the best place I can bring them…Your feet.

Oh, Lord, meet each member of my family right in the middle of their deepest need. Remind them that You see them, love them, and desire to fill their lives with deep joy and peace.

May “love God and love people” be the theme of their lives (Matthew 22:37-40).

Help them to trust You completely, seek You constantly, and follow You carefully (Proverbs 3:5-6).

“Teach [them] your way, Lordthat [they] may rely on your faithfulness; give [them] an undivided heart, that [they] may fear your name” (Psalm 86:11 NIV).

Please, Lord, reach out to each of my family members in intensely personal ways. Unmistakable ways. Life-changing ways. 

Thank you for answering this prayer above and beyond what I can imagine. I love my family, Lord, but You love them so much more. 

In the powerful name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN

This week, I plan to search God’s Word for strategic, specific scriptures to pray over my sons and the rest of my sweet family. Do you use God’s Word to pray for your loved ones? Leave a comment and share your go-to scriptures. Let’s encourage each other as we learn to fight for our families in prayer.

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So Loved

I have the cutest Valentine this year. I’m his favorite person in the whole wide world, and he loves to snuggle. Isn’t he adorable? I think I’ll keep him.

Riff

 

I’m content with puppy love this Valentine’s Day. My heart’s not ready for a fella. I need time for God’s perfect love to perfect my heart. It’s pretty bruised and battered. But it’s healing.

This Valentine’s Day, I choose to focus on the love that never lets me go. God’s heart bursts with affection for me every day of the year.  If you’re feeling a little lonely and left out this Valentine’s Day, let this prayer be a reminder of God’s heart for you.

I love you, friends!

Lord,

On this day that’s all about love and romance, I’m overwhelmed by Your unfailing love. I come to You today to pray for Your precious one who has no one to romance her this Valentine’s Day. Be her Valentine. 

Convince her of Your love.

You chose her out of all the people on the earth to be Your treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6).

Before the beginning of time, You lovingly predestined her to be Yours (Ephesians 1:3-5).

Out of Your great love and rich mercy, You made her alive when she was dead in her transgressions (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Your love for her reaches to the heavens; Your faithfulness to the skies  (Psalm 36:5).

“For [You] so greatly loved and dearly prized [her] that [You] [even] gave up [Your] only begotten (unique) Son, so [if she] believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) [You] shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life “(John 3:16 AMP).

Assure her that You will not take Your love from her, nor will You ever betray Your faithfulness (Psalm 89:33).

May she thoroughly believe that “though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet [Your] unfailing love for [her] will not be shaken nor [Your] covenant of peace be removed” (Isaiah 54:10).

LORD God, may she sense You in her midst, mighty to save; rejoicing over her with gladness; quieting her by Your love; rejoicing over her with joyful serenades (Zephaniah 3:17).

Show her that nothing can separate her from Your love. Not trouble or sorrow or mistakes or sickness or human rejection. No, in all these things she is more than a conqueror through You who love her. May she be fully convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate her from Your love (Romans 8:35-39).

Capture her heart with Your perfect love.

Let Your face shine on your servant; save [her] in your unfailing love (Psalm 31:16).

May she sing of Your strength, in the morning a song of Your love on her sleepy lips; for You are her fortress, her refuge in times of trouble (Psalm 59:16).

Because Your love is better than life, may her lips glorify you (Psalm 63:3).

Satisfy her in the morning with Your unfailing love, that she may sing for joy and be glad all her days (Psalm 90:14).

Help her to take Your hand and allow You to lead her to Your banquet table where Your banner over her is love (Song of Solomon 2:4).

May she hear Your voice whisper to her spirit, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness”(Jeremiah 31:3).

In love and compassion, make her Your bride; plant her for Yourself in a fertile land (Hosea 2:19,23).

Comfort her with Your sweet words of love.

Let Your beloved rest secure in You, for You shield her all day long, and the one You love rests between Your shoulders (Deuteronomy 33:12).

Surely Your goodness and love will follow her all the days of her life, and she will dwell in Your house forever (Psalm 23:6).

Surround her with Your unfailing love as she puts her trust in You (Psalm 32:10).

By day, direct Your love to shine on her; at night may Your sweet song sing her to sleep (Psalm 42:8).

Comfort her heart with the glorious truth that You never reject her prayers or withhold Your love (Psalm 66:20).

Though [You] bring grief, [You] will show compassion, so great is [Your] unfailing love. For [You do] not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone (Lamentations 3:32-33).

Cultivate her heart to receive Your healing love.

May she trust in your unfailing love; her heart rejoicing over Your salvation (Psalm 13:5).

May she be glad and rejoice in Your love, for You see her affliction and know the anguish of her soul (Psalm 31:7).  May her heart be like an olive tree flourishing in Your house; may she trust in Your unfailing love (Psalm 52:8).

May Your unfailing love keep her feet from slipping; be her constant source of support (Psalm 94:18). Redeem her life from the pit and crown her with love and compassion (Psalm 103:4).

Because of the [Your]great love [she will never be] consumed, for [Your] compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Help Your precious one to abide, to remain, to make herself at home in the safety of Your love (John 15:9).

“I pray that out of [Your] glorious riches [You] may strengthen [her] with power through [Your] Spirit in [her] inner being, so that Christ may dwell in [her heart] through faith. And I pray that [she], being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the [Your] holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that [she] may be filled to the measure of all [Your] fullness.

Now to [You] who are able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to [Your] power that is at work within us, to [You] be glory in the church and in [Your beloved both now and forevermore]” (Ephesians 3:16-21).

In the name of the most beautiful man who ever walked this earth,

AMEN

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