I’ve been working my way through Priscilla Shirer’s book/prayer guide, Fervent. Is 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.
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.
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, Lord, that [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.