Thursday, May 06, 2010

Day 16 -- Thirty Days of Prayer in the Home.
(photo of Corduroy, our miniature poodle)

More tips for praying for and with family members:

1) Use the Lord's prayer as an outline for your own prayers.
2) Adapt prayers and verses in scripture as prayers for yourself, for your family members, and for others.
3) Avoid being "rote" in your prayers. Even if you use prayers others have written or scriptures to inspire your prayers, personalize them and make them your own. Always pray from the heart and avoid vain repetition.
4) The lyrics of hymns and spiritual songs provide great inspiration for prayer. Many are actually prayers that are sung. Thus, you can use the lyrics as inspiration for prayers or even sing them as part of your prayer time. When singing songs in church, don't let your mind simply go through the motions, as is so easy to do. Remember that you are likely singing a prayer to the Lord. Pay attention to the lyrics even if you have sung that particular hymn or song myriad times.
5) Teach your children how to pay attention when someone else is praying aloud in a group. They may find it helpful to mentally repeat each phrase that the person who is praying says, giving assent in their hearts. Teach them to make the prayer your own. If you are of a tradition in which those who are listening add an amen here and there when someone else is praying, teach children how to do that meaningfully and not out of habit.
If you are of a tradition where everyone is silent through another's prayer or perhaps joins in a final amen, teach your children also to keep their mind focused on what is being said to God. Help them understand that God is listening.

A few great prayers from scripture to adapt in praying for your family. (Note, these are also great for adapting as parts of letters written to encourage others):

2 Corinthians 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (An example of how to personalize: Father, may the grace of your son Jesus Christ and your love and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with our family....or with ______...or with _____ married child's family unit....or with our church.)

Ephesians 3;16-19
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 115
May the LORD make you increase, both you and your children. May you be blessed by the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

John 17 (from Jesus prayer before cross)
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

John 17 (from Jesus prayer before cross)
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctifyb]">[them by the truth; your word is truth.

How much more happily could a wife and mother be employed than in being close to God and petitioning Him on behalf of her spouse, children, neighborhood, church, and the nations?


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