We live so near to our household family members, and we live most of our lives with our families that we likely find ourselves praying for them. Before we start, I must say that it's correct there is no right way to pray for your family members. Actually, for anybody who is mentioning them in prayer by any means, it really is honoring for them and God is pleased.
Even so, there are some principles that, when followed, should bring those prayers to a different level giving you much deeper, meaningful conversation between you and God concerning your family members. Here they are:
#1: Use Scripture in Your Prayers
The FIRST top technique to pray for family is to try using scripture as part of your prayers. Regardless of the problem, you will find scripture that speaks to that matter. For instance, if your family member is troubled with a dependency, you will find a section of scripture that encourages us in times of temptation. For instance, within the book of 1 Corinthians (1 Corinthians 10:13), scripture says - No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind; and God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
In speaking this verse in your prayer, you'll €remind€ God of what He promises in scripture as proof that He will deliver your relation from that addiction. Of course, we don't really €remind€ God of anything€¦ yet the exercise helps point out God's promises and the opportunity to see His faithfulness in supplying the promises of His Word.
#2: Avoid Being Selfish
The SECOND main principle can be quite challenging to put into action! It is quite easy for us to pray for family members (and people, in general) to behave in a manner and do things that support what we actually want for us! Lord, please help my spouse recognize that we simply don't have the money for new pieces of furniture right now or God, help my daughter to score the most soccer goals on the team today.
While these may be commendable requests and certainly have their own merits, they have an element of what WE hope to transpire beyond what may be ideal for our family members. Just how is it possible to easily parse out the difference?
The real key to centering your attention on what may be more relevant prayer is this Ask yourself if you are praying to increase spiritual growth. In particular, you will want to ask God to reveal to you how this condition increases your family member's spiritual growth. Furthermore, we may need to ask God to reveal to us what He wants us to observe about our own spiritual growth!
For perspective, our prayer above for the furniture may transform into this: Lord, thanks for providing my wife to consider the comforts of our home. While I do not want to commit our funds to furniture at this time, assist me to understand how this purchase might serve You. Maybe being without this furniture is an obstacle to sharing our house these days. Furthermore, please reveal to me any selfishness inside my heart regarding this purchase, as well as any opportunities to serve with it. Am I actually resistant because I'd rather spend our funds on a brand new TV or am I hesitant to reduce in my own spending to compromise on her behalf. Help me understand the rewards you may have in store for us should we decide to purchase this furniture.
Our prayer for our daughter could become this instead: God, thanks for the athletic skill You have given my daughter. She amazes me with all she is capable of with the gifts you have granted her. Nonetheless, I am aware that she was ultimately created by You to glorify Your Name. If it is Your will, I pray that you allow her be successful mightily on the soccer field today by scoring goals. In the end, however, I pray that on this stage, she seeks ways to glorify Your name, whether through her athletic triumphs or her attitude in the game.
#3: Pray Out-Loud, With Your Family Member
A THIRD method to maximize your prayers for family is to pray WITH your family member! Admittedly, this is not the common approach we take to pray. Also, prayers for intercession usually are between God and us. More typically, we tell our family members we will pray on their behalf or we are praying for them to encourage them in their struggles. Our exact discussion with God about them remains private.
With that in mind, suppose your loved one could actually hear you implore God for their relief, or their wishes to become a reality, or their struggles to be over if they could hear how strong your personal passion is on their behalf!
Again, it is not always the right approach for family members to know what you are praying about them. However, there may be opportunities to more deeply move or encourage your family member in their time of need when they can audibly notice the degree of your own investment in their success or relief.
About the Author
Eric is a lifelong Christian that has been aggressively pursuing a deeper relationship with God over the past few years. In pursuing this relationship, his eyes have been opened to knowledge and wisdom that he now shares with others on his blog at OnlinePrayerJournal.com, along with other tools to help people grow spiritually. In addition, Eric plays guitar for his church's worship team, works as a healthcare consultant, and lives with his wife and two children in Tampa, FL.