My husband and I are beginning a journey of fasting and praying together on a regular basis. We used to do this once per month but then his office moved away from our home, my (and our) travel schedule increased, and our neatly planned routine fell apart. But our once-again-changing circumstances have made it possible to resume this discipline. Yeah!
The list of prayer requests seems endless. Yesterday we covered topics including the world’s present crises, our staff’s various ministries overseas, our need for volunteers for a ministry trip to Bangkok in April, for God to align our upcoming ministry trip to Alberta with His purposes, and for His financial provisions during the crunch we’re experiencing right now. We finished by praying for our kids and grandkids.
It’s easy, I find, to fall into praying generic blessings over those we love. Can you relate?
“Father, bless our kids and keep them safe.”
“God, bless their marriages.”
“Lord, help them make wise choices today.”
My desire is to move beyond typical parrot-sounding prayers. I want to be laser-focused on specifics. Doing so means a more effective prayer life with the added bonus of more easily identifying when God answers my requests. I also want to incorporate prayers expressed in the Bible. People like Paul, for instance, offer some powerful models. Here’s one I’m using:
“Father, I pray that You will cause my kids’ love for one another [spouse, children, siblings, in-laws] and for all people [coworkers, community, church family, and the world at large] to grow and overflow. As a result, make their hearts strong, blameless, and holy as they stand before You upon Jesus’ return” (based on 1 Thessalonians 3:12,13).
Imagine with me, please, our loved ones being able to stand before God someday with strong, blameless, and holy hearts. Imagine their having no regrets, nothing to hide, and nothing over which they’d weep as God calls them to accountability.
A life well-lived would make this possible. And a life well-lived is possible through our prayers on their behalf.
Join me, will you, in praying this prayer for our loved ones—kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, siblings, and even our parents. And if you have a favorite Scripture-based prayer, then please feel free to share it with us.