“First of all, I ask you to pray for everyone. Ask God to help and bless them all, and tell God how thankful you are for each of them.” (CEV) I Timothy 2:1
During a recent trip overseas, a pastor felt overwhelmed by all the challenges faced by a missionary he was visiting. He asked if there was anything he could do, besides pray. The missionary reminded the pastor that prayer was the greatest thing that he could do. Maybe you and your kids have also felt overwhelmed by the needs of others and a desire to help them. Did you respond in prayer?
Prayer is a wonderful gift. It reminds us that God is able to handle problems that seem too big for us. It reminds us that we are part of the body of Christ and that we do not go through our valleys alone. Even though we know how wonderful prayer is, we still encounter times when our minds go blank and we do not know how or what to pray for. Here are some ways you and your kids can help others with the power of prayer:
Pray with your kids. Praying for your kids in front of them not only shows them that you are aware of the needs in their life, but it helps them hear what it sounds like to pray for someone else, especially someone you love. It allows you to model what it looks like to pray when you do not know what to pray. Praying with your kids for someone else shows them what it looks like to pray for someone you only know from church, from school, or from the neighborhood.
Use church prayer requests. Many churches post prayer updates. Write down prayer requests you hear during your church’s service so that your family can pray for those individuals during the week. You might even keep the church bulletin on the fridge so that you can add updates or new prayer requests to it throughout the week. Share with your children that these are the prayers of the whole church community.
Use index cards. Write down prayer concerns and praises on individual index cards. During moments when you have some free time, use the index cards and pray for those items. You can even write updates on the index cards when the request changes or has been answered.
Use a journal. A prayer journal not only keeps track of needs and praises, but also tracks ways that God has answered these prayers. Prayer journals encourage your family to keep praying as you wait for God to answer your prayers.
Family prayer matters. God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21), and we have the privilege of teaching and training our kids the power of prayer. We, like the missionary, can show our kids how to lament when life is difficult, how to praise God when He answers prayer, how to comfort ourselves through praying God’s attributes, and how to make prayer a daily habit.
Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article The Power of Praying for One Another