April 4 - How to Pray for your Family
The Lord’s prayer is a model prayer, although Luke’s version seems to be a watered down version, but the essentials are all there. Jesus taught His disciples how to pray and He said to them, “When you pray, say:” The first key to our prayer is to say it out. Many believers only pray in their mind without moving their lips. God can definitely hear that kind of thought but the devil cannot. When we give a command to the devil and his angels, we must say it out or they cannot respond. When we pray to God, we show our faith and trust in Him. The devil needs to know that too, for we are also declaring our loyalty to God in the presence of the enemy.
The second part about praying to God is to invite His presence through praising Him and submitting to His rule. To praise God is to hallow or honor His name. God’s name is a representation of the person of God. To ask for His rule is to invite His Kingdom to come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In heaven, God has absolute rule, but on earth, His rule must be extended through us. This is a prayer for the evangelization of the world, that everyone would call Jesus the King.
Then we are to pray for ourselves and our families. The three key phrases are: “give us”, “forgive us” and “lead us”. These are the three major needs in our family. “Give us” is to ask for God’s provision of our daily bread. The devil steals from us and causes poverty in our families. For those who have enough, the devil gives them a spirit of poverty so that they would feel inadequate and always not having enough. Whether real or imagined, we would become beggars and not princes. Many couples are in arguments about their financial needs because they do not ask the Lord for His daily provisions.
The “forgive us” part is to ask God’s forgiveness through forgiving one another. This is the key to good relationships. God’s promise of forgiveness hinges on our forgiving one another. If we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us. If there is no forgiveness from God or from others, the sin of offense will still be there. Asking for God’s forgiveness has to come with a package: that we are willing to forgive others. This is relationship cleansing.
The “lead us” part is to ask for God’s guidance away from temptation and sin. This is the key to live a holy life. Only when we steer away from darkness and sin, God’s presence would not be in our lives. We are in warfare and the devil tries to defeat us. When we sin, we are defeated; but when we have victory over sin, we have defeated the devil. The Lord’s Prayer is a reminder that we need to pray according to His directions. You need to be a prayer warrior for yourself and your family. Begin the day by praying: “give us”, “forgive us” and “lead us”.
Ps 48:1-8 Deut 26:1-27:26 Luke 10:38-11:13 Prov 12:15-17