Prayers for our Families

“In all things God works for the good of those who love him. ” (Romans 8:28)

Almost exactly twenty-five years ago, my wedding was abruptly cancelled with six weeks to go because of an immigration issue. I was devastated. The new arrangements we managed to make meant that none of my friends and only a few family members would be able to attend.

For all the years since, this part of my story has lain dormant in my memory. Now, quite unexpectedly, it has become a source of encouragement.

During the coronavirus and the months of lockdown, the same thing happened to my eldest daughter; her wedding was postponed. To add to the obvious disappointment, she was left with a long list of uncertainties: when would they be able to reschedule? Would it happen before her rental agreement ran out? If not, where would she live? Would they lose the money they had paid? And on and on . . .

When I told my daughter that I’d been there, she knew it was true. When I said that the Lord would work everything out in the end, she recognised that I wasn’t just saying empty words. My own experience gave me credibility when I spoke into hers. The hope I proclaimed was genuine and tested. God’s plans are never disrupted. In fact, the promise of His Word is that “in all things [including a global crisis] God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).

The difficulties we are experiencing today are hard for each one of us and our families. Few of us feel prepared for the burden that has been placed upon us. Yet, it will be a source of hope and encouragement to others in the days and years to come. Each bit of suffering we endure—no matter how painful or lifealtering— will be used by God for our good, and for the good of those we love. That’s one of the greatest blessings of knowing Christ; nothing is ever wasted.

As we navigate our families, young and old, through all the difficulties we are facing, we can be reassured that God is at work for our good. This season will produce in us His grace, compassion and love with which we can spur our loved ones on.

~ prayers ~

Lord God, Father of all, we lift our hearts together in prayer for marriages and families. We thank You that You understand our need for deep connections to other people. But You know how sin and selfishness have corrupted our earthly relationships; and all the pain sin has caused in our world. Today, we ask You to strengthen and stabilise those who have committed their lives to each other in marriage. We pray for protection from unforgiveness and bitterness, selfishness, discontent, and even the thought of unfaithfulness. Renew the love of husbands for their wives, and wives for their husbands. Uphold the covenant of marriage in our society; especially now as it is increasingly seen as irrelevant. Honour marriage in our land, we pray; especially amongst Your church. We pray this for Your glory and honour, Amen.

Merciful and ever-present Father, I pray for the family relationships under strain at this time; for children and parents, for brothers and sisters, for grandparents and grandchildren, for those still separated and longing for reunion. Bless our families with peace and harmony, forgiveness, understanding and love. I pray that the devil will not be allowed to gain a foothold in our families. And give me the extra grace I need to maintain godly love and compassion for all my loved ones at this time. May we all find fresh hope in Your good timing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

O Father of Mercies and God of all Comfort please comfort those who are grieving, who are living a new normal not just because the world has changed, but because they must do so without loved ones they have lost. I pray for the children, young and old, who have lost parents, the brothers and sisters whose family is now incomplete. I lift those who have lost grandparents and other special family members, dear friends and beloved colleagues. I especially bring those who have lost their partner in life, whose hearts and homes have an unbearable emptiness. Pour out Your mercy, Your grace, and Your powerful love. Be present with all of us who grieve, be compassionate and kind to all of us who sorrow, be with those who were unable to attend the funeral or feel the comfort of a hug. Shower us with Your compassion; fill us with the hope that only You can give. May we know Your love as never before. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Mighty Heavenly Father Lockdown has been hard for all of us, and You know the tension I and many others have endured living closely with those who do not share my faith. I pray for peace with those who are still hostile to Your gospel, who have tormented me for my faith, who still try to convince me I am foolish for putting my faith in You rather than human strength or resolve in these days. Your Word says that the world will hate me as it hated Your Son. But Christ overcame the world and through Him I have that victory too. Strengthen me, keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, remind me that I can do all things through Him and give me Your love for my persecutors. May I be a witness of Your loving kindness and fill me with the boldness of Your Holy Spirit. For Christ’s sake, Amen.

Heavenly Father of all comfort, be with and comfort my children during this time, who are trying to understand and cope with these dramatically different times. Give them stability as their normal routines have been turned upside-down. Give them grace as they endure new routines at school, at home and everywhere they go. Help me to be an example of Your grace and love at a time when they need such reassurance and understanding. Give me patience to support them and to keep supporting them as this season stretches out before us. And I ask for Your protection for the children whose home life is difficult. Provide help for the ones in danger, hope for the ones in despair, peace for the ones who are anxious, comfort for the ones who are lonely or grieving. Draw near to them in a special way and turn their hearts and minds to You. Make this a special season of learning and growing In unexpected ways for my children and all the little ones. Help them live this new life in Your strength and without fear because of Your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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