Crosswalk.com aims to offer the most compelling biblically-based content to Christians on their walk with Jesus. Crosswalk.com is your online destination for all areas of Christian Living – faith, family, fun, and community. Each category is further divided into areas important to you and your Christian faith including Bible study, daily devotions, marriage, parenting, movie reviews, music, news, and more.

Intersection of Life and Faith

10 Ways to Pray for (and with!) Your Family to Strengthen Your Bond and Unity

  • Rachel Dawson Design Editor, Crosswalk.com
10 Ways to Pray for (and with!) Your Family to Strengthen Your Bond and Unity

Growing up in a prayer-filled home is a beautiful and powerful thing. Parents can pray over their children from the moment they are conceived through adulthood. Children can learn alongside their parents how to pray to the Lord themselves. Siblings can pray for and with one another as they resolve conflict and build strong relationships. Extended family can cover loved ones in prayer through both joyful and challenging seasons.

Families can pray together more often than just before dinner, and it can be a life-changing and transformative experience that not only brings family members closer to God, but closer to one another!

Here are 10 mighty (yet simple) ways to pray for and with your family today:

Pray to Set an Example for Our Children

Pray to Set an Example for Our Children

“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:16-17

Lord, I pray that the message of Christ and his sacrifice is the root of gratitude in my heart. That His gracious gift leads me to thankful living, setting an example for my children. That they will have their own relationship with Jesus one day, and that You would grow gratitude in their hearts out of the acceptance of Jesus as their Savior. Lead us to do everything in the name of Jesus and give thanks to You through Him.

Photo credit: Unsplash

Editor's note: This content was adapted from the original article "7 Prayers for a Thankful Family" by Marie Osborne.

Pray Before Family Mealtime

Pray Before Family Mealtime

Father, We have gathered to share a meal in Your honor. Thank You for putting us together as family, and thank You for this food. Bless it to our bodies, Lord. We thank you for all of the gifts you’ve given to those around this table. Help each member of our family use these gifts to your glory. Guide our mealtime conversations and steer our hearts to Your purpose for our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Photo credit: Unsplash

Editor's note: This content was adapted from the original article "10 Prayers to Bless Your Meals" by Meg Bucher.

Pray Before Family Vacation

Pray Before Family Vacation

Dear Lord,
Please bless this time of vacation. Help my family to get along, to enjoy one another. Maybe toss a couple of those idyllic imagined scenes into our path? May we be able to see the wonder You instill within the chaos of our days – whether we vacation near or far away from home.

On this everyday, normal day that’s somehow still outside of our regular routine, help me to embrace my family, this time of vacation, and the ordinary yet extraordinary gifts You’ve given. Open my eyes to see that vacation will end but the memories of it will remain, and give me the strength to make them sweet. Pour some of that strength into my very being and bring me through to the end of vacation with a thankful heart and unceasing praise.
Amen.

Photo credit: Unsplash

Editor's note: This content was adapted from the original article "A Prayer for Your Family Vacation" by Dayspring.com.

Pray Missionally

Pray Missionally

Here are a few easy prayer proejcts for the mission-minded family:

  • Take a prayer-walk around your neighborhood, quietly praying for each neighbor as you walk by.
  • Have your children make a "Ten Most Wanted" list or poster. Have them think of ten people who need Jesus. These can be relatives, neighbors, famous people, or the man who works at the convenience store. Use this list or poster to remind you to pray for these people to come to know the Lord.
  • Put a small map on your refrigerator, and use this area to display newsletters from missionaries you support, along with current international news updates. Pray regularly as a family, perhaps around the dinner table, for specific world needs and for people you know who need the Lord.

Photo credit: Unsplash

Editor's note: This content was adapted from the original article "Praying as a Family" by Ann Dunagan.

Pray While Driving

Pray While Driving

In our fast-paced world, it’s hard enough to get the family together around the dinner table, much less gathered together for prayer. Take advantage of the time in the car to foster your family’s prayer life. Like “prayer walking,” “prayer driving” is a way to pray on the go. The length of time you spend praying together in the car will depend on the age of your kids. The older they are, the longer they will stay focused. For younger families try breaking it up into several shorter times throughout the day. Don’t be bound by tradition. Encourage your prayer time to be more conversational, with family members responding to each other’s prayers. You can keep your heads up and eyes open – particularly the driver! Here are a few ideas:

Gather prayer requests from extended family and friends before your trip. Pray for different ones each day, then text them to tell them your family prayed for them that day!

Take turns praying for each other. Focus on a different traveler each day. Encourage your children to be very specific with voicing their requests.

Keep up with the news on a phone app so you can pray for current events. Model how to pray in specific ways for your kids.
In addition to the ideas above, you can develop your own. Add a spiritual component to your favorite car games or involve the whole family by asking each traveler to prepare an activity. Whatever your destination, the journey will be well worth the trip.


Photo credit: Unsplash

Editor's note: This content was adapted from the article "5 Faith-Growing Activities You Can Do in the Car" by Kathy Howard.

Pray When Your Family Hurts You

Pray When Your Family Hurts You

Father, praise You for family. You tell us that it’s not good for us to be alone, and therefore have placed people around us that impact our lives and move us away from the loneliness of solitude. “The Lord is my strength and my song,” Exodus 15:2 reminds. We must remember that the family we live with is not responsible for our happiness. They are not charged with the status of our hearts and souls. And they cannot control how we feel, nor leap into our minds in an effort to understand the depth of our emotions.

When we are misunderstood, or a family member misunderstands us, we feel hopeless to plead our case. Help us to hold onto Exodus 15:2. You are our strength. The inability to filter our thoughts is a cue to hand them over to You. In the moments when silence is Your answer, help us to be patient. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, inspire us to recall who You say we are. Loved. Forgiven. Saved. Purposed. Unique.

Thank You for the comfort of family. The warm embrace of a mother and father, siblings, and extended family. There is something about being related that earns our trust easier other relationships. When and if that trust is broken through abuse and/or abandonment, we pray for your protection physically, and Your guardianship of our hearts and minds. Empower us to seek help and counsel from You, and from others trained to help us remove ourselves from danger and harm. Anyone intending to harm us or treat us abusively is never someone You intend us to linger with.

We confess all of the words we wish we could take back. Because of Adam and Eve’s mistake in the garden, our sinful nature can lead us down paths that we know are wrong, and into mistakes that we had no intention of making. Yet because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are forgiven over and over again when we confess to You in our Savior’s name. Help us to pass the same compassion on to others who wear on our hearts and patience. Bless us to be patient and wise, to seek You first, and speak kindness. Convict us when we are wrong, and strengthen our resolve to apologize.

Hurt within families can destroy relationships permanently. But with Your guidance, anything, and anyone, can be restored. You are our Healer. In You, we find peace. Our hope lies in You. And our faith can pull us across any divide when we let go and let You determine the way. Luke tells us “when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near” (Luke 21:5-28). Jesus is coming. There’s no doubt about that. We want to follow Him fast and focused until He returns to take us home, or we arrive home in heaven to Him.

In the midst of conflict and hurt, it’s easy to be bitter. Misunderstanding can breed justification for cutting off a relationship like a dead tree branch. Payback and comebacks replay in our minds. Vindication runs on repeat. But God, You tell us to focus on You (Colossians 2:19). Let the world explain away, but let us listen to You first.

God, You are there in the pain we cannot bear, do not understand, and want to run from. Hold us and help us. Help us to endure long silences until we are sure You have inspired our choice of words. Quicken our hearts to forgive, and to pray for those on the other side of disagreements. Bless those who hurt us, and help us to be a blessing that shines bright in Your Name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/Wavebreakmedia

Editor's note: This content was adapted from the original article "A Prayer for When Family Hurts You" by Meg Bucher.

Pray to Fight Sin with Thankfulness

Pray to Fight Sin with Thankfulness

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Ephesians 5:3-5

Lord, please replace our sins and temptations with thanksgiving. Help us to use gratitude as a way to battle the draw to immorality or impurity. Let us be people who are filled with thanks rather than sinful desires.

Photo credit: Unsplash

Editor's note: This content was adapted from the original article "7 Prayers for a Thankful Family" by Marie Osborne.

Pray with Gratitude for Family

Pray with Gratitude for Family

“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2

Lord, help us to be thankful for one another. Help my children to be thankful for each other, for our family to be grateful for each member and to pray one another continually. Our gratitude for one another will bind us together as a family, and our prayers for each other will further unify us in gratitude and love.

Photo credit: Unsplash

Editor's note: This content was adapted from the original article "7 Prayers for a Thankful Family" by Marie Osborne.

Pray with Kids at Bedtime

Pray with Kids at Bedtime

Dear God, we thank you tonight for the good day and for the special way you take care of us all the time. Thank you for the fun times outside and the quiet times inside, and for helping us learn new things every day.

Thank you for creating us special, exactly the way you wanted. Thank you for protecting us throughout the day. Forgive us for the wrong things we do. Thank you for loving us even when we disobey or try to do things our way. Help us to always choose your way, God, because it’s always best. We pray for all the people who don’t know you, and that they will come to understand your love for them, too.

Bless our family and thank you for good times together and apart. Bless our friends and those we love, including our grandparents, our aunts and uncles and cousins. Thank you for our home and a place to sleep and good food to eat. Help us rest well, give us peaceful dreams, and send your angels around our home to protect us throughout the night. Teach us to trust you and to love you more and more. You are good; you are great; and you are faithful, God. And we love you. Good night.

Photo credit: Unsplash

Editor's note: This content was adapted from the original article "What to Pray with Kids at Bedtime" by Rebecca Barlow Jordan.

Pray the Lord's Prayer over Your Loved Ones

Pray the Lord's Prayer over Your Loved Ones

  • Our Father in heaven, may Your name be honored in ______'s life. Desire for your loved one to be honored, made holy, and cherished through the power of honoring and fearing God. When they hallow God's name in their life that attitude will spill over into their relations with others.
  • May Your kingdom come soon in ______'s life. When a person seeks first the kingdom of God, then all else in life is placed in the right order. When God is in control of lives, children, careers, churches, then there will be direction in your prayers, thoughts, behaviors, feelings, and attitudes.
  • May Your will be done in ______'s life on earth, just as it is in heaven. God's perfect will for your loved ones is their salvation in Christ Jesus. In saving us, God changes us, making us new creations (2 Cor. 5:17). Then He transforms us to live in His will on earth.
  • Give ______ the food he/she needs for today. Daily bread for both spiritual and physical beings cannot be old, stale stuff from yesterday or a half-baked loaf from tomorrow that isn't ready yet. God's grace is sufficient to meet all our needs - one day at a time. When we come to Him in prayer He meets our needs daily. He feeds us the bread of His Word and He provides for all our physical needs as well.
  • And forgive ______, just as he/she has forgiven those who have sinned against him/her. Forgiving one another opens you up to receive forgiveness. Forgiveness is not an option. Jesus states it plainly, If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matt. 6:14-15).
  • And don't let ______ yield to temptation, but deliver him/her from the evil one. Apply the blood of Jesus in prayer for protection over your loved ones. The blood protects us from the sin of building walls that hinder and even destroy relationships.
  • For in ______'s life You will build Your kingdom and manifest Your glory forever and ever. Amen. The battle has already been won on the cross where Christ destroyed the works of the devil. Satan, sin, and death have been defeated. Your battle is prayer that claims, establishes, and overcomes the enemy as he seeks to rob, kill, and destroy the abundant life in Christ (John 10:10). Pray for that abundant life of God's kingdom in the lives of your loved ones.

Photo credit: Unsplash

Editor's note: Thie content was adapted from the original article "Pray the Lord's Prayer over your loved ones" from Lord, I Wish My Husband Would Pray With Me by Larry Keefauver, D.Min., copyright (c) 1998. Used by permission of Creation House, Lake Mary, Fla., pages 178-188.




Follow Crosswalk.com