I was asked to pray for families in our community for the National Day of Prayer gathering at our town square. I had to chuckle when I got the itinerary. Many of the names had a title before it or some grouping of letters to signal their importance, education or role in this life. And there was my little name. I am reminded once again that God uses the ordinary!! But, I am the mother of five, a wife, a daughter, and a sister so I guess that qualifies me. I was honored to pray for our families. Here is my heartfelt prayer:
Gracious, Loving, Heavenly Father, Creator of Family,
We come to you today to thank you for the blessing of family, for the joy they bring us and the foundation they give us in this world. I know the state of our families must make you weep at times, break your heart, and we ask for forgiveness today for our failings.
We commit all the families represented here today to you…the families throughout Hamilton County and our great country. We ask that you not only preserve the sanctity of families, Lord, but that you would give us the strength to thrive and return to being the single strongest measure of our society.
Heavenly Father, we know you are sovereign and in Romans 5 you speak of your great love for us and we ask that you help us to trust in your love and sovereingty when the hard times hit. We pray for marriages that are split apart by divorce, betrayal, pain of poor choices and daily disappointments….we pray for healing over them, Lord God. In Ephesians 4:31-32 you tell us to put aside our anger and to forgive one another…send your Holy Spirit to help us do just that. We pray for forgiveness where it is needed and for you to work miracles in the lives of our families.
Today, Dear God, we ask you for unity, for open communication, compassion and kindness to fill our homes. Help us to speak to one another in love and to find the face of Jesus in our family members. Empower us with a spirit of service to one another and to our neighbors. You have told us that where two or three are gathered in your name, there You are in the midst of them….May your spirit dwell within our relationships and homes and may our community see the fruit of your presence among us.
At this moment, Lord, I believe you have the power to help us overcome anything. We call on you to help families that are struggling to break the cycle of violence, poverty, abuse and neglect. We pray you would place people in their lives to fill the gap for them. We ask that you create in them hands for helping and holding, not hurting. We pray for children in foster care and throughout the world that are waiting for families and for couples that are waiting to be parents. We pray for single parents and the extraordinary job that is.
For all parents in our community, Loving Savior, we pray for patience and wisdom. Help us to unconditionally love our children as you love your son, Jesus, and to seek Your face and Your Word in answer to the questions parenting brings our way.
There are families in every community throughout the US, including ours, that you provide for daily and we thank you for your provisions. Continue to meet the needs, Lord, of shelter and safety, food and medical care. Provide opportunities where there are none and work for those without employment. We pray for the working poor. And Heavenly Father, bless those families that in a world that calls us to bigger and better, they choose as a family to live simply so others can simply live. Let those families shine as an example for others.
We ask, Dear God, that you would create a desire within our families to WANT to spend time together…to make our marriages and family a priority. Help us to focus on our own response and actions despite the attitude and hurtful words that may come our way. Help us to be the first to love, even when it is difficult, in every circumstance.
I am amazed by you, Lord, by the beauty you surround us with, the grace you offer us, and the love you freely give. Allow us to put aside our own vision and dreams to come together united to work towards yours. Let us not ask of you each day what you can do for us, but what you, Lord God, can do through us.
In the mighty name of our Lord Jesus, we ask these things. ~Amen