Rev has often said,
“Jesus taught about the things we should do to get along with one another and God gave us families to practice!”
Jesus told His followers…
- to Love
- to Forgive
- to Be Peacemakers
- to Serve
- to Be Humble
- to Be Merciful
And although we want to trust and follow Jesus’ words and example . . . it’s hard to serve consistently and faithfully exhibit humility and mercy with the people who are closest to us.
Simply put—it’s hard to be persistently perfect with imperfect people . . . like us.
Because no one knows our weaknesses better than the people with whom we live. And friction abounds when our weaknesses bump into each other.
In the days and weeks ahead, many of us will be getting together with our extended families to celebrate the holidays. We’ll gather with parents, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins each with a unique personality and an endless supply of perspectives and opinions.
For that reason, many people go into the holiday season with anxious emotions brought on by memories of past friction and fighting. Let’s face it, families are messy. Really messy.
So before we get together, let’s prepare our hearts and minds to rise above the messiness so we can love one another the way Jesus taught. Let’s pray…
10 Things to Pray for Your Family
1. Pray for your family members to KNOW how completely GOD loves them. (1 John 4:9)
2. Pray that each person will faithfully KNOW, TRUST, and LOVE JESUS. (1 Timothy 2:4)
3. Pray that everyone in the family will be able to let go of past hurts and forgive each other. (Colossians 3:13)
4. Pray that all will be kind and encouraging. (2 Corinthians 13:11)
5. Pray that God’s peace and strength will cover your family. (Psalm 29:11)
6. Pray that patience will be a priority for everyone in your family. (Ephesians 4:2)
7. Pray that everyone will listen with compassion and understanding. (James 1:9)
8. Pray that God will bless each person in your family with physical, spiritual, and emotional protection. (John 17:11)
9. Pray that love will abound and God’s will honored while you are together. (Philippian 1:9–10)
10. Pray that this time spent with your family might be filled with love and laughter. (Psalm 126:1–3)
A Prayer for Your Family
Father, thank you for my family. I know that you gave each of us gifts, abilities, and a unique personality. Please help us see Your creative touch in one another. Help us remember how much You love each of us.
Please forgive us. We can be stubborn and prideful when You want us to be compassionate and humble. We can hold grudges when You tell us to forgive. Please help us focus on what unites us more than on what divides us. Help us listen to each other with kindness and compassion. Help us release the past and focus on the future. Help us love like Jesus. Please protect us all . . . heart, mind, soul, and spirit.
I love You, Lord. Please fill me with Your love and help me shine for Your glory. Your grace is sufficient for my every need. You want me to love everyone well and You promise to give me what I need to do so. Our family is messy and imperfect but oh so wonderful to love. Thank you for each and every one of them. Amen.
So, are we ready to get together with our big wonderful messy families?
Before we do, let’s faithfully pray that it might be a time of blessing for all. And to help prepare this year, let’s invite every family member to pray while they prepare the dish they’re going to share, while they pack, and while they travel.
Let’s stand against the enemy who wants to divide us by inviting the One who is able to guard our hearts and unite us with His perfect love and victorious hand.
God made our families – whether we like His choices or not – He uses the people He puts around us to work in us and help us become the people He wants us to be.
Think about it…
Maybe your annoying little sister was supposed to teach you patience. Maybe your elderly grandmother was there to teach you gentleness and respect. And maybe you were given to your family to teach them unconditional love.
Don’t give up. Your family is part of God’s plans and purposes for you.
Love them. Forgive them. Bless them.
Remember, Jesus was praying for you, your human family, and your faith family when He said:
“[Father,] I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” John 17:23
May God bless you and your wonderfully imperfect family with much love and laughter this holiday season.
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