God loves you; He loves all of your family, too! As a Christ-follower, you should especially pray for the salvation of your unsaved family members. You may be the only person praying for them at all – what a blessed privilege to bring them before God’s throne!
Though it would be difficult to pray for them all every day, you could pray for several of them by name each day of the week. If you don’t know the details of their needs, you can ask for God’s blessing over them or pray for them in your spiritual language.
Let the love of Christ compel you to pray for your family members (2 Cor 5:14,15). You will then reap the rewards of God’s saving power and blessings being shown to them!
C. REMEMBER THE FATHER’S FAMILY
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Eph 3:14,15).
The Heavenly Father’s family is the Church. The Church is made up of those people who have been redeemed by God “out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev 5:9). These are the people who have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, who believe on Him and trust Him for salvation, and who follow Him as disciples. It makes no difference what denomination or church group people are part of; if Jesus Christ is truly their Savior and Lord, they belong to the family of God!
As members of one another (Rom 12:4,5), we need to pray for each other. The Bible gives us insight as to how God would have us pray for His family.
- Jesus’ Prayer
At the close of Christ’s ministry, He prayed for all the generations who would be part of His living Body– the Church – on this earth (John 17:20-23). There are many things that Jesus could have prayed for at that moment. But He essentially prays for one single thing: that believers would “be one in Us [Jesus and the Father]” (v.21). Jesus prayed for unity among believers.
This prayer should signal two things to us:
- The importance of unity among churches and believers,
- The need for leaders to pray for and emphasize unity.
As a leader, you should pray for unity in your church. You can also help encourage unity by teaching the people in your church to pray for each other. As they do, they will have greater love for one another.
As a leader, you should also be praying for other ministers and churches in your area, and teaching your congregation to do the same. Make time in your meetings to pray for each other, and for the believers in other churches as well.
These two points of prayer will not only please the Lord, but will also build strong spiritual unity in your church and community.
But why is unity so important? Jesus told us the reason: So that the world would believe that Jesus is the true Savior of mankind, sent from God the Father (John 17:21-23). Unity among believers is a powerful witness of the Gospel to unbelievers, and can spark revival!
- The Apostle Paul And Prayer
The man through whom the Holy Spirit breathed (2 Tim 3:16) more than one-third of the New Testament– the Apostle Paul – was a man of great prayer. He prayed “night and day” for the Church (1 Thess 3:10). He tells the Corinthians of his “deep concern for all the churches” (2 Cor 11:28) – a concern that was surely born in prayer. Paul prayed for those he had trained and raised up in ministry: “without ceasing I remember you in my prayers…” (2 Tim 1:3). When describing how he labored in prayer for the Galatian church, Paul compared it to the travail of a mother giving birth to a child (Gal 4:19). Paul was a man of intense prayer!