Categories

How to Pray for Others

4 Things to Know about Generational Healing

Generational healing prayers are among my favorites. Why? Because I have seen such powerful changes through these prayers.

Consider this: Because of the power of Christ, you have the ability today to stand in for entire generations of your family and repent for generational sin. God can bring redemption and realignment to your family line, so your entire family can begin to walk in the calling and blessings God has given to you.

That's pretty powerful. 

Here are 5 helpful things to know about generational healing:

1. Numbers 14:18 tells us how generational curses pass through the family line. This verse also tells us of God's love and mercy. He wants us to be healed and He has made provision for our healing through Christ. Read Isaiah 61 about how Jesus has come to set the captives free.

Generational sin opens the door to these generational curses. They pass for 4 generations (10 generations for sexual sin – see Deuteronomy 23:2). This passing of the curse to 4 generations actually shows God's restraint (He could have made them pass longer). But if nobody repents, the sin keeps moving down the family line, becoming generational iniquity. Iniquity means a propensity to bend. It means the family has an inherited tendency toward that sin.

2. The Bible tells us to "bind the strongman" (Matthew 12:29, Mark 3:27, Luke 11:22). The strongman is the enemy who has plundered the generational blessings of each family. Read all of Luke 11 for insight into how the enemy plunders a family and how he is overturned by Christ. When we identify the strongman (e.g., addiction, pride, fear, sexual sin, violence, jealousy) and repent on behalf of the generations of our family, we invite Jesus in to set us free.

3. Generational sin is based in repentance. Through Christ, we have the ability to humble ourselves and choose to repent for the sin that has brought curses to our family. We forgive our ancestors who opened those doors to generational sin. We repent of the ways we personally have engaged in that sin. Then we stand in restitutional repentance on behalf of our entire family line. We ask God to restore the generational blessings He intends for our family. 

Often, we can identify those blessings because they are the direct opposite of the generational sin we have experienced. A family mired in generational fear has a blessing of power, love, and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). A family cursed with generational violence has a generational blessing of peace (Luke 8:26-39). A family that has been ripped apart over the generations by jealousy, strife, and contention is called to a generational blessing of love (1 Corinthians 13:4). The enemy tries to steal our gifts and blessings. Where he strikes us is the exact opposite of who we and the generations of our family are really supposed to be.

4. With generational repentance, the enemy will be silenced. He will no longer have such a strong hold on your family to compel each person into those generational curses. This doesn't mean the enemy will stop trying to trip people up. John 10:10 tells us he will continue to try and thwart God's plan for our lives. However, with generational repentance, he doesn't have the rights and the degree of force he had before. It gives people in your family a chance to come to their senses and hear the truth from Jesus. The generational truth becomes louder than the lies. 

Because of free will, family members may continue to choose to engage in a particular sinful behavior. The doors to sin that are open in a person's heart are complex. Jesus is the only one who can show each person how to heal and turn from those sins. But the difference, after generational repentance, is that the enemy won't have the same generational power as before to compel that behavior. I liken it to Jesus removing a megaphone from the enemy's hands.

This is where your prayers of intercession become so important. If a family member continues to follow in the old ways of the generational curse, you can intercede from a place of healing, truth, and blessing. You can't change that person's heart – only that person can do that, because of free will. However, you can pray for the Holy Spirit to help that person hear truth: that they are not a prisoner of fear, but rather they walk in power, love, and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7); that they are not an addict, but rather they are adopted by God (Romans 8:15); that they are not a victim of generational strife and jealousy, but rather they walk in God's love (1 Corinthians 13:4).

As you walk in your generational healing, and take ground from the enemy (Ephesians 6:13), you will be inviting the Holy Spirit to work more deeply in your family line. Your prayers of generational repentance, your generational healing, and the ways you choose to walk this out with Christ will have a powerful effect on your whole family.

Today is a great day to repent on behalf of yourself and the generations of your family. It's a great day to step into God's generational blessings.

Thank You, Jesus, for healing us. 

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Are You Feeling Someone’s Grief?

We all feel for others. When a loved one is down, we feel down as well. We even feel pain for people we don't know. A news broadcast might show a family that is grieving after a tornado destroys their home. We feel that pain as if it's our own. Human empathy is a beautiful gift God has given to us, so we can comfort and support each other through life's hardships.

For intercessors, especially those with a burden-bearing gift, this feeling can be even stronger. We can literally pick up on emotions from others – even when they are not around us and we don't know what they are going through. The pain that person is experiencing can literally overcome us, body, soul, and spirit. God might be allowing us to feel a part of their grief, so we can invite Him into that place with His comfort.

Yesterday, I was suddenly overcome with grief. It just descended like a cloud. I literally had to go to bed in the early evening as I was overcome with sadness. There was no apparent reason for this. Nothing was wrong with me and I was having a good day. Then I received a text about a friend who had just learned some tragic news.

Barely did the news process than I started wailing. Deep anguish took over me and I just wept and cried out. This went on for a while, as I prayed, and then I was able to get up and go about my evening, albeit subdued at the thought of what my friend was enduring. I continued to pray a lot until it was really time for bed.

Burden bearing for an intercessor can look and feel that way. It's important for you and your family to understand what it is and how to move through it. Otherwise, you can feel as if you're losing your mind.

When emotions come over you out of nowhere, and you don't know why, stop and ask God, "Is this mine, or is this for someone else?" He will show you. If what you are feeling is for someone else, ask Him to lead you in prayer for that person. You might not even know who the person is; that's okay, because God knows. Follow His lead in prayer.

As you pray, invite God to come into that place of pain and lift the burden. This is important. You are not the one to carry the burden, nor can you. It is for Jesus to carry. He allows you to feel part of the burden so you will invite Him with your prayers. Especially in situations of grief or recent trauma, the burden can often be too heavy for the person going through it. As an intercessor and friend, you have the privilege to invite God to lift that portion that they cannot bear. Jesus Himself will bear it for and with them.

Be sure you pray through this, giving all of it to God. Don't try and bear these burdens on your own strength. They are very real and can affect you in ways God does not intend. It's important to learn how to bear burdens rightly. Once you have prayed through each burden, ask God to lift the burden from you and cleanse you, so that you don't take it into your own flesh. Ask Him to seal what He has done, and thank Him.

I can recommend two excellent books that will help you know if you are a burden bearer and how to use this gift in the right ways:

Sharing the Burden by Christa and Dirk Luling – This book takes a practical approach to the personality and daily life of a burden bearer. It teaches about what burden bearing looks like and how to live in a healthy way as a burden bearer. This book is especially insightful for parents of burden-bearing children and teens. But it will also help burden-bearing adults recognize and learn how to live with this gift. 

The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity by Carol A. Brown – This book takes a spiritual approach to the gift of burden bearing. When you recognize yourself in these pages, you will feel like a light has come on. You are not crazy. You're not alone. It's a gift.

Burden bearing is a beautiful gift from God. If you have this gift, or if you see it in your children, it is important for you and your family to learn everything about it. Learn to use it in the way God intended, and you will have the privilege to come alongside others and God, to invite His comfort and healing in life's difficult situations.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

 

 

Ask for a Prayer Strategy

Your prayers are powerful. Because of that power, you want to be sure you are praying in a way that aligns with God's will.

That doesn't mean you can only pray, "Thy will be done." I know folks who feel most comfortable praying this way, and I understand it. I honor their desire to be careful in what they pray. But we can be more specific with our prayers, as long as we align these with God's will. We need to ask God for a prayer strategy.

In Romans 8:26, God lets us know the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we don't know what to pray. He is there to guide us. God wants to direct our prayers. When we pray, we are inviting Him to do what He already desires and intends to do. So He knows how to lead our prayers. 

That's where we ask Him for a prayer strategy. It is the same thing as saying, "God, I am inviting You do to what You want to do. Please tell me what to invite. What do You want to do in this situation?"

In John 14:13-14, Jesus reveals a lot about how to ask according to His will. As you read those verses, expand your reading to all of John 14. Jesus reminds us that He is the way, the truth, and the life; that He works in us by our belief in Him, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, for God's glory. He reminds us that if we keep His commandments, this is a sign of our love for Him. It is in this context that when we ask in His name, HE will accomplish what we ask.

So if we live by His will, then we will ask according to His will, and He will do what He already intends to do. That is what our prayers invite. And that is why, when we are living according to His will, we can ask Him for a prayer strategy, so we pray in alignment with Him. If we are living in alignment with Him, we will have peace that we are praying in alignment with Him. The Holy Spirit will prompt us if our prayers are off base. The more sensitive we become to His Spirit, the more we can feel this and change course.

The prayer strategy God gives us will always line up with His Word and His nature. That's the best way we can check to be sure we're hearing from God.

If you feel uncertain of how to pray in a situation, begin to pray God's Word. John 3:16 is a great verse to pray in any situation. For "the world," substitute the name of the person you are praying for. Psalm 1 is also a great Bible passage to pray for someone, claiming that God has created that person to be that tree planted by water bringing forth fruit. Psalm 139:14 is also a great verse to pray for everyone.

As you start to pray God's Word, and attune your heart to His, you will begin to sense other Bible verses to pray. 

And you can always pray by inviting God to come and do what He desires to do in any situation: "Lord, come and do what You intend to do." That is the same as praying, "Thy will be done," but it is a very active way to invite Him, and this will help you begin to move your prayers in rhythm with His heart.

What are your favorite Bible verses to pray? For what kinds of situations?

Has God given you a prayer strategy where you had peace that it was from God? Did you have a situation where you weren't sure? How did you resolve it and find peace?

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Prayers for Sweet Sleep

Several of my friends and I are struggling with sleep. Sleep deprivation is not only exhausting but also unhealthy. We have each tried different remedies – even prayer! – and nothing seems to help. 

One of my friends reminded me that God put us in relationships, and we need to pray for each other. When one of us struggles, our family and friends need to pray, and vice versa. 

So my friend offered to send the three of us a group prayer text at night, praying over us for good sleep. What a wonderful idea! Her reminder was so important: When we struggle, we need to ask folks to pray. We are all in this adventure called "life with God" together, and He has given us the support we need.

What are the things you struggle with, where prayer would help? Who can you ask to pray through those things with you?

Don't be afraid to ask! God created us for relationship, and that means we get to help and pray for each other. You might be surprised that when you ask your family and friends for prayer, they will also share their prayer needs with you.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Prayer Lessons from God’s Heart

A week ago I returned from a surprise mission trip to Guatemala. What a blessing, in countless ways, many of which I am probably still not aware of.

God used that time in Guatemala – away from familiar surroundings and language – to teach me a lot about His heart for prayer. I am so grateful, and I am trusting Him to work these new lessons and changes through my heart.

Meanwhile, I would love to share with you some of my reflections on prayer during my time in Guatemala. I was able to post these at our team's blog site:

Treasure in Jars of Clay

I would love to know your thoughts, and to hear similar stories of how God has taught you from His heart of prayer.

God bless you.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Praying Family - background

Briar Patch Prayer

Our team gathered at the start of a weekend retreat. Two of our team members, a husband and wife, were missing. Shortly after we began our prayer time, the wife arrived, frantic. Their teenage son had run away from home.

We began to pray for him, that the Lord would bring him home. I felt in my spirit to pray that the Lord would capture him somehow. That the Lord would hold him safely, wherever he was, until help arrived. I prayed the Lord would lead those searching for the boy in the right direction.

An hour later, we received a call from the boy’s father. The boy had been found, and he was okay. A sheriff’s deputy had found him in the woods, tangled up in a briar patch.

God had answered the prayer He prompted, to capture the boy. 

Ever since that time, when someone asks me for prayer for a loved one who is running, I ask them, “Would it be okay with you if I pray the briar patch prayer?” And I tell them the story. Everyone I have asked has responded, “Yes.”

One of the hardest times to pray the briar patch prayer is for a loved one out on the streets using drugs. I have volunteered with a men’s addiction regeneration center, and I know mothers and wives often ask for prayer for their loved one who is using. When it’s time to pray, “Lord, catch him,” that is tough for them. 

I have a friend, a counselor, who often prays with a mom for her son, “Lord, arrest him.” 

This shocks the mom, and often she asks, “Why would you pray that?” 

My friend responds, “It will save his life. Or stop him from killing someone else.”

The briar patch prayer might seem natural to pray for a child who has run away and is lost. It is harder for a mom to pray, “Lord, arrest my son.” But if getting arrested will save his life?

Another variation on the briar patch prayer is to pray for God to overload the structure in a person’s life. When a loved one is struggling but refusing help from the Lord, God honors that person’s free will. We, as those who pray for our loved ones, must also honor our loved one's free will. But we can pray for God to overload the self-made structure on which this person has become dependent. 

When a person is struggling and not seeking help from God, often she creates her own “structure” for how to cope and survive. We know this is fleeting, and her own defenses will not withstand the assault of the enemy and the world. She needs God as her only structure. But until she sees that, God will overload her structure until she is ready to come to the end of herself. We can pray He does this, and this prayer will not be violating our loved one’s free will.

When the structure gets too heavy, the person will have to realize her way isn’t working. We need to pray that in that moment, she will see God, and ask for His help.

Have you ever been in a situation where the Lord has pressed on your heart to pray that a loved one gets caught? Or that the structure gets overloaded? 

What did you pray? What was the result?

31 Days of Prayers for our Children

These prayers were written for Gisele, a little girl in Burkina Faso. As you pray, you can speak the name of the child/children you are praying for, and let's pray together each day for God's love to change these kids' lives … Your prayers mean so much!
1st
God, thank you for Gisele. Thank you for how precious she is. Thank you for how much you love her. God I pray that you will help her to know you better each day. That she will always feel safe and secure in your love. That she will know she belongs to you.
2nd
God, please help Gisele accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. Help her to learn your Word. Help her always to walk in your ways. Thank you that Psalm 1 says she is like a tree planted by fresh water, that bears amazing fruit. God bless her.
3rd
God, help Gisele know she can talk to you anytime she wants. Help her to learn how to listen to you, how to recognize your voice. When the enemy tries to talk to her, God, tell him to be silent. Make your voice loud and clear for her, and let her come to love the sound of your voice.
4th
God, please help Gisele’s family with their daily needs. Give them food and shelter, warmth and cool in season, meaningful work, joyful experiences, love in community, and everything else you know they need. Help them to feel your presence and your love daily. Lead them, guide them, strengthen and encourage them.
5th
God, help Gisele to have good dreams at night. Dreams created by you, just for her. Encourage her through her dreams. Let her see your power and love. Inspire her. Help her to follow your path. Give her visions of how amazing you are, and how precious she is to you.
6th
God, help Gisele smile today. No matter what is going on, no matter what she experiences, help her to smile, just for knowing that you love her. Fill her with the joy that comes only from Jesus. Sow seeds of the joy of the Lord deep into her heart.
7th
God, thank you that your Word says in Zephaniah 3:17 that you sing over Gisele. Help her to hear your song of love for her. Teach her to sing in her heart back to you. Let her spirit dance and soar. Fill her to overflowing with your love. Let her day be blessed.
8th
God, help Gisele to learn and grow as your child. Let her know that you have an amazing plan for her life, and that you will help her to walk on the path you’ve set for her. Give her the daily nourishment – in body, soul and spirit – that she needs to thrive as your daughter. Let her know that she matters to you, that your heart is for her, and that she is the great love of your life.
9th
God, help Gisele to see you in nature. To see your presence, your fingerprints, your handiwork all around her. Whatever she sees today – trees, flowers, grass, clouds, sky – let her see you in all of them. Fill her with awe and wonder, as she recognizes that you are right there with her. Your Word says in Hebrews 13:5 that you will never leave nor forsake her. Fill her with that assurance today, deep in her heart, and seal it with joy.
10th
God, let Gisele enjoy ordinary experiences today. The stuff of daily life – help her to find your presence in it. Let her enjoy just sharing her day with you. Help her family, as well, to put you front and center of their daily life. Strengthen them, God, and let them know that every part of their life matters to you.
11th
God, as your Word instructs in Matthew 6:33, help Gisele and her family to seek you first, today and every day, in all things. Help them turn to you for answers, for encouragement, for comfort. Give them your wisdom and direction. Let them know that you want to be close to them, and help them draw closer to you.
12th
God, thank you that you are Gisele’s provider. Help her to learn to trust in you, that you will always provide what she needs. All she has to do is ask. Don’t let her fall into discouragement that she lives in a place of poverty. Let her know that you are more than able to provide all she needs, and that you love her so much.
13th
God, give Gisele hope for the future. Stir excitement and peace, deep in her spirit, to know that you have planned an awesome life for her, and that you will see her through it. Help her, day by day, to take each step as you lead, and to grow as your precious child.
14th
God, your Word in 2 Timothy 1:7 says Gisele has not been given a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and sound mind. Help her to not be afraid. Help her to trust in you. Silence the voice of fear, and bring her freedom and peace. Help her to sleep through the night peacefully, as your precious daughter. Give her strength each day to face every circumstance, knowing you are right there with her, and she does not need to be afraid.
15th
God, help Gisele learn that she is a valuable part of your kingdom, the Body of Christ. Give her ways, even now, to serve others. Help her to follow your lead, and serve in ways that bring her joy and grow her gifts. Teach her even at a young age how to be a servant leader. Help her to wash the feet of others, just as Jesus did, by thoughts, words, and actions.
16th
God, surround Gisele with godly people to instruct, mentor and guide her, and to encourage her daily. For her family and the folks who teach her in church and in school, give them your words of life to speak over her. Help her to flourish as your daughter. Keep her in safe, healthy community in the Body of Christ. Let her know how much she matters to you.
17th
God, keep Gisele in good health. Protect her from the diseases and environmental toxins in the land where she lives. Speak life daily to every cell of her body, and fill each cell with the joy of Jesus. Help her to grow strong and healthy, and teach her the things she needs to know to live a healthy life. God, please provide what  is needed to bring good health to her family and her whole community.
18th
God, give Gisele safe, fun things to do each day. Even when she is working – at chores, at school – help her to have fun. Let her spirit sing and dance. Let her find joy, even in the mundane, even in the difficult things. True and lasting joy, from the Lord Jesus Christ. Help her to carry that joy in her heart, that others around her will be affected as well.
19th
God, teach Gisele that she carries your Holy Spirit everywhere she goes. Help her to know that she is a lantern of your goodness and peace, that she can change an entire atmosphere, just by being herself. Don’t let her conform to the ways of the world, and don’t let her feel pressured to perform for you or for anyone. Help her to know it’s enough to be your child, and to be just the way you made her. Help her to know that your presence in her will help those around her.
20th
God, help Gisele discover the unique gifts you’ve given her. Help her to see where she fits into the Body of Christ. Help her family and teachers to recognize and encourage her unique gifts, and not to try and fit her into a mold. Help her to live and thrive in true freedom and joy, as your daughter.
21st
God, help Gisele know that nothing is impossible for you. Help her to grow through each challenge she faces, and to see how you show up each time. Help her to rejoice in thanksgiving and praise for all that you are, and all that you do in her life. Teach her how to praise you at all times, in all things.
22nd
God, help Gisele’s community to be safe and thriving. Fill her whole community with the presence of your Holy Spirit. Give wisdom to the leaders of the community, and to the spiritual leaders of each family. Help them to make wise decisions and to be good stewards. Give Gisele a sense of peace and hopefulness, to know that you are working on behalf of her whole community.
23rd
God, fill Gisele with an excitement and desire to learn more about you, and to grow closer to you. Teach her how to grow and live in relationship with you. Help her to share you with others, in whatever ways you’ve equipped her to share. Let her relationship with you become as much a part of her life as breathing. Let her rejoice in your presence.
24th
God, fill Gisele’s life with laughter. Give her good friends that she can laugh with, and play with, and enjoy each day with. Help her family home to resound with laughter. Even as she grows older, help her to keep the childlike joy you’ve given her. Let that joy spread through the land like wildfire.
25th
God, when Gisele has difficult days, let her know you are there. Let her know she matters to you. Wash her clean of all traumas, all fears, all sorrow, all discouragement. Fill her with your unshakeable peace. Let her know that her tears matter to you. Help her to learn how to ask for you in all difficult times, and to trust and know that you are there.
26th
God, let Gisele know you are fighting for her. That she doesn’t have to be enslaved to the lies of the enemy, or to the poverty that surrounds her. Let her know that you are moving mountains on her behalf. Give her the courage to step into the life you’ve created for her, and not to be knocked down by the enemy, or by her family’s past. Loose the generational blessings that you’ve intended for her family and for her nation.
27th
God, give Gisele a voice in this world – the voice you intend for her. Help her to learn how to use her voice, by the strength and leading of your Holy Spirit. Let her know that what she has to say matters, and will be heard. Prick people’s ears and soften people’s hearts to listen to the way you speak through her. Give her favor in all areas where you want her to speak. Help her to know when to speak, and when not to speak. Give her the courage to speak truth in love as you lead.
28th
God, give Gisele’s family the assurance of knowing how much you care for her – as well as for them – and that they don’t need to worry. That you will provide all she needs. That you will fulfill your plan in her life. Help her family to believe your words in Jeremiah 29:11, that you know the plans you have for her, plans to prosper and not to harm her, plans to give her hope and a future. Help her family to praise you for all that you are doing in Gisele’s life.
29th
God, help the wealthy nations of the world to respond to your call to help the people of Gisele’s nation, and other nations in poverty around the world. That the Body of Christ will grow stronger and purer around the world, lifting up each other and loving each other to life. Let those who have enough trust you in sharing what they have with other children and families in Gisele’s community and nation, and in other places where poverty is deep. Dramatically increase the number of children around the world who find sponsors to help them, to hope for them, and to encourage them.
30th
God, help Gisele to know that you are her best friend. Let her know that you would love to talk with her every day, about whatever she wants to talk about. Let her know that you cheer her on each day, and that you love to celebrate with her. Help her to feel your comforting arms around her on the tough days, when things don’t go right, when she gets discouraged. Help her to know you’re a friend she can count on through all things, and that you will always be there, forever, loving her.
31st
God, let Gisele know that Jesus died for her to live forever with you. To be reconciled with you, and forgiven for her sins. Help her to know the power of the cross in her daily life, and that she does not have to live in a yoke of bondage. That freedom in Christ is your gift to her. Keep her in a healthy Christian church that has life, that walks in godly ways, in genuine relationship with you, in active service in the community, in discipleship and missions. Help her to find her place in the Body of Christ, and to be encouraged and excited about her life, and about her eternity with you.
IN JESUS' NAME. AMEN

 

Why I Felt Compelled to Steal a Car

I’ve never stolen in my life.

Imagine my surprise when the urge overcame me to steal a car.

My ministry friends and I were staying at a bed and breakfast while attending a conference out of state. I took a walk after breakfast, enjoying the peaceful morning and small town atmosphere. 

On one street, I noticed a car in a driveway and felt the urge to steal it.

What in the world?

I’m an intercessor; I pray for people. I know the enemy looks to trip me up, to distract me. But why the urge to steal? With a myriad of sins to choose from – sins I’ve actually struggled with – why prompt me to do something that’s never occurred to me?

I stopped and prayed in the middle of the street. Which is exactly what God wanted me to do. Turns out the urge to steal was not from the enemy, but from God. Not a prompting to steal. A nudge to pray. As I surveyed the street, listening in my heart, I realized God was letting me know someone was about to steal. I was feeling that person’s heart. God wanted me to pray for that person, so the theft wouldn’t happen, and the person could get help.

As intercessors, we need to be aware of thoughts and emotions that might not be ours. Nor should we give undue credit to the enemy. The thoughts and feelings that touch our heart might be God, allowing us to experience what’s happening around us, so we will pray. 

Our prayers change the atmosphere. We need to stay aware and attuned to God’s heart. 

Have you experienced something like this? 

When a thought comes over you, especially if it seems strange, or comes out of nowhere, stop. Ask the Lord: “What’s going on? Is this my thought? Am I picking this up from someone else who needs prayer? Is it an attempt from the enemy to confuse me? Or is it Your directive to pray?”

I didn’t steal a car that day. I walked the neighborhood for an hour, praying. I believe no one stole a car that day, and someone who needed help received it.

Family Bible Verses

Praying God's Word is powerful. Praying words from the Bible is a great way to pray. God loves for us to pray Bible verses back to Him. Bible verses are God's love notes to us. When we pray these back to Him, it's a way to tell Him, “We got Your awesome message and thank You!” And prayer is one way He helps us take these words of truth into our hearts.

Praying Bible verses is also a great way to pray together as a family. You can do this in many different ways.

One way is to create a “family prayer time” each week, when the whole family gathers and prays together. During this prayer time, find a Bible verse to pray together as a family.

You can take this one step further and choose a family “Bible verse of the week.” Write it somewhere that you will see it each day. (It might be a great idea to create a “prayer space” or “prayer board” in your home, in a highly visible place.)

Each person in the family then prays this “Bible verse of the week” each day. There is something wonderful about praying the same verse together. You will be amazed at how God will speak to each person in your family through this verse. Find a time to share together during the week what He has shown you as you pray this Bible verse.

The next week, choose another “Bible verse of the week” and keep going like this each week throughout the year.

Some churches offer a "Bible verse of the week" for the entire church family to pray together. If your church does this, you might choose the same Bible verse as your family's verse of the week. (Or maybe your family wants to choose a different verse just for your family.) If your church does not offer a "Bible verse of the week," pray about whether God might lead you to suggest this!

Have a blessed week with God and with your family.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Family Prayer Box

Here is one way to help your family become a praying family: Keep a prayer box in your home. Keep little pieces of paper and pens next to it.

When someone in your family needs prayer, they can write their prayer requests on the pieces of paper and place these in the prayer box.

Family members can also put in prayer requests for their friends, or other prayer needs that are on their hearts.

Each time you pass by the prayer box, say a prayer asking God to respond to the requests in the box.

At some point, stop and read the requests and ask the Lord to respond to them. Put them back in the box.

Choose a time each week when the family gathers together and reads and prays out loud the prayer requests in the box.

Don’t forget to write “praises” (a note about prayers that were answered) on the pieces of paper and put them in the box too, thanking God for answered prayers.

You can even write the prayer request on one side of the little piece of paper, and then when the prayer is answered, write the “praise” on the other side. This is a great visual way to help everyone see how God has answered the prayers.

You may want to keep a container beside the prayer box where you transfer answered prayers/praises.

And keep adding new prayer requests to the prayer box.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.