Family group

As daylight dwindled on a summer evening, I took my place on the large green sofa in the bay window of my grandparent’s living room ready for their evening routine. 

My grandfather leaned back in his armchair on the right-hand side of the fireplace. One leg crossed the other; his foot swinging as he absent-mindedly filed his well-manicured hands. 

After serving us steaming mugs of cocoa and cookies, my grandmother sat forward in her armchair on the opposite side of the fireplace, Bible in her lap.

Grandad listened intently as she read a daily devotion. My eleven-year-old mind drifted, not understanding the significance of God’s words.

Eventually, they bowed their heads and Grandma prayed for missionaries I did know who served in faraway lands I would never visit. Then, she prayed for me. Of course, I wasn’t the only one she prayed for-—other evenings she prayed for my siblings, parents, cousins, aunts and uncles. 

I often think about those prayers made many years ago in my childhood. 

I have wondered what foolish outcomes my grandmother’s prayers saved me from in my teenage years.

I have pondered if her prayers put a hedge of protection around me as a young woman in her early twenties when I traveled alone to the Middle East.

I have reflected on what difference her prayers made to the struggle of settling in America when my husband and I moved with our six-week old baby from London to Boston. 

I am convinced her prayers changed the course of my days, and other members of my family, because the Bible tells us…

…tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer! James 5:16 TPT

When my grandmother died some years later, my mom and my aunt stood in the kitchen of our home and wailed: “Who’s going to pray for us now?” 

My grandmother’s regular prayers for her family made a lasting impression, not only on me. 

Of course, my mother and aunt knew the answer to their concern. They were the ones who had to continue the legacy to pray for our family. 

They compiled a monthly family prayer calendar. Each day of the month had two to three names written next to it. These were the family members to pray for that day — either my brothers and sister and their spouses, my nieces and nephews, my aunts and uncles, my cousins, my husband and myself, and our children.

The Bible doesn’t prescribe that we should pray for our families, but it does teach us to be faithful in prayer, to pray at all times and for all people. And, it does contain plenty of examples, through the stories of its characters, that praying for family members can be powerful and effective. 

Stories of Powerful Prayer

Issac prayed for Rebekah to conceive and she became pregnant. 

Jacob prayed about his reunion with Essau. His fear of attack turned into a loving embrace.

Manoah prayed for understanding of how to raise his son, Samson. 

David prayed that Ahithophel’’s advice would appear foolish to Absalom, which it did. 

Then, in the New Testament, there are examples of those who came to Jesus:

Jairus, whose daughter was dying Jesus gave her life again. 

Peter’s mother-in-law had a fever , Jesus made her well.

The Canaanite woman who pleaded with Jesus for her demon-possessed daughter, Jesus healed.

And Mary and Joseph who presented Jesus to God at the temple, were blessed by all that was said about their son. 

All of these people modeled how we should pray for those we consider to be family.

A Legacy of Prayer

Perhaps you can instantly think of one or two of your relatives who are in desperate need of prayer. Others may not be in need but could still benefit from being brought before the Lord for his favor. Some of your family members may never have anyone pray for them unless you do. 

My mother is no longer alive, but her sister, my aunt, and her husband, my uncle, still pray regularly and faithfully for all of our family.

And the baton of prayer has been passed down to another generation. 

I keep our monthly family prayer calendar in a drawer alongside my contact lenses, toothpaste, and other toiletries—things that I use each morning. As I put in my lenses and brush my teeth, I am reminded to pray. And so, like my daily routine for getting ready in the morning, prayer for my extended family has become part of my daily practice. 

Power is released through prayer. Let’s bring God’s power into the lives of those we call family. 

Praying regularly for your family is simple to put into practice and is a beautiful legacy to give them for eternity.

Is your heart stirred to step out and start a prayer legacy for your family or to take the baton that is being held out to you?

  • Thank you for your email. The message brought back memories about my mother who was also a prayer monger. She always had her bible in her hands open ready to read most of the time. 
    I have very good memories about my mother. She also frequented Church worship and prayer group meetings. I thank God for her in my life because I am now carrying on the legacy of faith. Thanks be to God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit as my constant guidance. God Bless!

    • Thank you for sharing about your mother. How wonderful that her faithfulness to prayer and faith has influenced your faith in Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Be encouraged to keep up the legacy.

  • It seems such a wonderful commitment and honor to take the challenge to pray for my family. So, I will do so with God’s help. Thank you Rachel.

  • Thank you, Rachel! What a beautiful legacy of faith and prayer! Thank you for sharing with all of us! Your posts always help me grow in my walk of faith. You are such a blessing! I hope 2024 is full of rich blessings for you and your family.

  • That is such a wonderful memory to have and to share. Obviously, prayer changes things. I hope you had a Happy Christmas and are blessed in 2024.

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