Maybe you’re the dad who regularly prays for your family, or maybe you’re the dad who’s never thought about it before. Perhaps you are somewhere in the middle.
No matter what your current prayer life looks like, we all have room to grow in how we pray for our families.
I probably don’t need to convince you that prayer is powerful. But just in case, you may want to start with this post What Happens When You Pray?
As dads, we should pray for our families, fervently. Praying for your family starts with praying for yourself. You must be willing to ask the Lord to do a redemptive work in your life, if you want Him to do a redemptive work in your family. In other words, it starts with you.
Healthy families need healthy dads.Healthy families need healthy dads. Click To Tweet
As men, asking for help may be as foreign as a forrest in the desert. We don’t want help. We want to figure it out on our own. Praying for yourself is recognizing we need God’s help in every area of our life.
Here are ten specific prayers you can pray for yourself to strengthen your family.
1 – “Help me lean on Christ through every season of life.”
The Christian journey isn’t about becoming more self-sufficient, but more Christ-sufficient. The gospel is predicated on the idea that we cannot save ourselves. Even after salvation, we should constantly be growing toward more dependence on Jesus.
I must lean on Him in success and failures; joys and sorrows; victories and defeats.
2 – “Help me live today under the influence of your Spirit.”
Remember this important biblical truth: God’s Spirit and my flesh are in direct opposition of one another.
Romans 8:5 says, “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”
I can live under the influence of the Holy Spirit by crucifying daily the desires of my flesh. In order to led my family well, I must tune in to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
3 – “Help me love my wife as Christ loved the Church.”
I have a supernatural calling to love my wife sacrificially and unconditionally. (Ephesians 5:25) Jesus gives us a picture of what this pursuant love looks like when He sacrificially died in our place.
Loving your wife well is a high calling and worthy endeavor.
4 – “Help me lead my kids to love God and love people.”
Jesus said the greatest commandments are to love God (Matthew 22:37) and love people (Matthew 22:39). My goal as a dad isn’t simply to parent my child’s behavior, but to shepherd my child’s heart.
I want my children to love God with everything they’ve got, and love others as they love themselves.
5 – “Help me leverage every opportunity you provide today.”
Paul encourages us to “redeem the time” (Ephesians 5:16). To redeem is to cash in; upgrade; or exchange for something better. Opportunities aren’t elusive, once-in-a-lifetime moments. Rather, they happen every single day.Opportunities aren't elusive, once-in-a-lifetime moments. Rather, they happen every single day. Click To Tweet
We must open our eyes to see the opportunities around us and intentionally think about how we can leverage those opportunities for greater purposes. Kick lazy to the curb and start “making the most of every opportunity.” (NIV)
6 – “Help me leave a legacy that points others to you.”
You don’t have a choice, you will leave a legacy. A legacy is simply how you are remembered by those round you.
Here’s your legacy test questions:
- How will your family remember you after you’re gone?
- Will they see a life that pointed others closer to Christ?
- Will you be remembered for being relationally rich or materially rich?
- Will you be remembered for what you gave or what you took?
- Did you make an impact on the neighbors around you, the people you worked with, or the community you lived in?
7 – “Help me learn something new today.”
I love the quote by Charlie Jones. “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
For dads, being a life-long learner is non-negotiable. We must be students of our wives, our kids, and our work. Don’t expect your current knowledge to carry you through future problems. Commit to life-long learning. Learn from others. Read books. Listen to podcasts.
Place yourself around other men who are just a few steps ahead of you and watch yourself grow forward.
8 – “Help me laugh.
Life is serious, but you don’t have to always take it seriously. King Solomon reminds us there is “a time to laugh.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
With the pressures of work, the demands of responsibility, and the stress of finances, you might feel like laughter is elusive. I will argue that laughter is more necessary! When I feel stressed out, the best medicine is a good laugh.
“A joyful heart is good medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22)
9 – “Help me listen to the needs of those around me.”
It’s so easy to get caught up in our own needs. We have our plans and our schedule and there’s not much room, if any, for interruptions.
However, in every conversation, if you listen closely enough, you will hear someone share a need. It may not be a blatant, “I need prayer,” but you can bet that people are subtly revealing what their needs are.
Pay attention. Ask God to help you pick up on the needs of those around you. When you wife is short with you when you ask a simple question, she’s communicating a need. When your kids are bugging you when you’re trying to watch the game, they’re communicating a need. When your friend keeps texting for no reason, he’s communicating a need.
10 – “Help me lighten my load by casting all my cares upon you.”
If you are serious about praying #9, you’ll need to faithfully pray #10. As men, we are wired by God to long for competition, to boldly face challenges, and courageously lead the fight. You are a super man, but you are not superman!
We have limitations. We cannot be the savior for ourselves or the savior for others. We can only point others to the Savior.
The way we accomplish more is by lightening our load. And that starts with daily casting our cares upon Jesus. He invites us to do so. Don’t needless carry burdens by yourself believing you will one day pull it all together. Recognize your dependence on Jesus by letting Him should the burden.
Remember, praying for your family starts with praying for yourself. A healthy family needs a healthy dad.