By Jaimie Hoskins, Director of Oasis –
1. Purpose of Prayer
Prayer is defined as a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship. It is also described as an earnest hope or wish, according to the Dictionary.
Biblically, prayer is further explained as presenting your requests to God without fear. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”-Philippians 4:6
There is power in prayer because God listens to our prayers. “I will call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.” -Psalm 17:6
2. Benefits of Praying Together
Everyone can lift up prayers at any time to God, calling out to God for salvation, and experience that unique soul saving relationship with God. There is also a special blessing that can come when a family turns to God together and praises His name together. As we are facing these tough economic times, we are seeing more and more families spending time in prayer together to get back to what is really important. As a Biblical Counselor, I have the honor of watching some families who have been counseling with me take the route of praying together and it has been really exciting to watch them flourish into peaceful Godly homes. When a family decides to spend some time in prayer together, it is a great opportunity for the children to learn the goodness of God and how He does answer prayers. It is also a great time for the parents to get refocused on the faith God calls us to have.
3. How to Pray
Just like we all have different personalities and interests, we can all lift up many different kinds of prayers. Praying to God can be asking for help, guidance, or comfort. You can approach prayer just like you would talk to your best friend. When you are praying by yourself maybe in your car on the way to work, you might pray something like this: “God, I want to thank you today for giving me this day to live. Help me to use my time wisely and to be a good example at work, and help me to be a better father to my children by finding something we can do together…Amen.”
There are all sorts of things to pray about and God is always listening. When you pray as a family, I can offer a popular way to do so. We call it a “Pop-corn Prayer”! You can gather everyone in the living room, turn off the T.V. and other loud distractions. You simply pick one member of the family to start the prayer and the one who will end the prayer. Once the prayer is started, then anyone can say a prayer at random and when everyone is finished, then the person designated to end the prayer can end it with a prayer and an Amen! This is just one example of how a family can pray together. You could also have just one person praying for everyone and so forth. The point is to practice the power of prayer and teaching your children this phenomenon that God has given us as a gift to know Him.
4. Impacting SouthWest Florida
Can you imagine what a different world we might live in if every family in SouthWest Florida decided to pray together? When one family prays together, imagine the impact that they can have on hundreds of lives. So why not start today with your family? It may seem a little awkward at first just like most new activities, but it will pay off in the long run. Imagine after you have prayed together as a daily blessing and your children actually remind you of that special prayer time! Then you know they will hopefully go on to teach their children how to pray and the blessings of knowing God continue from generation to generation.
5. Here is prayer from my heart for you:
“God, thank you for this time you have given us to live. Thank you for every man, woman, and child living here in SouthWest Florida. I believe you have a plan and a purpose for every one of our lives. I ask that you call every one of us into a right relationship with you and teach us how to pray. Help us to live rightly in a way that is pleasing to you. Help us to reach out to one another in love and kind deeds. Use us to pray together as families who will live to serve you and honor your name. Thank you for hearing our prayers. Comfort everyone who is hurting right now with your loving arms and provide for us our daily bread. Thank you for the Good News of the salvation you freely give to those of us who ask you and accept it in faith. Amen.”
As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!