2.3 Study Guide: Praying for Your Family

Accompanying Video Lesson:

Filled with love of God, we ask of God the life-giving answers only He can give – not only for ourselves, but especially for all those He is calling us to love.

So, ASK!

Passionately, patiently, respectfully, persistently, regularly…

“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10 NLT

ASK!

A – asking from the heart

S – seeking His will

K – knocking at whatever door presents itself


Lesson 3: Praying for Your Family

It is so important to bring our family to the Lord.

We must not hinder them!

Mark 10:13-16


Your relationship circles give you your intercession priorities…

Jesus’ relationship circles and the spread of the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 12:49-50

Your relationship circles give you your intercession priorities.

Your prayer relationships call for your love, time and energy, from God on out to those “defining moments” in the lives of our family, friends, community, and beyond.

Intercession”

To intercede is to plead or mediate on behalf of another person – with persistence (The English word is derived from Latin intercedo, “to come between.”) 1 Timothy 2:1-5

  • When Christians intercede, with Christ in our hearts and leading the way, we align our “come between” ministry with that of Jesus. [1]
  • Intercession is perfectly realized in our High Priest, Jesus Christ, and raised up in our hearts by the love of God poured into us by the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 4:14-16; 7:23-28
  • When we come in (with) Jesus Christ to the Throne of Grace, intercession becomes a labor of love made acceptable to God by His perfect sacrifice of mercy for us and inspired by His awesome power and glory.

Christ’s intercession is the continual application of his death to our salvation. John Calvin

Intercession is about LOVING others.

Intercession is about “loving others as ourselves,” because it requires a sacrifice of our own interest. Motivated by love, intercession changes from a chore to a joy!

Four characteristics of love-filled intercession in partnership with Christ (“in” or “with” Christ):

  1. FAITH — reliance upon God that trusts Him to act for the absolute best (Genesis 24:10-14; Ephesians 5:15-33
  2. EMPATHY – the ability to relate to another person’s experience vicariously, as if one has experienced that same thing themselves. (Isaiah 53:4 (cf. Matthew 8:17), 53:11-12, Ezekiel 22:29-31, Galatians 6:1-2, 1 Peter 2:23-25) Empathy is not only feeling sympathy but is also compassion, a compelling inner need (or burden) to personally enter that experience and substitute ourselves for the one for whose benefit we pray. (Galatians 6:1-2; Isaiah 53:12; Romans 8:26-34)
  3. CONFIDENCE – Hope-filled, passionate conviction that God is trustworthy and will act to fulfill His promises. Please see the “2.2 Study Guide – Praying for Yourself” for a summary of where fervency of love and confidence arises from: https://breathingbygrace.blog/2020/09/19/2-2-study-guide-praying-for-yourself/.
  4. PERSISTENCE – “going the distance” for a person until God moves; “standing firm in the strength of the Lord” against, through and beyond the obstacles posed by spiritual darkness. (Ephesians 6:1-4, 10-20; 1 Peter 3:7; 5:10-11)

Go Again

Pray the blessing

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The LORD bless you and keep you;the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.“So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27 (ESV)


Video referenced in the teaching:

THE BLESSING in Hebrew! HA BRACHA הברכה – Joshua Aaron and his son Max

[English Version of THE BLESSING (Symphonic Version) – Passion City Church]


Suggested Response to Teaching


1. Read the blog posted for this lesson and complete at least one of any activities listed there.


2. Writing Activity: Making your intercession for family more intentional

View. Watch the following Hudson Valley School of Prayer video on applying intercession to family relationships: INTERCESSION APPLIED TO FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Consider. Select a category from the following list of seven common family relationship challenges that captured your heart recently:

  1. Children
  2. Marriage
  3. Conflict[2]
  4. Illness
  5. Bereavement
  6. Culture clash in values
  7. Christian vs. Non-Christian beliefs

Journal. Write a prayer of intercession for the one your concerned about in that category that…

  • States your faith in God
  • Shows your empathy
  • Expresses your confidence that an answer is forthcoming
  • Indicates your commitment to be persistent – “standing firm in the Lord”

Question. Use the following questions to thoughtfully craft your prayer with the four characteristics of love-filled intercession in partnership with Christ:

RE Faith — reliance upon God that trusts Him to act for the absolute best

  • What am I asking of God? Will it glorify Him?
  • What words do I choose to express submission and surrender to whatever He decides to give into the situation?

RE Empathy – the ability to relate to another person’s experience vicariously.

  • Am I interceding for another, having begun to understand what that one is going through and probably feeling?
  • Can I picture how Jesus is bearing their burden?
  • What words do I use to help bear that burden?

RE Confidence – Hope-filled, passionate conviction that God is trustworthy and will act to fulfill His promises.

  • How is my love for God and His glory reflected in my prayer?
  • What is it there can be no doubt about regarding God’s attitude and plan for them?
  • What am I praying that reflects God’s heart and will for them? (-> Scriptures)

RE Persistence — going the distance for a person until God moves; standing firm in the strength of the Lord against, through and beyond the obstacles posed by spiritual darkness.

  • What am I willing to sacrifice in order intercede for another?
  • What doors are opening because of my intercession?
  • What further of God should I ask because of this?
  • What actions might God be asking of me in order to put feet to my intercession?

Additional Resources.

  • If you’ve seen WAR ROOM and heard Miss Clara’s prayer at the end, you know there’s power when we pray to God—the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives and in our world. Need a reminder? War Room: Prayer Scene

Please share your thoughts and experiences. 

Please let the David and Julia Ewert know when you have completed an activity (davidandjulia.ewert@gmail.com), and what you found meaningful in the exercise. When inspired to do so, compose a prayer to share with the school that we can publish online with the blog. It can be in any form you choose (prose, poetry, music, picture, psalm, etc.)


[1] “Intercession” is a video about “standing in the gap” – Eric Ludy, Ellerslie Discipleship Training

[2] Note: Family members are in a sacred, covenant relationship of love and friendship with the Lord. As such, they are allies, not enemies. Allies welcome conflict as an opportunity to grow and to see God’s glory displayed, not to make an excuse for grabbing the upper hand or giving up and running away. Cf. 1 Peter 3:7-12

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