April 2, 2020 | From IFA Staff
Family is a foundational—one of the three institutions God set up, as the Bible tells us. It is important to Him. It is also a critical and valuable part of any society.
As our nation has endured attacks on the family through the legalization of same-sex marriages and many challenges to parental rights with our children, is this quarantine an opportunity to further shake the family? How is COVID-19 affecting families on a practical level? How can we as the body of Christ intercede for families and marriages at this time?
Here are a few areas we felt led to pray about as it pertains to uplifting families in prayer:
- IRRITATION AND TENSION
An abundance of time together can be stressful. With diminished personal space in our homes, and working and living all together in the same home, we can be easily irritated. Irritability brings arguments, unkind words, tension, and anger.
INSTEAD, PRAY FOR GRACE IN OUR HOMES
2 Cor 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
James 4:6: But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
- FINANCES CAUSE STRESS
Concern about the future of our jobs, savings, investments, retirement accounts, and our finances, in general, brings great stress to families. Many Americans are being furloughed, hours reduced, unable to work. This stress and the uncertainty of the future can bring a spirit of lack and poverty into our homes.
INSTEAD, PRAY GOD WOULD PROVIDE AND WE WOULD TRUST HIM.
Phil 4:19: And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Even temporary depression can creep in as we face uncertain futures. Depression can cause us to have a false grim view of reality, feel hopeless and weighted down, and even affect how we deal with others. Depression can even keep us from wanting to read our Bible and pray.
PRAY THAT A SPIRIT OF DEPRESSION AND DESPAIR WOULD BE BROKEN AND INSTEAD, A SPIRIT OF JOY WOULD TAKE ITS PLACE.
Romans 12: 12: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Philippians 4:4: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Fear is all around us right now. Our news is filled with it. We are struggling with it ourselves. Our kids are feeling it. With life interrupted on an unprecedented scale, so many people are fearful–not only of the virus itself but of the effect this is having on their lives and our nation.
INSTEAD, PRAY TO TAKE OFF THE YOKE OF FEAR and REPLACE IT WITH THE SPIRIT OF PEACE, AND CONFIDENCE IN CHRIST.
This is something we need to be very deliberate about, and actively remove the yoke of fear on a daily basis.
John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
1 Peter 5:7: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Philippians 4: 6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
How do we practically pray these prayers? It is as simple as renouncing the spirit that is currently affecting us, and asking God for the provision His word tells us about. Like this: “In the name of Jesus I renounce the spirit of fear in my life. God, Your word says that I should not be anxious about anything, but that I should pray, be thankful, and present my needs to the Lord. I ask You, Lord to give me a spirit of peace in my life. You are the source of peace, Father, and I ask You for that peace that passes understanding.”
Another way to keep these harmful thought patterns and attitudes into our lives and our homes is to proclaim the word of God in our houses. Worship music is a great way to do that! When we soak our homes in worship and prayer, we are making an inhospitable place for the enemy to reside. Use this extra time at home to dig in deep to a bible study, extra time in the word, or listen to a teaching. IFApray has some great devotionals and teachings available to you for free on our website. Personal connection is important at this time. (Yes, even introverts need personal connection, lol.) Take time to FaceTime or video chat a friend. Pray together. Ask how others are doing. We are in this together–we need each other.
We’d love to hear from you–share how you are working to overcome the “new normal” we find ourselves in at this moment. How has God directed you to pray at this time? What would you say to encourage others who are struggling with these issues in their families? SHARE BELOW!