Prayer Focus: Families

As this week marks the beginning of a “new year,” (as students are heading back to school and we’re all settling in to our fall routines), we are taking time to focus our prayers.

Today’s pray focus is for our families.

The Bible uses the picture of a family frequently to portray the type of relationship that fellow followers of God should have with each other. So if satan can escalate divorce rates, and cause friction between parents and children, and create tension between siblings, the family doesn’t look so appealing any longer. As a result, it’s hard for people to feel like the family of God is something that they would enjoy being a part of.

But I believe that prayer can combat—and reverse—the alarming trends of divorce, estrangement, abandonment, and tension!

Charles Spurgeon said,

Let us set apart special seasons for extraordinary prayer. For if this fire should be smothered beneath the ashes of a worldly conformity, it will dim the fire on the family altar, and lessen our influence both in the Church and in the world. 

Even modern-day sociologist Paul Amato found “that if divorce rates and other family disruptions today were as low as they were fifty years ago, we would have 70,000 fewer suicides, 500,000 fewer acts of teen delinquency, 600,000 fewer children receiving therapy, and 750,000 fewer children repeating a grade.” What a compelling reason for us to pray for our families!

Billy Graham noted: “When brothers and sisters in Christ unite in the common bond of the Word of God and prayer, they are strengthened in their faith and witness.”

The Bible tells us the dangers of a divided home (Proverbs 21:19; Matthew 12:25). On the other side, we see the Bible talk frequently about entire households coming to the Lord together (see John 4:53; Acts 11:13-14; Acts 16:14-15; Acts 18:8), and how much joy there is when everyone serves God together (Proverbs 23:24; Psalm 133:1; 3 John 4).

Please pray with us throughout the day for our families. And if you can join us tonight, the church will be open for prayer from 5:30-6:30pm.

UPDATE: You can download the PowerPoint of our prayer points for today by clicking here → Week of prayer – families

Thursdays With Oswald—Don’t Love People Too Highly

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Don’t Love People Too Highly

     The natural man does not like God’s commands; he will not have them, he covers them over and ignores them. Jesus said the first commandment is: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” Men put the second commandment first: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” The great cry today is “love for mankind.” The cry of Jesus is “love for God first,” and this love, the highest love, the supreme, passionate devotion of the life, springs from the inner center. 

From Biblical Psychology 

I can only love my wife as I understand how Jesus loves me.

I can only love my kids as I understand how my Heavenly Father loves me.

I can only learn to love my friends as I learn how the Holy Spirit reveals God’s love to me.

If I want to love others better, I must learn to love God more fully: with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, all my strength.

Don’t try to love people more than you love God, because it cannot be done.

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