Please forgive me in advance for so many personal references in today’s meditation. I want to share one way to approach daily family prayer. I try to pray every morning for my family. I include my wife, our children and grandchildren, parents, in-laws and myself. I also focus on four specific categories of familial need that in my view are very important for my family. And I suspect for all families in the community of faith.
Redemption is the first thing I pray for: no matter how good our family seems to be doing, it is unbearable for me to think that any of our family members will pass through life, without being or eventually being, in right relationship with God. This is so critical. Jesus reminded us, for what shall it profit a man (a person) if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul.
The way of redemption is pretty clear, it is by, and through faith. The process by which we get to faith is mostly a connected patchwork of events coupled with a timely invitation from the Holy Spirit. This is too much for us to figure out on our own. As I pray for familial redemption, it is certain to me that this is God’s business and way beyond my jurisdiction and control. Outside of the hope of being a fairly good example on balance, prayer is what I have to work with!
Health and safety is number two: It is simply not realistic to expect an exemption from all the maladies and unexpected physical and psychological setbacks in life. Unfortunately, life is unpredictable and replete with unexpected challenges and outcomes. I can, and our family can make good lifestyle decisions, increasing the probabilities of physical and mental wellness. Nevertheless, in the end much of this is out of our control. Prayer is what we have.
Good relationships is the third daily request for my family: It is so crucial to find supportive people who believe in us and recognize our accomplishments without envy or jealousy: the right friends, colleagues, teachers, and even more importantly the right spouse. Those who are willing to help us to succeed and not undermine or sabotage what we are trying to accomplish in life, not even a little bit. As a parent, once the kids are out in the world and on their own it is virtually impossible to manage or control who they rub shoulders with, nor should we. This is a really good reason why we need to pray for them, even when they live independently.
Finally, praying daily for familial financial need is absolutely okay to do. If we expect to help ourselves, the people we love, and the disadvantage in our world we need to have something to give. Jesus instructs us to pray for financial need in the Lord’s Prayer, give us this day our daily bread. Although, it is geographically specific, in our culture these daily needs could be the financial resources for healthier foods, comfortable living arrangements, educational expenses, funds set aside for vacations to be rejuvenated, a rainy day savings account, a reasonable retirement fund or any number of things that optimize our lives in constructive and sensible ways. Of course we have to be careful, the Scriptures support praying for our needs verses our wants. When we pray within this guideline we can expect God’s help.
Joseph C. Hutchison
Rochester Hills, Michigan
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