Devotional

A major motion picture about prayer. Your sister starring in that movie. Neither of these things is what I would call normal. Seeing my sister, Priscilla, in War Room left me speechless, and you better believe I was praying for her and for the people watching her. But this got me thinking. Do I pray for my sister in the normal times too?   During The 28-Day Prayer challenge, we’re going to be praying for our families on Fridays. Just like some families and restaurants have Taco Tuesdays, Fridays are going to be Faith, Friends, and Family Fridays!   Sometimes we’ll notice that we’re praying for ourselves, but we’ve been slow to pray for others— especially those who are familiar to us, those whom we see every day and whose lives seem to be going fine.   If my sister is starring in a movie, am I praying for her? Sure. But if my sister is sitting behind the wheel taking her kids to baseball practice, am I praying for her then? Does the normal in my life converge with the normal of my lips? Because there doesn’t have to be a special crisis to force us into our prayer closets and motivate us to go to war for our lives and for the lives of others.   Prayer offers to God the stuff of our everyday lives. People are the stuff of our everyday lives! And those two should converge regularly.   This is the discipline of prayer. Your prayers, even the ones for everyday concerns and everyday people, matter. What normal people or circumstances do you want to bring to the Most High God?   He wants to hear about your normal.   Make it a point to pray about your normal every day.   And be sure to include your family members.     PRAYER PROMPT God, today I pray for the family member whom you’ve laid on my heart: ________________ .     AFTERNOON REFLECTION   To win the fight, you have to have the right strategy and the right resources, because victories don’t come by accident. — From War Room   Where does your family member need victory in his or her life? Have you been praying about it? Start praying or keep praying about it here.     PRAYER PROMPT Dear God, my _________ (relative) needs victory in ______________ .     Your prayers, even the normal everyday ones, matter. In order to be victorious, you must recognize that Satan is a thief who comes to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10) and that he works nonstop to disable, discourage, and defeat believers every minute of every day.   You must realize that if he has a bold strategy to overpower you, you should use your fervent prayers as a bold, strategic weapon to overcome and have the victory through Christ Jesus. Be a fierce warrior by fighting for your family in prayer.     EVENING INSPIRATION   What audiences learned from War Room is that prayer changes things. Do you believe it?   My middle son suffered a birth injury following a difficult birth. I was as devastated as any young mother would be that her son has a physical challenge. I took my son to the altar at church every Sunday for seven Sundays in a row, begging God to heal and to make a miracle out of this son. While my boy still has residual effects of that injury, because of the injury he has developed a perseverant spirit, and there is nothing that he wants to do that he cannot. While all of my children give me joy, I know all of the things the doctors said my son would not be able to do, and I’ve seen God answer my prayers over and over again that my son would accomplish over and above what medical science expected of him.   Tonight, I encourage you to be systematic in praying for your family. (That’s just a fancy way of saying, “Don’t leave anyone out!”) A great way to do that is to mentally picture your family tree.   Pray for your maternal and paternal grandparents, if you know them. Pray for your mother, your father, and any other adult who helped to raise you. Pray for aunts, uncles, and cousins. Pray for any siblings you have, and if they have spouses and kids, pray for them. Pray for your spouse, if you’re married. Pray for your future spouse, if you desire to be married. Pray for your children, if you have them. Pray for your children’s children, if you’ve got grandbabies!   If praying through your whole family tree tonight feels overwhelming, I get that. Consider asking God to lay one person on your heart this evening, and continue to pray for that person throughout the weekend. Maybe write her name someplace you’ll notice it or make his picture the background on your phone.   Throughout my book, The 28-Day Prayer Journey, we’ll have Friends and Family Fridays by choosing one person to pray for on Fridays. [And in the companion study, we go even deeper to learn about intercessory prayer.]   How are you feeling about the prayers you’re offering to God in this prayer journey? Sometimes we can be fooled into thinking that our prayers depend on finding the right words or having more faith than other people. But those are lies of the enemy. Are you praying based on who God is and what He can do? Or are you limiting your prayers based on what you can see or what you can make happen on your own?   If you are limiting your prayers, don’t. God is who He says He is.

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