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Strategy 4: Your Family (pages 71-92)

“As much as the Father loves and embodies unity, your enemy loves and embodies division.” (Fervent, page 78)

Prayer Strategy 4 is about family and when it comes to praying for my family, it can feel like I’m navigating some tricky waters. It’s the place I’ve seen God move mountains that render me speechless. The place I’ve witnessed God show Himself so mighty, it gives me the strength to keep going in the hardest of times. However, it’s also the place I’ve been hit the hardest by satan. Nasty, below-the-belt hits. Worst-fears-come-true hits.

I am a prayer warrior and to be even more specific, a prayer strategist. Praying is like breathing to me. But there’s a hard truth that’s tough to share with anyone. The place I lose heart, wonder if things will ever truly change, and grow weary of praying, is with those closest to me. The ones I love the most. Those in my very own family.

Prayer Strategy 4 was like opening my eyes and finding out I’m not alone. Satan targets all of us. He wants nothing more then to divide our homes. The reminder of just how much the enemy hates what marriage stands for, and how he will stop at nothing to cause conflict in a family, served as a wake-up call for this battle-weary girl.

Priscilla writes of the enemy, “He’s the one who’s most invested in sending each of you out the door every day vulnerable and susceptible to temptation, needy for the unconditional love and acceptance you’re supposed to be giving and receiving from each other” (page 77).  That gives me shivers.

Doesn’t so much of what’s been happening in our lives and our family’s lives start to make more sense after reading Prayer Strategy 4? I’m committed to changing the battlefield, as Priscilla urges, from the living room to the prayer room, and fighting back with every spiritual weapon that God has given us. How about you?

What’s Next

For Monday, read Strategy 5: Your Past (pages 93-104)

Subscribe to this week’s live Blab chat or watch here!

Discuss

Print as many of our prayer cards as you need to write down the prayers and promises you want to claim over your family. Share with us how creating and keeping these strategies has been changing how you pray — or share just the first name of someone in your family you’d like us, as a community of believers, to pray for this week in faith, with you.

christinewright Christine is the least likely prayer warrior, whose knees knock when she’s asked to pray out loud. She writes for GodsizedDreams.com and christianwomensvoice.org. Christine can also be found helping to facilitate monthly revivalprayerconnection.com gatherings.

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  • http://www.bethcoulton.com Beth

    Wow – I loved this post. This speaks exactly to where I am today. I have recently realized that my “battle” is praying for my family – those are the prayers that drop me to my knees right darn quick and have me crying out to God. Like you, I’ve seen God do astounding things in my loved ones’ lives of late, but there is still so much ground I’d like Him to cover! When you called yourself a “battle-weary girl”, that jumped out at me as just last weekend I was telling God that I was exactly that – weary. There’s been some interesting changes this week, and I wait in anxious expectation of what He will continue to do, as I continue to fight in prayer for us by bringing those closest to me to the foot of the cross.

    • http://www.livingjoel225.com/ Christine Wright

      Oh Beth, I hear you. I wish we could take turns holding each other’s weary arms up, as the battle rages…although with this book study, we can do it virtually at least. :) So glad to hear about the interesting changes in your family…something is surely happening! We will keep taking everything to Jesus and making sure we battle in the only truly effective way!

  • Amy

    Oh, this strategy hit so, so close to home! I haven’t given enough thought to how much of a threat a strong, Christian family is to the Devil. And then I think of all that has happened in my family and I see it so clearly. What tears me up the most is that I had reached the point where I was no longer sad or angry but just accepting. I’d given up. And I see the Devil rejoicing in that. Now I want nothing more than to fight with all my strength against this strategy. One thing that also stood out for me was the idea of praying so specifically for each family member. I admit I’ve gotten into the habit of lumping everyone together in prayer. When I prayed for each member individually, I felt such a change in how I saw the power of my prayers and how I felt toward each person. This was such a powerful reading for me.

    • Stephanie Ravencraft

      Amy, I am in the same boat as you and this chapter on family was God’s gift to me right now to pray specifically for each one of my children. And to include their wives and fiancé. I would love to have additional prayers for Morgan, Katey, Matthew, Sarah, Ashley and Jason.

      • Amy

        Praying!

        • Stephanie Ravencraft

          Thank you and God bless you and your family.

      • http://www.livingjoel225.com/ Christine Wright

        Praying for them!

        • Stephanie Ravencraft

          Thank you and God bless you and yours.

  • Adora

    Pls pray for my brothers Emeka,Onyeka and Chigozie. Tnx

    • Beth Williams

      Adora,
      Prayers for your brothers! May God bring about a heart change in them and open their eyes to His amazing love for them!!

    • http://www.livingjoel225.com/ Christine Wright

      Praying for your brothers.

    • kristy

      Praying!

  • Marla L.

    I love, love this book. I’m just not able to keep up with the readings!!(Behind a lot!!).

    • http://www.livingjoel225.com/ Christine Wright

      Hey Marla! I’ve noticed sometimes I’m behind on a reading, but then it turns out I was meant to read it on another day. It’s as if God was saving that page or chapter for me to read when He knew I’d really need it and it would make the most sense to me. :) praying for pockets of time for you to read and enjoy this great book (and for God’s perfect timing!!)!

  • Denise

    Please pray for my soon to be 19 year old granddaughter, Krystal. The enemy has her in His grip but she is God’s precious daughter!

    • Beth Williams

      Denise,
      Prayers for God to do a heart change in your granddaughter! May He open her eyes to all the love, grace & mercy He has for her! May He release the enemies grip on her and bring her back to Him!!
      Blessings :)

      • Holly Poe

        Praying for God to touch her heart, let her remember whose daughter she is, that God will touch her heart and cause her to seek Him first and with all of her heart.

        • http://www.livingjoel225.com/ Christine Wright

          Praying in agreement!!

    • kristy

      Praying for her. My sister is in a similar spot. Her name is kari.

  • Beth Williams

    Christine,
    “Praying for family can feel like I’m navigating some tricky waters.” That statement hit the nail for me!! The last couple of years have been “stressful” for me as I deal with aging dad. This year was the worst with a major medical issue. I prayed for God to deliver us from the trial. He did so in an amazing way! My dad is back to “his normal”!! Such an amazing transformation! During the trial it felt like treading waters! Had me in tears to God for answers!
    Blessings :)

    • http://www.livingjoel225.com/ Christine Wright

      Wow, Beth!! How God answered those hard prayers! And now such a testimony you (and maybe he?) can share with others!! Celebrating this answered prayer with you!!

  • Holly Poe

    This is perfect – this is where the enemy is hitting me hard and steady. My youngest daughter, Christian – age 21, has been through a very difficult experience, to say the least – that resulted in the suicide of my husband, her step-father, 7 years ago (one of God’s blessings in disguise, to quote Laura Story). She and I were close, as close as mother/daughter could be, until she left for college in 2013. She became more and more distant and angry with me as I continued to encourage her to seek counseling for what was done to her. Now, she has written me out of her life. Has little to do with me until she needs something. I love her to the moon and back and this has put me on my knees, daily. Now, I know that she’s not fighting me, the enemy is using her anger and pain to destroy our little family. NO MORE! I’m armed and ready! Please pray for us that God will allow Christian to see what’s truly going on and that our relationship will be restored. Thank you so much.

    • http://www.livingjoel225.com/ Christine Wright

      Holly, I am praying Acts 26:18 for Christian!!

  • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

    I loved our time together on chatting on Blab. And I love your post and beautiful heart. <3

    • http://www.livingjoel225.com/ Christine Wright

      Hey, Florida friend! :) That was a fun chat! Thanks for helping this Blab newbie not feel so out of place! :)

  • Rebecca Jones

    I think family is the hardest to pray for and reach out to. And so many of us didn’t considers ourselves ” Prayer Warriors ” but damsels in distress. Thank God for opening our eyes that we are both and Jesus is the dragon slayer.

    • http://www.livingjoel225.com/ Christine Wright

      YES YES YES. A million times yes!!

  • JeanneTakenaka

    Such a great post! This chapter gave me specific verses to pray for my children and some of the worldly behaviors they’re struggling with. And of course, praying for my husband.

    Too often we (I) undervalue the power of prayer for my family I’m so close to them, I grow weary praying the same thing. This chapter challenged me to step up and determine to pray more of God’s word over my family.

  • http://www.undergraceandovercoffee.com Andrea Mitchell

    This morning as I was finishing off this chapter, a light bulb came on over my head. Of course the fighting and bickering and just general chaos (over and above the chaos having four kids creates!) are the enemy’s tactics. Last night I was battling with a migraine after a tough day and my boys were driving me crazy with their fighting. I didn’t handle it well. This morning they started up again, and I remembered to stop, pray, and then respond rather than react. I dealt much better with them afterwards and we all went on to continue our mornings in a much better mood. Now to remember to do that every time!

    Also, Christine, I so appreciated today when you shared on the live chat how you struggle with this. I felt like shouting out “me, too.” It makes such a difference to know we aren’t alone in this, that we can all struggle together. In fact, maybe that’s better anyway, because when we know where each other’s weakness are, we can pray alongside one another and find even more victory.

    • http://www.livingjoel225.com/ Christine Wright

      Absolutely!! You are right, it is better for that very reason!! The enemy would love for us to think we are all alone in whatever we’re struggling with. It is such a blessing to have sisters here to share and pray with!

      And how awesome that you stopped and prayed before reacting this morning! (Mornings are HARD!)

  • Peggy

    {sorry, but my comment is not specifically about this wonderful post on the “family” written by Christine, nor directed to just her, nor on this chapter in Priscilla’s fantastic book}

    I have seen this asked frequently in the comments and in the chats (and since I don’t do the other social media like Facebook, I imagine it’s asked there as well) but I have not seen it addressed or answered yet. Maybe I missed it so I’d like to encourage (in) courage (which does not necessarily mean Crystal alone) do a specific post on this PLEASE! before we get any further in these “strategies” and this book.

    ***Can someone (anyone) give us an example of our strategy against satan’s schemes? on any of the areas: Focus, Identity, Family or the previous ones.

    What I really need is to see a written way to strategize which I understand is with the Word and I do appreciate having all the Scriptures to battle in these areas (so don’t get me wrong) some of us just need a real example to show us or confirm what we think is our strategy IS indeed … Strategy is defined as “a plan of action … designed to achieve a major or overall aim”! … as in war tactics or even a game of strategy. We know who our enemy is, we know that the Word is our sword against the enemy as is our praise.

    I feel we need an example, and I know we most of us struggle with this. I am by far not an expert in games but I think chess or even checkers (games most of us are familiar with) are games of strategies. The more you have the better your plan to win. Of course, in our spiritual life (it is no game) and the victory has already been won by Jesus Christ. Yet I think the entire purpose of Priscilla’s book is to show that we need to be active in our prayer warfare. So back to checkers (‘cuz that’s the easiest one) … each step is to jump more of your opponent’s pieces (and capture them as in chess) the strategy is our moves to get those pieces.

    Now let’s take “family” today’s strategy … we need a plan, an example of a move against the enemy when for example one of our kid’s are bullied … so we grab a scripture to take a stand. Let’s formulate a strategy of what or how to put into action our prayer plan and not allow our kids to be “pawns” in the enemy’s hands. Or let’s do this for our marriages, as when we discover one spouse is being unfaithful … the strategy is the plan of action (which may not be run to divorce courts) but work this through counseling, praying, etc. Or a person in a relationship that is verbally abusive … Or a single’s strategy for a God given mate … I need some concrete idea of a strategy. I do pray God’s Word as a prayer tactic. So I get this.

    Somehow I’m missing this in the book and our discussion here. My eyes are being opened by the schemes but not how we counter these attacks. I realize that Jesus Himself gives us example of this (Matt. 4:1-11) the use of God’s Word and declaring these out loud, being able to use God’s Word against satan is a mark of spiritual maturity and responding to temptation, etc. with our sword drawn and ready (with memorization of scripture is a means) …

    No way am I complaining or criticizing because this is an exceptional book and community!!! Honest, encouraging and real to the core! I love (in) courage, Crystal and all the contributors. But if, like the movie, I just complain, that brings curses not blessings – Miss Claire points out to Elizabeth (Priscilla) that the enemy is not her husband but the enemy, and if she wants healing in their marriage, their relationship, etc. just complaining won’t bring that. {If this has been answered somewhere, just direct me there} thanks so much!

    Many blessings and much thanks (dare I sign my name?)
    ~Peggy

    • http://www.livingjoel225.com/ Christine Wright

      Hey Peggy! Thanks for posting your question!! I’m not sure if this answer will help, but I can try. So my prayer strategy for all of those situations would be to simply pray first. By prayer…for me that might mean opening my Bible and praying “through” verses, or it could mean sitting on the floor (of my closet!) in tears, sobbing my heart out to God in my own words (about the crisis). It could mean writing out my prayers in a journal. Or singing/praying while in my car (yes, I sure people think i’m nuts). But basically it’s deliberately taking it all to Him…the only One who can truly help…and then waiting for God to “tell” me what the next step is. Rather than my deciding what the plan is!! (Sounds much easier than it is at times!) Moms in Prayer is a wonderful resource for prayer btw…and helped me really grow comfortable praying through Scripture. (I know you said you get that, Peggy, but for anyone who doesn’t. :) )

      I’m not sure that helped all that much?? Let me know…

      • Peggy

        Thank you Christine.

        You did take this a step further so “bravo” but as you mentioned in Blab, of a situation that (in our flesh) the mother lioness in us wants to fix it, do it on our own, react …often we fail to hit the “pause” button and pray (seek Scripture) or realize that it’s not the family member or the harm being done to them or by them but outside people (influence of the enemy or the enemy using them or the situation to get to us) and from inside rises up our own “beast” that reacts rather than rest in the Promises of God.

        I think this does help me understand that in each of these battles we must take it to Him not to others, or even the ones affected or influenced and that is our plan of action. To go to our “war room” and have it out with God, come up with a plan of action, attack the enemy and command him to get out and then claim or fill that place with God’s goodness. {I’m way past the age of “Moms in Prayer” but as an adoptive mom of grown kids with plenty of problems with their relations and families … I still am on my knees praying like a mom, grandma, concerned sister in Christ … thank you! And thank you for taking back God’s territory in FLA with your Prayer Revival movement (may it catch fire and spread to all our states, nations and world (as the Secret Church) so we can stand against the enemy!

        Praise God and Glory!!! Blessings to all for a wonderful weekend! ~ Peggy

        • Christine Wright

          Peggy, would you believe I needed to read the words in your response at this very moment!! It was like God hand-crafted your words into the reminder I needed, just as I was thinking, “Oh, here’s how I’m handling this “situation” that has presented itself.” WITHOUT PRAYING ABOUT IT FIRST!! :( Sigh…you saved me from yet another trip around the same mountain! Amazing how God works.

          And we are so believing for a revival in Tallahassee, in Florida and this country!! Thank you for your kind words!

          • Peggy

            Amen! and ONLY GOD … perfect timing …always … Praise God!

            {so glad that you averted another trip around that same mountain, I blogged about “mountains” over the weekend so God heard and helped you in return … HE IS SO aMAZING!!! :) Oh Christine – doing the happy dance just for REVIVAL and this response! ~Peggy

          • Christine Wright

            Whaaaaat??? Peggy, that is just so incredible abt your blog post!!! I love how God does these things!!! Yes, He is amazing!!! :)

          • Peggy

            So GOD!!! and my Gateway Devotion “It is Written” was “Driving Out the Enemy” … followed by “Casting Your Cares” … and today the “Deceitfulness of Riches” tomorrow “Created for Passion” and later “ready for Battle” still this week. So no reason for us to struggle with a battle going around those same mountains … after all God makes mountains into molehills!!! Hallelujah! He is INCREDIBLE! Yahweh, Lord God all Powerful walks over the mountains of the earth (Amos 4:13) :) I love these God-incidences always! Have a victorious week!

  • Jodi Koepke

    I have definitely struggled praying for my family. Since watching War Room I had already started with written prayers for them but reading this chapter was like sharpening the sword of my prayers as it were. I think it is a chapter I will need to come back and read or listen to often. I went to the prayers I already had and beefed them up. The change I’ve noticed most so far is my own attitude and perspective.

    • http://www.livingjoel225.com/ Christine Wright

      Love how prayer can change our own attitudes and perspectives!! :)

      • Peggy

        Amen! Just glanced up to this reply of yours and it was just what I needed to not get or be weary … to remember … we do not fight against flesh but against principalities … and so I love how praying CHANGES our own attitude and perspective. Very profound Christine! :)

        • Peggy

          Oh, I should have scrolled up further because that actually came from Jodi! So thanks Jodi!

  • Peggy

    Christine, I so identify with “battle-weary girl” (whoa) and I’m committed with you to “changing the battlefield. I loved this post and the blab chat!!!

    I came across this prayer frequently prayed in my prayer journal {not mine, but one from a book I have back home by the Kendrick brothers “The Battle Plan..”} for Family so I wanted to share it:

    “Lord, I bring my family before You today – their needs, their struggles, their goals, their concerns, their present, their future. These loved ones of mine are actually Yours, Lord and You have graciously shared them with me. Help me best express my gratitude to You by never failing to pray for them, to seek Your will for them, and ask for Your wisdom as I relate in love and loyalty toward them. Give me discernment as to their physical and spiritual needs in each season, and help me faithfully lift them up to You in faith, love, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. May many generations be blessed because of my prayers. In Jesus’ name I pray …”

    My person to pray for is Sam (salvation, healing) continually for decades now … thank you. Standing with you all for your families and prayer needs. ~Peggy (yeah, the same one with the lengthy comment)

    • http://www.livingjoel225.com/ Christine Wright

      Thank you for sharing that powerful prayer!! Praying Acts 26:18 for Sam…

      • Peggy

        Thank you Christine!

  • Paula Wingler Cordero

    Sometimes I am so blown away by the ways that God answers prayers. I bought the book Frevent shortly after seeing War Room but didn’t get any farther than the 1st strategy. I’ve desired to make prayer more of a priority in my daily life, as well as spending more time in God’s word. I recently discovered bible journaling and wasn’t sure where to start. I sat down a couple of weeks ago and started reading Fervent again. While praying about regaining my passion it became evident that this book was where God wanted me to start bible journaling. My bible I ordered even came in the mail later that day, earlier than expected! I just read strategy 5 yesterday and starting to feel the attacks of Satan really strong the past 24 hours. I was scrolling through Facebook earlier and saw a post on a journaling page asking for book recommendations so I started reading the comments and came across one that listed Fervent, along with a link to this study and video. I am in constant prayer for getting my passion back and finding this has helped! As I have read so far and as well as what you all have shared, I feel like this book was written just for me! Thank you for this book club study!

    • http://www.livingjoel225.com/ Christine Wright

      I want to do a happy dance after reading your comment!! Isn’t God just amazing??? And even how He brought you your new journaling Bible early…on the same day you decided to start journaling through Fervent!!! I’m just stunned how He lines so many things up like that!! Can’t wait to hear how He is speaking to you through this special time!!! (I wonder if I could have fit in a few more exclamation points? Can you tell I’m excited??)

  • Graham

    I know that God hears & answers prayers. So, I’m asking for prayers for my husband & mom. For my husband: that he will be the man that God is calling him to be. For my mom: healing of her mind & body. Thanks!

    • http://www.livingjoel225.com/ Christine Wright

      He does indeed! Praying now, Graham.

      • Graham

        Thank you. May God Bless & keep you always!

  • Sarah Jo Burch

    This chapter really hit me today. My husband took the day off, after a long season of stress and busyness at his job, and we even though we should have been happy and relieved, we were both inclined to being “tiffy” all day. I kept dragging myself back to the prayer strategy I wrote earlier this week while looking over my to-do list, especially a paraphrase of Romans 14:19 (Lord, help me to pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of Adam, and of Brooklyn and Tobin, in my interactions with them.)

    • Christine Wright

      Praying in agreement!!

  • kristy

    This is one of my favorite chapters and posts. Right now, I am specifically praying for my husband to receive healing for his physical conditions and his emotional hurts. I’m praying God restores and revives him and raises him up out of the ashes. I’m praying for this fervently every day. His name is Scott. Please pray with me too.

    • Christine Wright

      Of course, Kristy. Thank You, Lord that You restore. No one, and no situation is too far gone for You to heal. You can bring the dead to life!! We pray for Scott and for his healing and restoration. We pray that You would lift him up from the ashes and that this would all be for Your glory…a testimony that he will share with countless number of people one day! In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen!!

      • kristy

        Amen! Thank you.

  • Kathy Pinkerton

    Sometimes “Life” happens and we get caught up in all of it’s “stuff”. I got behind in my reading for this book. But now, I’m getting caught up and I just wanted to say that reading everyone’s posts has been comforting and empowering. I am so appreciative of being a part of this faith filled book club community.