Praying Your Family into God's Family
by James Goll
As we approach this Holiday Season in which Christmas and Chanukah are celebrated around the world, I wanted to direct our attention to Praying Your Family into God's Family. For many, the holidays are a time of mixed emotions as relationships with family members are strained. What better time to press into the heart of God for our families, that they may all know His saving grace and forgiveness in their lives.
I trust you will find the following teaching and closing prayer helpful as you lift your family before the Lord. What a privilege to participate in praying that our families are represented eternally before the throne of God!
Praying with You! -- James W. Goll
Praying Your Family into God's Family: God's Desires, His Word and His Ways
A. From the Book of Revelation
1. Revelation 5:9 - "And they sang a new song, saying, 'Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your Blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.'"
2. Revelation 7:9 - "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands."
3. A People of Every Nation
Both of these Scriptures tell us that before God's throne, there will be a people of every:
a. Kindred (i. Tribe, ii. Clan)
d. Nation (ethnic group)
Kindred, tribe, and clan all refer to a family. Within every ethnic group, different languages are spoken, and within every nation are different people, but among each of the peoples, are different tribes. Before the throne of God there will be people from every family! God is a family man!
B. From Ephesians 3:14-15
"For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every FAMILY in Heaven and on earth derives its name..." (emphasis mine)
Paul saw that God wanted to populate Heaven with people from every family, every tribe, every clan on the earth. Get God's vision! See what His heart is! God wants there to be a people of every family in Heaven.
C. From Romans 13:8a
"Owe no man any thing, but to love one another..." (KJV)
David Wilkerson, founder of Teen Challenge, Author and International Speaker, has stated, "Every man who is won in the street is first won in prayer." One of the ways that we pay our "love debt" is to commit our lives to this principle and pray others into the Kingdom of Heaven.
D. Examples from My Personal Life
I want to encourage every parent - God hears your prayers! There's a mark that goes on your child when you pray. A person cannot escape an entire lifetime from the persevering, loving prayers of a mother! They're like the "hound dog of Heaven" that's after you and won't let you go.
My mother was a Hannah - not in that she was barren, but in that she was a praying woman. She cried out to God (after her first son was stillborn), "Lord, if You will give me another son, I will dedicate him to Christ's service." I was born exactly one year, to the date, later. I have not known a day in my life when I was not consciously aware of who Jesus was - because I was hunted down by the prayers of dedication of my mother!
My wife Michal Ann was a Hannah, as most of you know, as it was impossible for us to bear children in the natural. Yet we persisted in prayer and God supernaturally opened her womb. Though Michal Ann is now before the throne of God, her prayers for our four children ever live before His majesty. God is faithful and He, yet to this day, is answering her prayers for our four fine arrows! Yes, they will fulfill their destinies in God!
Our Priestly Role in Prayer
A. Priesthood of Believers
We are all called into the priesthood of Believers. We have the responsibility, the privilege, and the authority to bring someone else into the presence of Christ. God's desire is to populate Heaven with a people of every family.
Exodus 28:15-21, 29-30 - "The stones shall be according to the names of the sons of Israel: twelve, according to their names; they shall be like the engravings of a seal, each according to his name for the twelve tribes... Aaron shall carry the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgment over his heart when he enters the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually. You shall put in the breastpiece of judgment the Urim and the Thummin, and they shall be over Aaron's heart when he goes in before the LORD; and Aaron shall carry the judgment of the sons of Israel over his heart before the LORD continually."
We will look at the breastpiece that the priest wore. There were four rows of beautiful stones - colorful, precious stones - worn over his chest, which is over his heart. Each one of the stones symbolized one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Who are you carrying on your heart when you go as a priest before the Lord? You have the place as a priest to carry stones upon your heart. Who are you carrying? One of the places of greatest authority is carrying your family members. We may carry, by God, a particular nation. But first and foremost, we represent our family as a priest - each of us as individuals before God.
1. We first of all stand before Him for ourselves, because we are each responsible for our own deeds.
2. In a priestly, intercessory manner, we stand before Him on behalf of our family.
3. We also stand before God as a representative of the nation of which we are a citizen; we have a certain priestly responsibility for the country that we live in... And for the city in which we dwell... And for the neighborhood that we're a part of.
4. We also stand as a priest before God in behalf of the heritage and the people from which we come.
When you go before God, He puts a breastplate on you with stones upon it, and you stand before Him - for your children, for your brothers, for your sisters, for your family, for your spouse. What a wonderful responsibility and privilege He has given to us!
B. Household Salvation
Acts 16:31 - "They said, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.'"
God's heart is for "household salvations." Some of us, however, because of our hurt and pain, and because of rejection from our parents and of not having a good relationship with them, have hardened our hearts in bitterness and rebellion against our families. Then one of the last things we want to do is to stand before God and pray for our families. God has given you a place to stand before His throne for your family! Stand there! Be an intercessor for your family:
1. To be saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 2:8-10).
2. To come forth into the fullness of what He has destined for them to be and to do and to fulfill.
Practical Ways of Praying Your Family into God's Family
(Principles of praying for the lost - not necessarily in a systematic order.)
A. Ask God to Soften Their Hearts
Ezekiel 11:19 - "And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh..."
Pray for the condition of their hearts to change.
B. Spirit of Conviction
Ask for the release of the spirit of conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come.
John 16:8 - "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment..."
C. Spirit of Revelation
Ask for the spirit of wisdom and revelation (dreams, visions, angelic visitations).
Ephesians 1:17-19 - "...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might..."
D. Recall To Remembrance
Ask the Lord to bring to their remembrance any of the good Word of God that they were taught from their childhood to this day.
1. John 14:26 - "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."
2. Isaiah 55:11 - "So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."
E. Pray Prayers of Forgiveness
Forgive your mother, your father, your son, your daughter. Forgiveness is the master key that unlocks the prison door to a heart of stone. Through forgiveness comes a place of identification. The model prayer of Jesus is not an individual prayer. It is a corporate prayer.
Matthew 6:9-15 - "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.)'"
F. Pray for Laborers to Be Released to Your Loved Ones
Matthew 9:38 - "Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."
G. Pray for a Revelation of Eternity
Ask the Lord to give them an awareness of the realities of both Heaven and Hell. Ask the Lord to reveal that none are righteous and that we each need to receive the free gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus!
H. Resist the Enemy
Pray to break the powers of darkness that are generationally hindering your loved ones from the saving power of Jesus' Blood.
I. Solicit Other People's Prayers
Enroll others on your team of intercessors to pray for your family.
Ephesians 6:19-20 - "...and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."
2 Corinthians 1:11 - "...you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed upon us through the prayers of many."
J. Revelation of God's Love
Ask for God's love to overwhelm them. (Don't pray for bad things to happen to them.)
1. Romans 2:4 - "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and (forbearance) and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?"
2. Romans 12:14, 19 - "Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not...Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord."
Release your faith and believe the Lord for more of His presence to come to your family. Stand as a Prophet, Priest and King of your family before the Lord and expect great things! Let revival begin in your own home and family for the glory of God's great name.
Lord, we bring our family members to You right now. We bless them in Jesus' great name. We call forth that You soften their hearts and release the spirit of conviction upon them. We pray that You reveal the goodness of God to them and draw them to repentance. Bring to their remembrance all the good Word of God they have been taught from their childhood even until now. Release laborers across their path that will move in power and kindness. Release demonstrations of Your amazing love to them for Your holy name's sake. We pray our family members into God's eternal family, in Jesus' name!
Amen and Amen!
James W. Goll & the PrayerStorm Team
Encounters Network and PrayerStorm
This article reprinted by permission from