Has something ever come to your mind, seemingly out of nowhere, that you felt the need to pray for immediately?
I’m not saying that happens to me often, but one afternoon recently, I just felt like I should pray for my husband and children in that moment. I wasn’t sure exactly why, but I took the time to pray right then. I don’t have an exciting story of an averted disaster to share (and I’m okay with that!), but I’m confident that no prayer is ever wasted.
As I was praying that afternoon, I specifically asked for them to have victory over temptation. I realize that I don’t know all of the temptations my family members may face on a daily basis, but I have no doubt that sin is always trying to find a way into our lives.
Yes, my husband is a Godly man, but I don’t doubt for a minute that he struggles with certain issues. Yes, my children attend a Christian school, but I’m under no illusion that they are free from the appeal of sin in that environment. I certainly know areas where I’m frequently tempted to give in to what my flesh wants to do instead of doing what I know to be right.
As wives and moms, we can have a powerful ministry of prayer in this area. God has not left us to struggle alone here! If those we love are saved, the Holy Spirit lives inside of them. He is available to guide them when they encounter temptation. He can give them power to come through to the other side, still right in their walk with God.
Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that “…we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” We can’t fight that battle alone. Each one of us needs God’s help.
So how can we pray for those we love when it comes to temptation? Let’s look at three words that can help us in this area.
1. Protect. Ask God to protect them from temptation. Matthew 6:13 is part of the Lord’s prayer, which is given as a sample prayer for us as believers. It says, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…” Let’s pray that our husband and our children will be protected from sin.
It can feel like we’re surrounded by temptation. Yet the Holy Spirit Who lives inside us can draw our attention away from it. He can guide my husband away from a certain situation or keep my children from seeing something that could negatively affect their minds.
2. Proclaim. Pray God’s Word over an area of sin you know they struggle with. I John 4:4 says, “…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (I can’t read that verse without automatically switching into singing mode!) We know that Jesus got the victory over Satan’s temptation in Matthew 4 by using God’s Word. That certainly makes this a method we should follow!
If my daughter struggles with lying, I can pray Ephesians 4:25, asking God to help her put away lying, and speak truth to others. And to make this personal, when I see a chance for pride to take over in my own life, I can pray Colossians 3:12, asking God to help me put on humbleness of mind, meekness, and longsuffering.
3. Provide. Ask God to provide a way of escape. God promises to do this in I Corinthians 10:13. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
God is faithful! He will provide a way out of our temptation. We just need to look to Him for help, and rely on His strength to overcome.
A prayer for our families
Protect my family from temptation today. Don’t allow sin to draw their hearts away from you. The power of the Holy Spirit that lives inside each one of them is greater than the power of their flesh. May they use that power to say “no” to sin.
Whatever temptation they face today, please help them to see the way of escape that you provide. Lord, for those times when they’re overcome and they do sin, help them to immediately seek forgiveness. Don’t let any sin get a permanent foothold in their life.
And Lord, remember me, too. I know all too well my weaknesses, and how often I give in to temptation. Help me, also, to use your Word to keep me from sin, and let me recognize the way of escape.
Yet when, like Paul in Romans 7, I find myself doing those things I don’t want to do, and see how wretched I am, let me praise God that there is grace and forgiveness at the foot of the cross.
May we have the ministry of prayer for our families in the area of temptation today!