In busy seasons of life, it may feel impossible to follow Scripture’s command to, “pray without ceasing.” Yet instead of allowing our busy schedule to hinder intercessory prayer, we can use the everyday moments of life as opportunities to lift our eyes to the Father. In this article, Bethany Broderick inspires you to be praying for your family in both the momentous and the mundane moments of your day and shares 6 short prayers inspired by God’s Word that can help you connect with God right where you are.
I often idealize what a perfect prayer time should look like. The first rays of sun peak through my window and spotlights the chair in the corner of my bedroom. I sit with coffee in one hand and my prayer journal in another. The flame of a soy candle next to me rises along with my thanksgiving and requests. I am peaceful, unhurried, and focused—preparing my mind and heart for the day ahead. On this ideal morning, I’m not interrupted by knocks on the bedroom door or cries for pancakes. I continue in prayer until I am finished, then slowly begin moving into the rhythms of my day.
When Reality Looks Different
As a mom of three young children, I recognize how laughable that scenario is. While I remember seasons in the past of prolonged, undisturbed prayer time (and look forward to that season in the future), I know that my prayer time will often get cut short by my children’s needs. I’ll wake up late due to feeding an infant in the night, and my toddler will wake up earlier than expected. Instead of a candle, a baby monitor sits on my side table, interrupting my prayers with the first sounds of a child’s cry. The only prayer I may lift before exiting my bedroom may be, “Lord, help me,” as I plunge headfirst into my day.
In busy seasons of life, it may seem impossible to obey Scripture’s command to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) when so much preoccupies our minds and hearts as mothers. How can we continue in prayer when we are constantly balancing our to-do lists, kids’ activities, meal plans, doctor appointments, housework, and more? Even if we recognize how important it is to be consistently praying for your family, we don’t always know how to do it.
LOOKING TO HEAVEN
In the Gospels, Jesus provides us an example of how to pray. He teaches us what to pray in Matthew 6:9-13. He tells us to pray secretly (Matthew 6:6), earnestly (Matthew 9:38), and persistently (Luke 18:1)—demonstrating this regularly by going away alone to rest and pray (Luke 5:16). One way we obey Scripture’s commands to pray is by intentionally taking time alone to speak with the Father. But that’s not the only way Jesus prayed.
When Jesus stood before thousands of hungry people—with only five loaves and two fish in his hands—“he looked up to heaven” in prayer (Mark 6:41). When caring friends of a deaf man begged Jesus to heal him, Jesus began by “looking up to heaven” (Mark 7:34) as he laid his hands on the man. And when Jesus watched people roll away the stone to Lazarus’ grave, he “lifted up his eyes” to the Father (John 11:41). In the garden when he knew he was mere hours away from his crucifixion, “he lifted up his eyes to heaven” (John 17:1).
Whether facing needs or disability or death itself, Jesus first prayed to the Father. Even on an exhausting day—full of questioning Pharisees, famished crowds, and prideful disciples—Jesus sought the Father’s strength and direction in every moment. Even when He couldn’t get away to pray and rest, He abided in the Father, and He invited us to do the same (John 15:4).
Rather than see our family’s busy schedule as an obstacle to intentional intercession for them, we can allow the everyday moments of life to lift our eyes to the Father. Instead of writing off an unceasing prayer life during difficult and busy seasons of life, we can allow prayer to seep into the cracks of our day as the glue which holds everything together.
MOMENTOUS AND MUNDANE
We can pray over the momentous occasions in our family’s life—for the healing of a family member, wisdom in a child’s college decision, or provision for a new job. But our Father also rejoices when we bring to him the most mundane moments of our day—the need for patience at the end of a long afternoon, courage for a child who is scared of the dark, and guidance in helping our kids with homework. Whatever occupies our hands, minds, and hearts—both big and small—we can lift our eyes to the Father who cares for our family even more than we do.
Our prayer life isn’t limited to early morning hours, quiet moments, or big life events. At any time, in any place, and in any way, we can freely come to God’s throne of grace with our family’s needs. We can pray for help on a test when we drive our children to school, physical energy to complete household chores, and diligence at soccer practices and dance lessons. Every moment is another reminder for our whole family to turn to the Lord.
By deliberately creating touch points throughout our day, we can weave a prayer into the very fabric of our family. These prayers can be as short as a breathed “Lord, help me,” or as long as time will allow. They can be quietly whispered through tears or spoken aloud while holding our children’s hands. No matter the prayer, we can come to the Father through the promise of the Son, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).
6 EVERYDAY MOMENTS TO GUIDE YOU IN PRAYING FOR YOUR FAMILY
While we may desire a life of unceasing prayer, it may not come naturally to us at the beginning. I’ve found that I often need visual reminders to bring me back to reliance on the Lord through prayer. I keep Bible verse cards by the kitchen sink, my prayer journal open on my side table, and a list of requests in the margins of my planner. When I come to these prompts throughout my day—washing the dishes, getting ready for bed, or checking off a task—I’m invited to come before the Lord again. Here are six prayers inspired by God’s Word that can guide your prayers for your family in the everyday moments of life.
1. A Prayer For Getting Dressed
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:13-17).
Father, I pray You would clothe our family with Your protection today. Help us to stand firm in the truth of Your Word. Guard our hearts from doubt by reminding us that our righteousness is found in Christ. Help us to be bold in sharing the hope of the gospel with those we encounter today. Strengthen our faith to withstand temptations of Satan today. Let us set our minds on our Savior above and hold fast to Your Word throughout our day. Amen.
2. A Prayer When Washing Dishes
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:7-10).
Father, I pray You would reveal to me the sins of my heart—especially the hidden sins of resentment, fear, pride, selfishness, etc. Would You cleanse me from these sins and help me walk in Your newness of life. I pray Your Spirit would also work in the lives of each of my family members—cleansing them from sins that I can’t even see. Let me model to them the humility of confession and the freedom of forgiveness. Amen.
3. A Prayer When Driving in the Car
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).
Father, I pray that wherever my children go today–school, practice, church, a party—that they will love You with all their affections, discernment, and knowledge. Let their love for You guide them in each moment of today. I also pray that our family would show the love of Christ to each person that we encounter today. Amen.
4. A Prayer While Folding Laundry
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:12-14).
Father, I pray the Spirit would empower my family to be compassionate, kind, humble, meek, patient, and forgiving. Let them wrap themselves in Your love that they might spread it to those around them. I pray You would bring unity within our family that we may worship and serve You together. Amen.
5. A Prayer When Making a Meal
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they (Matthew 6:25-26)?
Father, we praise You for the abundance You have provided in our life. Thank You for the ingredients to make this meal, the energy to prepare it, and the mouths to eat it. As the birds trust You with their daily portion, I pray that we would trust You each day with our needs. Let us humbly surrender all our anxieties to You because You care for us. Amen.
6. A Prayer For Going to Bed
“My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy” (Psalm 63:5-7).
Father, this day was far from perfect. Our family failed in many ways, but You have given us grace upon grace. I pray each member of our family will be satisfied in You. And I pray they would remember Your faithfulness to them and praise You for Your work in their life. I know I cannot always protect them, but You will always help us because You are all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present. In You, our family sings for joy. Amen.
What is one way that you can begin praying without ceasing for your family today? What Scriptures can remind you to pray in both the momentous and mundane moments of your day?
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This post reminds me of the days when I prayed for my sons as I hung diapers on the clothesline!