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3 Family Prayers to Bring You Closer This Christmas

No matter how hard we try, families become more focused on dinners, tree decorating, card sending, and gift giving during the Christmas season. There's nothing wrong with these things, but keeping our minds and hearts focused on Christ during this season is important. Each weekend, church families light the Advent candles. This brings us one week closer to Christmas. While this is very exciting, especially for kids, prayer can sometimes get forgotten in all the hustle and bustle.What if we made prayer the focus instead of all the Christmas items on our lists? As a family, you can keep prayer as a priority. While many families enjoy ticking off the days from an Advent calendar until Christmas, you can create an Advent prayer calendar for each day. On the corresponding day, a family member can lead the prayer that day. You can choose to make prayer the focus for your family. Here are three prayers you can pray during prayer time to keep your family closer this Christmas season:
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12 Scriptural Prayers for Joy in the Morning

Joy is listed among the fruit of the Spirit, but sometimes we feel our joy lag. God’s Word gives us much encouragement to refuel our ever-present joy. And God’s Word gives us the chance (and privilege) to pray His Word back to Him every day should we choose. You can start your day with joy by praying these 12 prayers which directly mention joy.Better yet, find your favorite passages and pray them; your joy will come as you delve into the Scriptures.Photo credit: ©Getty Images/champlifezy

10 Comforting Prayers for Those Who Are Alone on Thanksgiving

During the holiday season, there is an expectation or assumption that everything will be merry and bright. On Thanksgiving Day, we imagine that we will be at a table filled with delicious food and many loved ones. However, that is not always the case. For some, the holiday will be spent alone. Perhaps you are estranged from your family, or you live too far away and are unable to travel.Most people have had lonely holidays, but being alone is never easy. When we look to Scripture, we find evidence of God’s goodness and faithfulness. If you or someone you know will be alone this Thanksgiving, here are 10 prayers you can say to bring comfort and hope.Photo credit: ©Getty Images/DGLimages

10 Specific Ways to Pray for Our Adult Children

Have you ever reached a point where you just don’t know what to pray? Your petitions seem empty and repetitive, and you wonder if God is tired of hearing the same old thing. If this describes you, please be encouraged today. He hears you, and He knows what is on your mind before you even say a word.One of the most comforting truths of the Bible is that the Holy Spirit intercede for us. Romans 8:26-27 says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”With this powerful passage in mind, here are ten specific ways to pray for your grown children.
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4 Prayers to Say at the Thanksgiving Table

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, pray ahead and thank God for each guest. Ask God to help you to be a blessing and radiate joy. Pray over your home and each chair at the table. Before the meal, pray as you normally would—your guests know they’re coming to a Christianhome.“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”1 Peter 4:9If you’re a Thanksgiving guest, as you walk up to the home, pray to be an emissary of God’s love and that he will stir up the fruit of the Spirit in your heart. If your hosts don’t pray before the meal, bow your head and pray over your food as you normally would, or better yet, ask if you could say a prayer to bless the meal. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.”Gal. 5:22-23Reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians, I noticed this heading in the first chapter—“Thanksgiving and Prayer.” I thought how appropriate to personalize and paraphrase some of this biblical passage as the foundation for the following first two Thanksgiving Table Prayers.Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Drazen Zigic

Prayer for Election Day

Prayer is one of the most important actions during an election, next to voting. A vote made due to worldly concerns, overpowering emotions, or with cold logic that does not seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit is one that risks being a foolish vote. Throughout the Bible there are assurances that God will always guide us if believers turn to Him in prayer and ask for His help. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).Prayer is the ultimate connection between God and His people, and when people have important decisions to make, like who to vote for in an election, lifting the decision up to the Lord is a wise starting place. Leading up to the vote, Christians should consider what is best for the country, what agenda best reflects biblical values and prescription for governance, and most importantly, pray that God’s will and His plan would be implemented here on earth.Here are eight prayers you can use before an election day:Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Hermosa Wave

10 Prayers for Peaceful Interactions This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is knocking at the back door, and pretty soon, so will all those family and friends, dear loved ones, and long-distance relatives. The children will be running all around the house, eager with anticipation, adding to the laughter and interrupting the murmurs of the adults catching up on conversations. The smells pouring out of the kitchen will cause rumbling tummies as everyone waits to dig in, only to go into a food coma later on. Hmmm…bliss!Oh, my friend, are you ready? It's about that time!Whether you travel or host, bring a dish, or make the whole meal, Thanksgiving is rolling out the welcome mat once again and sweetly calling us to be full of grace and gratitude. It's whispering for us to count our blessings while taking stock of those in need. It's prompting us to take a look at the loved ones that surround us, the people God has so graciously given us as family, and inviting us to pause and give thanks.But, in all honesty, as wonderful as it is to see everyone, including those long-distance relatives, this precious time of year can induce quite a bit of stress as well. Right? Yep! There is a lot of prep and planning that goes into making Thanksgiving memorable. And it can quickly lead us to feel overwhelmed and anxious.As Thanksgiving draws in, maybe you have some family interactions that you're really looking forward to, but there are also those where you must tread lightly. Perhaps the thought of Thanksgiving brings on excitement, as well as dreadful doubts, slowly stealing away your peace. Lots of emotional strings can be attached to this holiday. I get it. From the empty chair at the table to the obnoxious comments from "that one relative." It all adds up, and before you know it, you're harboring a low grumble in your not-so-grateful heart.So, when that happens, take a moment to step away, catch your breath - and pray! Below are a few pocket prayers you can lift up to the Father when you feel that all-too-familiar heat wave of stress or flush of ill feelings wash over you.Above all else, you must remember that we cannot allow the enemy to take a foothold in our homes this Thanksgiving (because he will try). But rather, let's allow God to be a vital and active part this year and be intentional about seeking Him. Better yet, let's start right now and prep our hearts as we go into this season.
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10 Beautiful Prayers to Say during Your Pregnancy

You’re pregnant – congratulations! This is an emotional time of rejoicing, praying, thanksgiving, praying, planning, and praying. The repetition of praying is intentional because as with every circumstance in life, our first duty and privilege is to come before the Lord in prayer. Yet all Christians sometimes fall short of words when we pray. Thank God we have the Holy Spirit, who intercedes for us when words fail us (Romans 8:26).May the following 10 prayers encourage you during the time God is using you to birth a new soul. (I am using a little girl for the prayers so they don’t get awkward with parentheses, etc. If you’re having a boy, congratulations and feel free to personalize it for him!)Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Viorel Kurnosov

An Urgent Prayer for the People of Maine

Today, if you have the blessing of hugging your husband, wife, child/children, mother, father, siblings, grandparents, other family members, or friends today, hold them tight, remembering the lives that were lost without goodbyes in Lewiston, Maine last night. Continue to pray alongside us as we learn more ways to pray over this tragedy.

30 Monday Morning Prayers and Blessings to Start Your Week Off Right

Whether you find solace in a quiet moment of reflection, the recitation of a traditional prayer, or the warmth of a communal blessing, prayer holds the key to starting your week off right, leaving you encouraged, inspired, and ready to embrace the days ahead with a sense of hope and clarity.

5 Prayers for Parents Struggling to Get through the Day

This past summer was incredibly difficult. As my husband and I embarked on the process of bringing my son to college, I realized nothing would ever be the same again. Because my son works while he's in school, and he's not living on campus, there's no incentive for him to come home. My husband and I realized that between work and school, he would have limited time to visit. I spent one day a week with him this summer doing the activities he loved to savor the last few days I had with him. When we dropped him off at the new place, we cried all the way home. The first month of his being away was difficult. I wept as I remembered him as a little boy and mourned the loss of those innocent days. I tried my best to embrace the beginning of our empty nest, but it was too much. My mind couldn't stop thinking of him, and my heart missed him terribly. I struggled to get through the first month of his being away.Perhaps you are going through the same thing. Maybe you've dropped a child off at college or have lost a child. The pain and grief associated with these losses can be unbearable at times. You may be struggling just to get through the day. However, as Christians, we can put our ultimate hope in Christ. We know in Scripture God promises we will never be alone. He promises to be with us even in the darkest moments of our lives. Here are five prayers you can pray to God if you're struggling to get through the day:
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5 Prayers for Innocent Palestinians in Gaza

As war rages between Israel and Hamas, it is important to remember the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. Here are five prayers for innocent Palestinians in Gaza that you can pray to help those who are suffering there.


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