Conversations: Family prayer

Freshwater Staff   -  

We welcomed in the new year on the morning of December 31 just like we did at the start of 2023: with some time for family prayer.

In the opening message of our “Family Conversations” series, Pastor Sean talked about the importance of having regular check-ins as a family, and that holds true as a church family as well. These conversations are essential to put plans together and gather resources so we can be ready and united for anything that comes at us in the new year.

Before we spent time Sunday in prayer, Sean addressed some of the things that can hinder our prayer lives, beginning with the assumption that, if you come to church or have a relationship with Jesus, you automatically know how to or are good at praying.

It’s an assumption that puts a lot of pressure on us when we consider prayer because, after all, what does good prayer look like? What’s the metric? If we believe there is some kind of standard we have to live up to when we pray, it might shut us down from diving into a deep and healthy prayer life.

Sean called back to our series on the Sermon on the Mount and reminded us that Jesus does not compare your conversations with him to anyone else’s. He simply wants you to be in relationship with him, and like any other relationship, that requires communication. But it looks different for different people. And that’s awesome! We are all uniquely made, so of course our conversation methods – particularly in prayer – are going to look different.

But here’s the non-negotiable: Communication is vital for a healthy and thriving relationship, whether here on earth or with your Father in heaven.

For our time of family prayer, Sean provided prayer sheets with prompts. (You can download a copy of the prayer sheet here.) The sheet listed four postures of our heart as prompts to lead us into prayer time.

1. Thanksgiving (Daniel 6:10-11)

Our hope is that we’re all able to look back on the year, no matter what happened, and give thanks to the LORD. And that we can look forward with that same posture. As we see in the Daniel passage, being thankful in prayer does not require everything going well or going right.

2. Openness (Psalm 119:18)

What new things does God have in store for us this coming year? Are you ready to walk with with him in Holy Spirit-led assignments? Even if they bump up against your comfort zones? Even if they are surprising or hard?

3. Transformation (Romans 12:1–2)

How can we present ourselves? How is our mind renewed? How can we discern? There many acts of worship (not just in song) and one of those acts is prayer. Going to the LORD with a heart posture of willingness to be changed is life giving. How will we be transformed this year if we go in listening for his perfect will?

4. Reliance (Isaiah 58:8–9)

As we are thankful, open and transformed we are called to join him in his work. But sometimes, even after transformation, we can refuse to move. Maybe we’re confused or scared. Maybe we’ve lost traction. Maybe we need another portion of his provision. But God promises in Isaiah to be with us when we cry out and to be our rear guard as we move forward.

Are you praying for him in the midst of doing his will? Our hope is that we as a church family and you in your homes will be a people that prays in a posture of reliance.

Finally, Sean offered two more encouragements for our prayer lives: to be watchful – for Spirit-led assignments, for gospel and harvest moments, for opportunities to share the good news, for corruption and evil – and to be praying for others beyond ourselves.

The world needs us as followers of Jesus to be steadfast in prayer with hearts that are thankful, open, reliant and desiring to be transformed.


Watch the Message
Worship Songs from December 31
  • “Battle Belongs” (Phil Wickham)
  • “Reign Above It All” (Bethel Music)
  • “Goodness Of God”
  • “Worthy of it All”