Almost every morning when my kids were all at home, we would try to have breakfast together as a family. During that time I would simply open up the bible for a short time of family devotions. The kids would have begun to eat by the time I do this and their blood sugar is rising and everyone is in relatively good spirits. We read together for maybe five minutes and then ask a couple questions about the passage. Sometimes we have wonderful interaction and sometimes I get blank stares.
We then pray specifically for each family member. We have done this for years. We might pass around a plastic bowl and pick a family member name to pray for. Sometimes I will pray for each family member by name. One recent day as I was reading from the Bible, I realized that I had made an early morning appointment and I was running late! I quickly got up and began to exit when my oldest daughter exclaimed, “Dad, you didn’t pray for us!” I stopped in my tracks and put my hands on my oldest boy’s shoulders and prayed specifically for him. This was a quick 20-second prayer. I moved to the left and prayed a 20 – 30-second specific prayer for another son. I moved around the table and covered everyone quickly as I stood behind them, laid my hands on their shoulders and prayed specifically for them. My wife even said, “I’d like a little of that.”
Behold – a new idea was launched. Now I will occasionally move around the table and pray for each family member. There are times where we still ‘hold hands’ as I pray for each family member in the morning. There are times that we pass the bowl and pick a name and each pray for one another. But there are also times that I stand behind each one and rotate around the table. I place both hands on their shoulders and pray specifically for each person. The prayers are still pretty short, but the hands on the shoulders make the difference. It’s all in the hands.
You and I can do this. God has wired us to be a blessing and ‘to bless’ each member of our family. You can do this on a regular basis or whenever time allows. Your prayer can be short – but make it personal. Don’t forget to reach out and lay your hands on your child or wife as you pray. It’s all in the hands.
Brian Doyle is Founder and President of Iron Sharpens Iron,
a national ministry equipping local churches to reach and build
strong men. www.IronSharpensIron.net