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As a believer you have spiritual influence in your home over your spouse and children, even if they are unsaved at the moment. We share simple practical ways you can pray for your spouse, children and home. God reveals His will and then invites us to pray till we see it done here on earth.
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We can serve others through prayer, by praying for them.
Praying for others is a powerful "ministry" in itself.

We began last week by looking at the example of a man named Epaphras:

Colossians 4:12,13
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
13 For I bear him witness that he has a great zeal for you, and those who are in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis.

During Paul's third missionary journey AD 54-58 (Acts 18-21), Paul went through the regions of Galatia and Phrygia strengthening the churches, and then came to the city of Ephesus, where he spent about 3 years, most of his time. At Ephesus he trained young leaders and also met Philemon and Epaphras, both from the city of Colossae, about 100 miles East of Ephesus. The church in Colossae was established by Epaphras (Colossians 1:7). Colossae was close to two other cities Laodicea and Hierapolis, which were about 10-12miles from each other.

Paul himself had not been there and had never met these people. This letter was written by Paul at Rome during his imprisonment around 62 A.D.. (Acts 28:16, 28:30). When Paul was a prisoner in Rome, Epaphras came to him with an account of the Church at Colossae. He remained with Paul in Rome and was, in a sense, his "fellow prisoner" (Philemon 1:23).

While at Rome, Epaphras served by praying for believers in Colosse, Laodicea and Hierapolis. These were cities that were about 2,500 KM from Rome.

Prayer ministry has no limit of time, distance or location!

Epaphras prayed for the spiritual life of the believers in these 3 cities, that they would be perfect and complete in the will of God for their lives.

Notice a few key terms used in connection with this prayer ministry in Colossians 4:12,13
a bondservant of Christ : the same term used for apostles, ministers of Christ. Those who are engaged in serving others through prayer are as much the servants of the Lord, as those who serve through preaching, etc.
laboring fervently : to struggle, to contend, to compete, to fight. There is an intensity required in prayer ministry. It is not a casual, easy kind of ministry.
perfect and complete : this is the same goal and purpose with which we teach and preach the Word. We want to see believers mature. So prayer ministry also serves in helping believers move towards this same goal.
great zeal : Those in prayer ministry are also people who are zealous for the Lord and for His people. Not just the ones who preach in public.

Today we wish to focus specifically on ministering to your own family through prayer. We will touch on a few common areas in this message. However, please remember you can pray for all and any areas of concern for your family.

Praying for your spouse and children

1 Corinthians 7:10-16 (Message Bible)
10 And if you are married, stay married. This is the Master's command, not mine.
11 If a wife should leave her husband, she must either remain single or else come back and make things right with him. And a husband has no right to get rid of his wife.
12 For the rest of you who are in mixed marriages--Christian married to nonChristian--we have no explicit command from the Master. So this is what you must do. If you are a man with a wife who is not a believer but who still wants to live with you, hold on to her.
13 If you are a woman with a husband who is not a believer but he wants to live with you, hold on to him.
14 The unbelieving husband shares to an extent in the holiness of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is likewise touched by the holiness of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be left out; as it is, they also are included in the spiritual purposes of God.
15 On the other hand, if the unbelieving spouse walks out, you've got to let him or her go. You don't have to hold on desperately. God has called us to make the best of it, as peacefully as we can.
16 You never know, wife: The way you handle this might bring your husband not only back to you but to God. You never know, husband: The way you handle this might bring your wife not only back to you but to God.

As a believer you have spiritual influence in your home over your spouse and children, even if they are unsaved at the moment. (Now this passage is not a licenses for you to get married to an unbeliever, but rather is revealing truth, if you are already married to someone who is not a believer).

Emphasize vs 14:
14 The unbelieving husband shares to an extent in the holiness of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is likewise touched by the holiness of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be left out; as it is, they also are included in the spiritual purposes of God.

Some Common things you can pray for your spouse and children
√ Pray for their salvation
√ Pray for God's rule and reign to be established in their lives ("thy Kingdom come, they will be done")
√ Pray for God's purposes to be fulfilled in their lives (that they will serve the purposes of God in their generation ).
√ Speak God's Word and declare their prophetic destiny - in line with God's calling and gifting over their lives.
√ Take authority over any work of darkness influencing their lives. Resist the works of the enemy.

Some promises you can pray and speak over your children
(Team, will not need to turn to each verse. Please mention quickly what the verse states. Most people are familiar with these Scriptures).
Isaiah 44:3,4 : God pours His blessing on my offspring and His Spirit upon my Children
Isaiah 54:13 : All my children are taught by the Lord and they have His peace
Isaiah 59:21 : God's Word and God's Spirit pass on to my children and their children
Psalm 112:2 : My children will be mighty upon the earth.
Psalm 128:3 : Husbands - my wife is like a fruitful vine and my children like olive plants

fruitful vine - many children, bringing joy to the home,

“To what particular circumstance does David refer in the 128th Psalm, where he says, Thy children shall be like oliveplants round about thy table? Follow me into the grove, and I will show you what may have suggested the comparison. Here we have lilt upon a beautiful illustration. This aged and decayed tree is surrounded, as you see, by several young and thrifty shoots, which spring from the root of the venerable parent. They seem to uphold, protect, and embrace it. We may even fancy that they now bear that lead of fruit which would otherwise be demanded of the feeble parent. Thus do good and affectionate children gather round the table of the righteous. Each contributes something to the common wealth and welfare of the whole - a beautiful sight, with which may God refresh the eyes of every friend of mine.” (Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible ).

Remember, prayer is like sowing seeds. You sow in prayer. It may take some time to see the results of your praying. But continue doing so. Do not be discouraged if you don't see the harvest right away.

Sometimes, your spouse or children may even resist your faith and be against you. But don't give up.

The Story of Franklin Graham
Most of us know who Billy Graham is, one of the most influential Christian leaders of recent times and his wife Ruth Graham. Franklin Graham the fourth of their five children wandered away from God in his early years. In college he got into smoking and other rebellion and was eventually sent out of Christian school. In his autobiography, "Rebel with a Cause", Franklin explained that “just being the son of Billy Graham won’t get me into heaven.” He knew that he was being called to do more with his life and to make a real commitment to God. Finally, at age 22, after a period of rebellion and traveling the world, Franklin committed his life to Jesus Christ while alone in a hotel room in Jerusalem.

In her book, "Prodigals and Those Who Love Them", Ruth Graham shares how two of her five children were spiritual wanderers. She persevered and grew through those trying times.

Today, Franklin Graham is president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse. He has met privately with five U.S. Presidents as well as world leaders from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Since 1989 Franklin has been preaching around the world and has preached to more than 8.1 million people.

Persevere. Keep praying. Keep growing in God.

Praying for your home, family's finances, etc.
Here are some promises you can use to pray over your home.
(Team, will not need to turn to each verse. Please mention quickly what the verse states. Most people are familiar with these Scriptures).

Psalm 23:1 The Lord is our Shepherd, we will not be in want...
Psalm 112:3 Wealth and riches are in my home.
Psalm 118:15 : Voice of rejoicing and salvation (well-being) in my home
Proverbs 3:33 : God's blessing is on my home
Proverbs 12:7 : the house of the righteous will stand

Elijah
We can learn some lessons on fervency and perseverance in prayer from Elijah.

1 Kings 18:1, it was God who said that He was going to make it rain.
1 Kings 18:41-46, and yet Elijah had to pray intensely and persevere in prayer, before he could actually see it rain.

Why did Elijah have to pray, when God had already declared what He was going to do?
Because, God has called us to co-labor with Him on earth. We are called to pray "thy will be done on earth". This is our privilege. God reveals His will and then invites us to pray till we see it done here on earth.

James 5:16-20
16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,
20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

We are to pray for one another.

It is interesting that this teaching on prayer in James is given to us in the context of bringing healing of the sick, and in the spiritual restoration of some who wanders away.

Through the ministry of prayer, as we pray for one another, we are able to administer healing and also see wandering souls brought back from error!

All Peoples Church in Bangalore is a Spirit-filled, Word-based, Bible-believing Christian fellowship of believers in Jesus Christ desiring more of His presence and supernatural power bringing transformation, healing, miracles, and deliverance. We preach the full Gospel, equip believers to live out our new life in Christ, welcome the Charismatic and Pentecostal expressions in the assembly of God and serve in strengthening unity across all Christian churches. All free resources, sermons, daily devotionals, and free Christian books are provided for the strengthening of all believers in the Body of Christ. For further equipping, please visit APC Bible College.

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