The Hidden Power of Family Prayer

By monthly contributor, Ann Dunagan of Harvest Ministry

Do you sometimes feel inadequate in prayer? Do you often struggle with praying together with your spouse or children? Do you perhaps wonder, since it’s so difficult, if praying together is even worth it?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are a PERFECT candidate (for one reason and one reason only) to pray effectively with your family:

You can rely totally on the Cross of Jesus Christ!

If you are a Christian, you have likely heard how important is is to pray together as a husband and wife, or together as family unit . . . but have you often wondered why this is often so difficult and humbling? Or maybe you’ve honestly wondered if your prayers, and the simple prayers of your far-from-perfect family, can really make a difference?

It’s actually that very gut-level of honesty within a family, and our knowledge of each others’ inadequacies, that makes praying together so powerful.

You can’t be fake when praying with your family; you have to rely on God’s forgiveness and His righteousness through the Cross of Jesus Christ.


Praying Together as a Christian Family

If we could comprehend, deep in our spirits, the true power of prayer, we would all pray more–and the difference would radically impact our lives and the lives of those around us.

James 5:16 tells us, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

We want our prayers to be effective, but what does it mean to stand “righteous” before God? It’s totally standing and relying on Jesus Christ and HIS righteousness, not coming to God based on our own “good works” or efforts!

As a family, we’re very aware of our differences and our faults. We’ve all sinned, and we need to acknowledge that no one of earth can stand blameless before our perfect, holy, and awesome God. No matter how good we try to be, our own works are nothing but filthy rags in His sight (see Isaiah 64:6). To pray effectively as a family, we need to grasp the importance of the “fear of the Lord.”

We need to realize how powerful and mighty He is.

Our Self-efforts are like Filthy Rags . . .

Teach Your Kids about Prayer with Filthy Rags:
The next time you come across an extremely dirty rag in your house, use it an opportunity to share an important lesson with your kids. We may think our own self-efforts help us earn “Brownie points” with God. But, to Him, our human works are as worthless as stinky rags. If we try to earn favor with God–instead of trusting in Jesus–it’s like collecting yucky rags. The more they pile up, the more they stink and mildew.

But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.

Isaiah 64:6

 3 more family prayer ideas:

Take a Prayer-Walk:
As you walk around your neighborhood, take time to quietly praying for each neighbor, and seek God for ideas on how your family can be a light for Jesus.

Make a Poster:
Have your children make a “Ten Most Wanted” list or poster. Have them think of ten people who need Jesus. These can be relatives, neighbors, famous people, or the man who works at the convenience store. Use this list or poster to remind you to pray for these people to come to know the Lord.

Use a Map:
Put a small world map on your refrigerator, and use this area to display newsletters from missionaries you support, along with current international news updates. Pray regularly as a family, perhaps around the dinner table, for specific world needs and for people you know who need the Lord.

The power of family prayer is relying on Christ’s righteousness!

In prayer, each of us must come to God in an attitude of total surrender and humility, keeping our hearts clean and open before Him. Through the cleansing sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, every mom and dad, and boy and girl, can pray as a “righteous man” before God. Because of Christ’s forgiveness and righteousness, even your family can come before God with boldness and authority to effectively intercede on behalf of others.


So, what do YOU think about family prayer?

Is praying together as a family (as a husband and wife, or with your kids) a spiritual priority in your family? Has praying together been a delight . . . or a struggle and a challenge . . . and can you share any specific reasons why? Have you had any specific moments of encouragement  (or a key or idea that has helped YOUR FAMILY to pray together with more effectiveness)? Or do you have a story, or a “testimony,” of a time when a specific family prayer was answered?

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts . . .

About ADunagan

Ann Dunagan is a longtime homeschooling mother of 7 (ages 11 to 25, with 4 graduates), an international speaker with Harvest Ministry, co-founder of orphan ministries in East Africa and India (caring for over 700 children), and author of several books including The Mission-Minded Family. With a passion for the Lord and the lost, Ann motivates families for world missions.

38 Responses to The Hidden Power of Family Prayer

  1. End of Silence April 14, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    I have a little testimony to give i been a christian for about 7 years i severed and work for the church have witness to people but god open my eyes a couple of days ago my wife and i have been married for 8 years it was a constant struggle arguing all the time i felt like no matter how hard i tried it was all falling apart i was always angry and frustrated i felt like i was sleep walking most of the times and i have rarely prayed with my wife and my daughter most of my praying was done alone and in secret as the scripture says:Matthew 6:6 ►
    But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
    I realize i was putting all the effort into following god but i realize my family needed more time with the lord as well i started to pray with my wife and daughter and god has been restoring our marriage less arguing after all these years it’s not about me it’s about us as a family together worshiping god for who he is he is foundation that makes everything work together then Matthew 18:20 ►
    For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” this scripture sounded more clearer to me than ever i realized it’s not about me it’s all about us i encourage every family to pray as a friend of mine once told me a family that prays together stays together we all have to give the Lord his time stop what your doing get off the mobile devices and laptops televisions and pray and that is what i am going to do now God bless!

  2. Natalie July 16, 2012 at 7:03 am #

    Hey there! I am so glad I just stumbled upon your blog. I was just beginning a new blog series on becoming mission minded and WOW!! I just think of it as a blessing to have found you… wish I had the whole day to read up some of your post! Thanks for sharing what God has laid upon your heart and look forward to reading more of your words! We are excited to become more of mission minded family!
    Blessing to you and your family!!

  3. Lindsay July 6, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    Hi, Ann! I am sorry that I have never stopped to write you a comment. I just saw your note that you’d LOVE to hear our thoughts. I haven’t actually gotten to read what you’ve written above yet. We don’t have internet at home because we don’t like the distraction AND we use that money for missions! :) So I use a little netbook and save your articles on my computer to read (often with my husband) later. I thought that instead of racing right by with my “to-do” list I’d stop to tell you how much I appreciate your influence in my family’s life! Your articles and book (Mission Minded Family) have been very KEY in confirming steps we’re taking as well as giving us godly counsel in additional ways God wants us to grow!! We are a growing family of six (children are 9, 6, 3 and 1) and I praise God for the examples, like you, that He has so graciously placed in our lives. I didn’t grow up with ANY of this, as I didn’t become a Christian until after I graduated from college. Thanks for helping to equip me to give my children a better start! :)

  4. Farrah May 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Love this! Wanted to mention what my husband and I have been doing for the past 5 years… We call it our “Sunday Meetings” where we get together and pray, reflect on the past week, offer affirmations and discuss any possible ways we may have fallen short and set goals for improvement. There’s a bit more to it but you’ll have to visit my blog and search “Sunday Meetings”. It has been such a blessing for us in our relationship. Many blessings to you and your family!

  5. Laura April 24, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    Good morning from Mozambique!
    I hope this isn’t considered inappropriate self-plugging but after reading this post, I wanted to share a specific opportunity for families to pray together – perhaps this project could kick-start family prayer!
    I’m a missionary at a children’s center and I currently live with 28 gorgeous boys, ages 4-8. I felt God dropped the idea in my heart for “Moms for Mozambique in May!” – finding moms who will commit to pray with their kids for one of my boys for the month of May, in honor of Mother’s Day! If people choose to participate, I send a photo and a brief bio of one of my boys. The one month commitment might help some people get into a regular habit of praying with their kids that lasts far beyond May! You can read a little more about it on my blog, Blessings, Laura Anderson

  6. Mikaela April 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    My siblings and I are all still at home, and we have been praying together for years. Every weekday morning, before everyone scatters, we get together for prayer time (Monday: each other and parents; Tuesday: social issues; Wednesday: extended family; Thursday: missionaries; Friday: local and world church and/or government) for 15 to 20 minutes. What a huge blessing this has been to me and, I believe, to each one of us! Not only has the accountability of a group setting kept me praying more, but each day is focused on a right perspective. I can also see how I have grown closer to my siblings as we wage spiritual warfare together. Really, the benefits are endless.

    You mention the honesty that comes from praying as a family, and this is so true. Many times, I have had to squelch my pride as my siblings lovingly pray for things we all know I am struggling with. Each one of us is free to pray for each other openly and honestly, because we all know the love we have for each other. Thanks so much for an excellent article and for encouraging such an important facet of family life!

    • Ann Dunagan April 20, 2012 at 6:35 am #


      Wow. Thank you SO MUCH for adding your personal testimony and example to this discussion, along with the additional family-focus on praying together as older siblings!

      I really appreciate all the specific details you share — how you mention the BENEFITS OF PRAYER to you and your siblings: of accountability, and encouraging increased personal prayer, and even of how you are growing together in your family relationships and love. And I also appreciate the specific details about — HOW YOU PRAY (listing the different focus areas for each weekday as well as the approximate time frame).

      Your example reminds me of the verse, I Timothy 4:12, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

      Blessings to you and to all of your family!!!

  7. Weiya @ enjoyer of grace April 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    It’s often hard for us to pray because the enemy tries everything possible to keep us from praying. When we pray, that’s when we can be one with God and pray for what’s on His heart. The enemy would use even seemingly “good” things to distract us from Christ and living in Christ. Do you ever notice that just when you’re about to pray, something always comes up? Maybe a phone call, your children starts being extra fussy, a disagreement rises up out of nowhere between your spouse, etc.?

    We all need to be today’s “Daniels”… be men/women of prayer in this world we live in.

    Also, I’d like to share this post with you about a small experience I had today.

    Praise and thank you, Lord!

  8. Autumn April 18, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Thank you for this post. It is a great reminder that I need to be more purposeful in praying with my family on a daily basis, multiple times a day. My husband and I definitely need to start praying together more often.

    • Ann Dunagan April 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

      Autumn — one little btw thought is that many times we as wives are way too pushy in trying to get our husbands to “lead” spiritually or to take the initiative (at our request) in family prayer.

      Over the years, a simple little key I’ve found to help wives to “encourage” their husbands to begin a new lifestyle of praying together is to begin by simply ASKING your husband to pray “for” you (not necessarily “with” you, as in both of you praying out-loud together, but to see if he could simple pray a little pray over you) and it’s especially great to ask if it could be a time when you need help or when you’re feeling down or discouraged.

      Sometimes a guy can feel intimidated by the “more experienced” or better-sounding prayers of his wife. Sometimes, a man might not know quite what to say in prayer, or he might feel “pushed” if his wife is demanding, or nagging, about him needing to be more responsible for the spiritual leadership in the family. In this situation, the woman is leading and pushing, and a guy can’t lead or even feel like a man, which can be very frustrating.

      If you simply ask your husband once in a while to pray for you, perhaps even before bed, or just a quick prayer in the middle of the day . . . and if you just let him pray (without trying to add to his prayer with your own addition) it can help him to feel that you really appreciate his simple effort and his spiritual support.

      • Autumn April 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

        That is very helpful advice, thanks! I know my husband wants to pray together every night, but with everything going on the evening, and how tired we are, we both usually forget. I think he would be grateful if I reminded him, and then let him lead from there. Maybe together we could brainstorm ways to help each other remember.

        I agree that the tendency as a wife to want to lead (aka, nag) is there. That’s a definitely a struggle for me at times.

        • Ann Dunagan April 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm #


          It really is powerful when we pray together as a family or as a husband and wife. It’s worth it to press-through the challenge, as there is such a spiritual POWER to be joined together spiritually (both in strengthening the family and marriage, and in the prayers themselves being strong and impacting). Bless you!!!

      • Kristy July 9, 2012 at 4:31 am #

        Ouch! Your comment has described our morning (my being way too pushy!)…and as I look for ways to help us pray “better” together, I appreciate your words! Thanks to you, and thankful to God for leading me here this morning!

  9. Ali K. April 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Could anyone tell me about the Church of the Nazarene? I recently moved and am attending a Nazarene church. It is very similar to my Christian church back home. However, I have recently received some negative feedback from members of my old church. What exactly do Nazarene’s believe in that “Christians” do not? They have all the same fundamental beliefs as far as I can tell. No shocking rituals or anything going on. We read out of the Bible and sing the same songs of worship and praise.

    • Ann Dunagan April 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

      Ali, The Church of the Nazarene denomination is definitely a Bible-believing Christian church, and it’s also definitely an “Evangelical” church (which means that this church denomination believes and follows the Bible as the Word of God). I have never been a member of a Nazarene church, but I have visited several Nazarene churches and I have had friends who attend this church. I would encourage you to look online or in printed church material to see the unique denominational beliefs that “set apart” the Nazarene church from others.

      You might also make an appointment to meet the pastor of this new church and ask him to explain the specific doctrine and beliefs of this denomination and also ask him about his specific vision for his local congregation. Maybe talk with a few respected and mature friends from your old church to explain their concerns from what the Bible says (and ask what specific differences they are concerned about).

      The process of learning the specific beliefs and unique vision of your new church (both of the denomination and of the unique congregation) — and what YOU BELIEVE and are desiring in a church family to join together with to GROW and to mature in your walk with the Lord — can be a learning and growing process.

  10. Pidgen April 17, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    I have a question — and this may be very obvious to others — but when you say you are praying with your family, are you talking about a group prayer where everyone prays outloud? Or do you have a prayer time where everyone prays silently? I guess the same would be true with husband/wife prayers as well. Thank you!

    • ADunagan April 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

      Pidgen —

      There are many different ways to pray together as a family. Sometimes this can be a more formal time of prayer in which a family gathers together and has a special devotional time (perhaps reading from the Bible, or singing a song together, or each person taking turns and praying out-loud). It can be a quick spontaneous time of gathering, perhaps holding hands in a circle, and one person praying out-loud and others agreeing together. Or perhaps praying together and thanking God for His provision before every meal, or praying for His protection before a drive in a car.

      It can be stopping in the midst of an argument . . . and asking for God’s help. Or asking your husband to pray for you when you feel frazzled and horrible.

      The point is to PRAY. And in this article, I want to especially encourage families to PRAY in those moments when you feel like a failure and when you are especially aware of your inadequacies.

      Sometimes, we only want to pray when we feel “good enough” to impress God. But God loves our humble prayers, when we are totally relying on Him.

  11. Ashley Ditto April 17, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    Wonderful ideas! Love this post!!!

  12. Deb April 17, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    You know, my husband and I have been married for 5 years but we just started having regular prayer time together this past winter. It’s amazing how much closer together it has brought us to each other, and to the Lord! It felt strange at first, but now that we’ve made it a habit it’s such a great time to pour our hearts out to God, and we learn so much about each other this way.

    • ADunagan April 17, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      Deb, this is beautiful!!!!

      I love how you and your husband are finding that praying together as a couple is helping you to learn so much more about each other.

  13. Ali K. April 17, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    Can you or one of your readers elaborate more on your sentence “no matter how good we try to be, our own works are nothing but filthy rags in His sight.” I have trouble with this as I teach our children to always be God’s servants. We bless others around us through acts such as helping in our community, feeding the homeless, helping elderly neighbors, mowing a sick person’s yard, etc. Why would you says these works are nothing but flith? How does calling them filth teach others to give blessings from the heart? I don’t view these acts as “bronwie points” as you call them, but rather just doing what we are called to do and give. I know my “works” will not “earn” my way to heaven. But just because I know that doesn’t mean I should stop doing them.

    • Ann Dunagan April 17, 2012 at 10:12 am #

      Ali — This is a great question! Yes, we are God’s servants! Yes, we teach our children to be good and to obey God. The point of the “filthy rags” object lessons is that we also teach our children that it is not “because” of our self-efforts that earn our way to heaven.

      We are saved 100% by the blood of Jesus, and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.

      The works we do as Christians are an overflow of HIS LOVE in our hearts. The closer we draw to Jesus, the more we will want to LOVE OTHERS — not to GET God’s love, but BECAUSE of God’s love.


      On an article on called How to Become a Christian, the author Mary Fairchild, explains it this way . . .

      —HUMAN WORKS ARE FUTILE God desires an intimate relationship with us, but we cannot obtain it through our own efforts. Isaiah 64:6 (NIV) “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags…” . Romans 3:10-12 (NIV) “…There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

      —SEPARATED FROM GOD We have a problem. Our sin separates us from God, leaving us spiritually empty. Romans 3:23 (NIV) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It is impossible for us to find peace with God through our own efforts. Anything we try to do to obtain God’s favor or gain salvation is worthless and futile.

      —A GIFT FROM GOD Salvation then, is a gift from God. He offers the gift through Jesus, his Son. By laying down his life on the cross, Christ took our place and paid the ultimate price, the penalty for our sin — death. Jesus is our only way to God. John 14:6 (NLT) “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” Romans 5:8 (NIV) “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”


      Ali, I love the verse in James that gives the “other side” of this faith vs. works question. James 2:14-18 talks about how FAITH without works is dead.

      14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

      The focus as Christian believers is to continually remember that our salvation (and our “righteousness” in prayer) is totally based on what JESUS did on the cross, it’s not because of our efforts. If we keep this in mind, we won’t become like those self-righteous religious rulers during Jesus’ time that thought they were better than everyone else.

      Thanks for your question and comment, Ali!
      Bless you!!!

      • Becca April 17, 2012 at 11:14 am #

        Another thought I work through a lot is that often, even in the midst of our best intentions, impure motives creep into our service. Those “filthy rags”…we seek so hard to love/serve God well (not to earn salvation but exercise our faith) and can STILL recognize that we do things selfishly, to impress others, to check a box, etc. I understand the scripture from Isaiah to be an AWESOME reminder that these things we do are good and God indeed LOVES when we serve; but we will always be imperfect and compared to God’s perfection, our human frialty leaves even our best efforts lacking.

        • ADunagan April 17, 2012 at 11:51 am #

          Becca, I totally agree with your thoughts here. GREAT POINT!!!

          As a mission-minded family, we have devoted our lives to meeting needs in the world and helping others, but I too need to refocus my thoughts and intentions back to God on a REGULAR and even DAILY BASIS. It is so easy to get off-base and to be doing good things, but with very wrong motives, like you say, out of selfishness, or trying to impress, or trying to measure up to what I want others to think. This verse has been a huge blessing to me, to realize that it’s only out of SIMPLE GRACE and OBEDIENCE that I can please God.

          Something I often think about is that when I come face-to-face someday with our HOLY and magnificent God, with any of my own self-motivated or self-directed “crowns” (my own achievements, or “impressive” works, or good things — that were based on self-centered motives or even sometimes done out of direct disobedience to God — like when family and spiritual priorities were out-of-whack) . . . I imagine those self-made crowns just evaporating into nothing in that pure heavenly atmosphere.

          Only the true crowns, those “works” done out of true obedience to God, including secret prayer, and secret giving, and secret fasting, and enduring persecution, and doing those things that He has asked of us to do . . . with a heart to honor and obey God, those are the only crowns that will remain. And those are the crowns we will cast at His feet . . .

          . . . in WORSHIP.

          • Becca April 18, 2012 at 11:59 am #


    • Candice Phelps April 18, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

      I was thinking about those things too. I don’t think that good works are filth to the Lord. I think that they draw us closer to Him and help us to worship Him more fully and embrace His gospel more deeply. I think that He sees our good works and it warms his heart, like a parent who sees one of their children putting an arm around a crying sibling and offering comforting words to them. It’s those times when tears come to your eyes and you sigh with deep contentment and say, “They are getting it. All my efforts have been worth it.” The gospel of Christ is not for Him, it’s for us, to help us reach our potential. I think He has real joy when he sees us following in His footsteps and living the things that he taught us, because He loves us and wants us to be happy.

      • Ann Dunagan April 20, 2012 at 7:06 am #

        Dear Candice,

        I’ve been thinking quite a bit about your comment here, “I don’t think that good works are filth to the Lord. I think that they draw us closer to Him and help us to worship Him more fully and embrace His gospel more deeply. I think that He sees our good works and it warms his heart . . . “

        Thank you so much for adding this. It is true that as we reach out in love to others, the experience can draw us closer to God. As we embrace His gospel, we will be compelled to reach out to others. This is a part of our worship, and it is true that as we step out in obedience and extend the love of Jesus, it does warm God’s heart.

        A couple links that I wanted to add here to agree with your comments. We are not saved by our self-works and good efforts, but as I mentioned above in James 2:14-18, “Faith without works is dead . . . God does LOVE ORPHANS . . . and He wants us to help them. God does want us to HELP THE POOR. God also wants us to do good by especially SHARING THE GOSPEL with others (this link is to 100 Mission-Mottos and Missionary quotes).

        I’ve been thinking about how to convey more clearly God’s heart in this verse from Isaiah 64:3 about ” . . . all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags . . . . . .

        If a person is doing good things with the purpose or intent of trying to EARN his or her OWN WAY to heaven and to earn their salvation by their own efforts, or to try to counter-balance all the bad things they’ve done (by trying to do more good things), those good works and self efforts would not bring God joy (just think about the stories of the self-righteous pharisees and religious leaders during Jesus time who thought they were impressing God by their generous giving and public prayers). I think it breaks God’s heart when a person is in essence “rejecting” His incredible FREE gift of salvation through Christ’s death on the cross, by deciding instead that they can manage on their own — thinking that their own human goodness and benevolence and self-righteousness is enough. We can’t get to heaven by our own “righteounesses” and goodness, no matter how hard we try and how many wonderful things we do for others. The only solution for our sinfulness is to receive God’s forgiveness through the precious blood of Jesus.

        I really appreciate your input, Candice, and your sweet heart for the Lord and for shining for Him with a heart for others. I love how you say, “He has real joy when he sees us following in His footsteps and living the things that he taught us.”

        AMEN!!! Blessings to you!

        • Candice Phelps April 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

          Thank you, and I can see your point and am in complete agreement with you. I’ve had some pretty tearful experiences on this subject the past couple of weeks that have helped me realize more completely how, while “faith without works” is dead, works without faith are also dead. It should be faith and love that inspire and lead to the good works, and if it is some other thing that motivates you, it really does tend toward death, at least the death of the spirit in you or those you serve without love or for the purpose of self-aggrandizement. Being on the receiving end of this type of service for several years, I’ve found my spirit (or personality or whatever you want to call it) has either died or gone into hiding. I’m working on bringing it back to life now, and have appreciated you thoughts on prayer. They’ve really helped. In the scriptures that I read in addition to The Holy Bible, (ie, The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ) we are taught to “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God.” I’ve been trying to do this more faithfully, putting my trust in God as I pour my heart out in prayer to him, and I’ve found that it has really helped me to forgive and rebuild my life and my self-esteem. I’ve felt His love for me and His guiding influence in my life. Thank you for reminding me where help can be found. I really appreciate your sincere faith in Christ and the faith of others who participate on this site. It strengthens me in my daily efforts.

          • Ann Dunagan April 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

            Candice, your thoughts and heart are SO precious.

            May God continue to draw you closer to Himself as you seek Him. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

            Jesus loves you so much. He alone is our Savior. We sure can’t save ourselves!!!

            I’ll be praying for you.

      • Gyasi April 24, 2012 at 9:02 am #

        “Filthy rags” is a comparison term. “As”, “Like”. These works are not filth, are not bad on our social humanistic level, but COMPARED to God’s Awesomeness, and God’s Sacrifice…these works are “like” filthy rags when compared to the righteousness of God and Salvation.

        I sometimes have this physical image of God in my head looking similar Zeus or Ariel’s Dad from Little Mermaid. Basically, a cartoonish,older fit white guy with a white beard and long white hair. He looks human, has facial features and smiles and frowns as the day goes along. Well that image is wrong. God is a Spirit. God is HOLY and our current brain can’t even comprehend him.

        Now, compare your good works to the works of our All HOLY GOD, the one that keeps the cosmos in orbit, the one that sacrificed himself for OUR sins, that we may have life. What do you get God for Father’s day? We can’t impress God. Cain’s big sin was not killing Abel (although a very big issue) His bigger sin was trying to worship God his own way. He tried to “Impress” God with his fruit & veggies. I’m willing to bet he worked really really hard too, and that it was probably thee best fruit & veggie basket ever created by man to date. But what is God going to do with a fruit basket?

        Good works are great ,lets keep doing them. But only because it’s the right thing to do. Not to get us closer to God. That was Jesus’ job, and it was completed on the Cross. Besides, who should get credit for our “Good Works”?

        When your kids are of age do a word study, looking at that verse in the Hebrew text. Today we would translate Filthy Rag into Used Maxi-Pad.

        By the way, no one is really stunned at the first part of the verse..We are unclean.

  14. Weiya @ enjoyer of grace April 17, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    I recently enjoyed that prayer is the breathing out of ourselves and breathing in God. :) When we pray, we are joined to the Lord and this causes us to pray what’s on His heart instead of just us coming to Him with our own agendas.

    I found your blog earlier this year and cannot express how encouraged I am by your posts. I especially appreciate your honesty about your experiences as a mother and trying to raise your children to be lovers of Christ. As mothers, we have such a huge responsibility and am often reminded that I myself need to be nourished and cherished by the Lord first before I can care for my little boy.

    I thank the Lord for you and may He continue supplying you and your whole family with His all-sufficient grace! :)

    • ADunagan April 17, 2012 at 10:37 am #

      Weiya, what a sweet and encouraging comment!!!

      I love that focus that prayer is “breathing out of ourselves and breathing in God.” As we come to God in prayer, we invite His presence into our lives and our families.

      And yes, I SOOOO need (and am SO thankful for) God’s amazing grace.

  15. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Coupons April 17, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    I LOVE the map idea! I sponsor two children and have several friends living abroad with various missions trips. This would be a great way to remember each of them and pray for where they are.

    • ADunagan April 17, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      AWESOME!!! As we put maps or prayer reminders up on our walls or on our fridge, it helps us as parents to remember to pray with our kids . . . and it also helps our children to be reminded of our priorities as a family.

  16. CRose April 17, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    It’s encouraging to think about how the very inadequacies we feel as a family, and knowing each others weaknesses, can actually help us to rely on God and His righteousness.

    “It’s actually that very gut-level of honesty within a family, and our knowledge of each others’ inadequacies, that makes praying together so powerful.”

    • ADunagan April 17, 2012 at 10:45 am #


      Yes, in our weaknesses, God is strong.

      Sometimes, we need to push through our feelings of inadequacies and inefficiencies. To me, it helps to realize that God loves to show Himself STRONG in our WEAKNESS. Like little David coming against the huge giant, Goliath. We all get so inspired by the fact that David was little and young and inexperienced . . . because it shows how BIG God is.

  17. Daring Daughters April 17, 2012 at 7:42 am #

    Appreciate this:

    “Because of Christ’s forgiveness and righteousness, even your family can come before God with boldness and authority to effectively intercede on behalf of others.”


    • Ann Dunagan April 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

      So thankful for Jesus . . . and all that He did for us.