The Power of Protective Prayer
By Connie Bernard
“Don’t forget to call home.” As parents, how many times have we said these words? When our children are small and under foot, we know where they are at all times – well, most of the time. I also usually knew when my children were into mischief. When it got quiet in the house, I knew I’d better go find them. There was no telling what they were getting into.
As parents, we prayed protective prayers over our children. Jesus, keep their bodies strong. Let them grow healthy. Do not allow any disease to touch them. Let them be safe. Then, time flew by and our babies were heading out on their own. I have always prayed prayers of protection, even before we had children, but I learned a whole new way of praying protective prayer. We all pray protective prayers, but they vary and change as life changes. James 5:16 states, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” In my daily prayers, I pray that the Lord always finds me righteous. I always want to be pleasing to Him.
Our daily prayer should always consist of thanksgiving and repentance. In repentance, we are acknowledging our humanity and inadequacies, humbling ourselves before Him. He will always honor a broken and contrite spirit (Psalm 51:17). When we come to Him in this manner and we are known by Him – when we have that close communion with Him – then we can go boldly before the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16) with our petitions.
Years ago, when Brother Bernard made trips before the wall went down in Eastern Europe, there were times I did not hear from him until he landed back in the States. I learned to live by trusting God and continually praying prayers of protection. I also learned to really appreciate the statement, “No news is good news.” My petitions, for the most part, center around prayers of protection for my family. Sure, there are times that we have specific and urgent needs, but our protective prayers are of great importance.
Ladies, let me encourage you. You may have raised your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4) and still they have wandered away from God. There are times that your protective prayers are the only thing that is keeping them. You may be asking, “How do I pray for my daughter that has left us and God?” This is hard, but do not ever lose hope. His Word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11).
In closing, let me leave you with a prayer to pray and apply in your own situation:
God, put a protective hedge about our daughter. I ask that you dispatch ministering angels to watch over her. When she lays her head down at night, Lord, bring to her remembrance Your goodness and grace. Let your grace, Lord, be always present in her life. Woo her with Your love. Let her reach out to You when she feels unsafe or insecure. Show Yourself to her. Protect her heart, Lord, from deep hurt. Protect her mind, Jesus, from the devices of the enemy. Keep her safe from harm. Touch her body, Lord, and keep her strong. She was dedicated to you. I pray that you will woo her with your love. Let her feel Your spirit at night when she is alone with her thoughts. Invade her thoughts and confirm to her that You are still there, that You still love her, and that You are watching over her. I thank You, Jesus, because You love me and you are mindful of me. You care about the little things and the great things in my life and in her life. I know You will honor every prayer I pray. You will answer according to Your perfect will. You are our sovereign King and you care. I know you will answer, and I thank You for it.
Whether our children are two, twelve, twenty, or even fifty, we still worry about them. It is a great comfort to know that we can pray a protective covering over them and have assurance that God will answer. He is trustworthy.
Connie Bernard is wife of UPCI General Superintendent David K. Bernard and mom to Jonathan, Daniel, and Lindsey. But she just may be happiest in the role called grandma!