Faith & Life: Prayers to Pray for Family Members

A woman with her hands on a Bible as she prays
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Prayers to Pray for Family Members

Praying Scripture Passages Over People’s Lives

by J.M. Troppello

One of my favorite passages of scripture on the topic of praying is found in James 5:13-18. I have always loved the statement from the second part of verse 16: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16Confess 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. (James 5:13-18, NKJV)

1. No Anxiety

It’s so important not to allow worry to stress you out. I’ve allowed cares and concerns to stress me out many times. However, one scripture passage that has helped me—especially with regard to pressing issues we’ve experienced with extended family in the past is Philippians 4:6-7.

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7, NKJV)

Give all your concerns to God. Don’t allow the stress of family relationships and disagreements to cause rifts between you. Come openly before God with all that is on your heart.

2. Spiritual Wisdom

One of the best things you can pray for someone is that they have spiritual wisdom. For guidance in how to pray for that wisdom for them, you can use the following prayer from Ephesians.

15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:15-21, NKJV)

I’ve prayed this passage of scripture many times over myself, family members, and others. I love the words from verse 18 that the eyes of their understanding would be enlightened.

3. Spiritual Growth

I call this passage from Ephesians a ‘companion prayer’ to the scripture from chapter 1. In this passage from chapter 3, you would be praying for spiritual growth—that Christ would dwell richly in their heart and that they would know the love of Jesus and be rooted in that love in all their interactions with others.

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21, NKJV)

One of my favorite verses from this passage is verse 16 since it brings me back to the truth that true spiritual strength comes from God. Pray for that strength for yourself and others.

4. Protection

I have two favorite Psalms, 23 and 91. I love the imagery from Psalm 23 that the Lord is my shepherd. I love the imagery from Psalm 91 showing that God is a powerful covering in my life, and I can abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the [a]fowler And from the perilous pestilence. 4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. 5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. 8 Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. 12 In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”
(Psalm 91, NKJV)

I’ve prayed this Psalm many times over people’s lives. It has brought me comfort many times, knowing that God is my protector. He is protecting those who come to Him and dwell under the shadow of the Almighty.

Enhance the Way You Pray

Praying scripture over someone is so powerful. God’s Word will not return void. The work it sets out to accomplish, it will complete it (Isaiah 55:11, paraphrased). Enhance the way you pray for yourself and others by praying scripture.

  • No anxiety

  • Spiritual wisdom

  • Spiritual growth

  • Protection

These four scripture passages are only a beginning in how you can get deeper into a prayer life that covers others with God’s Word and prayer. Yet, these are four areas that can truly help in your prayer time for those in your life who need more of God’s peace, wisdom, spiritual growth, and protection.

Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on


About the Author

JM Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.

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