Our Father, we give You thanks for our families. You created the family in order that we might flourish as we live before Your face. You joined the first man and the first woman together in a covenant relationship that was never to be broken except by death.
We thank You for Your wisdom in giving us the helpers that we need to face the challenges of this fallen world. We thank You for providing in our spouse those qualities that we need to be complete. We pray that You will allow us to honor our spouses and to remain true to the commitment that we have made in matrimony.
We ask that You would give us the courage to defend what You have defined, marriage as the relationship between one man and one woman, and intended to endure for the entirety of life. Many forces are at work in our world that continually want to redefine marriage, even though they have no right to do so. Allow us to demonstrate the wisdom of Your original design as we defend marriage as the cornerstone of society.
We thank You that You, as our Father, are the model for what fathers should be. We should exercise the proper mixture of mercy and justice in our dealings with our children. Guide us to bring them up to love You and Your Word, and to never exasperate them so that they not lose heart. Let our discipline be consistent, measured, and appropriate without being abusive.
We thank You for the important role that mothers have in molding young lives. Give mothers the wisdom they need to instruct their children wisely. Allow them to dry tears and heal the wounds that their children incur, both physically and emotionally. Let them be women of prayer, pleading before You for the salvation and the good of their children.
We ask that children would learn early the importance of submitting to proper authority as they honor their parents. Allow their families to be safe places in which they can learn how to live in this world. Give them the nurture and the care that they need to develop into responsible adults. Allow them to learn from their fathers and mothers how to work as unto You, and to depend on You in all areas of life.
We thank You for the influence that grandparents, other relatives, community members, and church members can have in supporting families. Allow these who are outside of the family circle to provide guidance and support without meddling. In situations where families have been broken by divorce, abandonment, or death, raise up those who will be supportive of the parent that remains, giving them assistance in their difficult work.
Within our families, let us see that while the family is important for our good, it is most important in modeling the relationship that You have with Your children. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Wives are to demonstrate Godly submission to husbands in the same way that the church submits to Christ. Let us experience the one flesh relationship that demonstrates the joining of Your people to Yourself. We may never perfectly model this relationship, but do not allow our failures to detract from what You desire in our marriages. As children learn to submit to their parents, allow them to learn how to properly submit to You as their Creator and Lord.
For those who are not presently blessed with a supportive family, and for those who are single, widowed, orphaned, or abandoned, let them see that You, as the heavenly Father, have love and care for them as well. Allow them to rest in You and to find their fulfillment in Your will for their lives. Raise up others who will come alongside them and support them in their journey even if it is not presently supported by a loving earthly family. Allow Your church to be a home for the homeless, and a family for those without one.
Raise up couples who will provide loving adoptive families for children who have been orphaned or abandoned. For those in the adoption process, grant them success as they navigate all of the legal requirements. Allow other families to provide safe and loving temporary foster families where needed.
We thank for the relationship that exists between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Let us see in Your eternal relationship of love and fellowship Your desire that we live in harmony, love, and joy in the families in which You have placed us. We thank You that while we were enemies that You broke down our opposition to You by Your love, and that You have adopted us into Your family by the work of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Let us worship and adore our elder brother, Christ, as we share with Him as co-heirs of Your glory. Thank You for saving us from death and hell, and translating us into Your eternal kingdom through Him, our Savior Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.