Clearly, God has created us to be in families. We see this in the first chapters of Genesis, as God tells his people to “be fruitful and multiply” (1:28), declares that “it is not good for man to be alone” (2:18) and proclaims that children will then leave their father and mother and unite to their spouse as “one flesh” (2:24). Beyond this immediate family, Christians are called to “look after orphans and widows” (James 1:27) and indeed are adopted into a new family – the family of God! “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made hold are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters” (Hebrews 2:11). God paints us a picture of the value and meaning of family throughout the Bible. It is not always easy; Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery (Genesis 37) and Jesus’ own family sometimes thought he was “out of his mind” (Mark 3:21). But family is important to God, and important to us.
Wherever you find yourself today within your own family experience, will you pray with us for the families of Florence?
O God, we praise you for your love and care! We thank you for our families. We thank you for the love, support, community, protection, discipline, and encouragement that families are created to provide to one another. We pray today for each family here in Florence and throughout South Carolina. We ask for your healing, restoration, and strengthening of our families. Surround those whose families are experiencing brokenness or conflict with the power and comfort of your Holy Spirit. Bring the healing love of Jesus into families who are hurting today. Many are struggling with infertility, singleness, or the loss of a loved one – many families are separated today from the people they want to be with most – and we pray for your presence, guidance, and compassion for these families. Bring a deep realization of belonging and connectedness. O God, we pray for the family of Jesus! When we commit our lives to Him, you adopt us as your own children! What great job! Thank you, Father. We pray that our church communities will love and care for each other as family. Unite us in truth and love, O Father. We pray for the orphans here in Florence; for widows and widowers; for grieving parents and lonely siblings; for infants and for children still growing in their mother’s wombs – we trust you, Father and we know that you love us. Help us today to experience your love, to share that love with one another, and to bring compassion, kindness, loving discipline, and wisdom into our families today.