By Sue Schlesman, Crosswalk.com
If you’re like me, you worry about your family’s health and safety. You worry about someone you love contracting a disease or being influenced by the wrong people. You feel overwhelmed because even when you pray, you wonder….
Do my prayers for protection make any difference? Are my prayers powerful enough to change the present or the future? Does God want to hear them?
Yes. A thousand times yes.
What Is a Prayer of Protection?
Asking for God’s protection doesn’t annoy him. In fact, it’s critical to our faith because praying for protection (or anything else) is a practical application and execution of our faith. When I ask God for something only he can do, I am transferring my control to him.
That’s the point of prayer in the first place: worship.
God doesn’t refuse worshippers. So as long as your prayer requests are acts of worship, faith, and trust, you can’t ever pray too much or ask for the wrong thing. Your heart will ask for what God wants to give you.
A prayer of protection is merely a request for God’s sovereignty in your life. We can’t manipulate God into protecting us—in fact, we don’t have to because we are always in the palm of his hand, if we are his children (John 10:28-29).
While we often pray for safe travel, relationships, and influences over our family members, God has already promised us his protection in Scripture. It’s God’s nature to protect and cherish.
Perhaps this is difficult to remember because so often, our understanding of God’s protection is limited to what we expect out of the Christian life: health, comfort, and safety.
We can trust God with our health, our comfort, and our safety, even when our lives feel precarious and the future is dark.
How to Pray Protection over Yourself and Your Family (or Friends)
If you want to pray a prayer of protection and you don’t know what to say, you can try praying someone else’s words first. You can use the Psalms or the seven prayers below to help you get started.
Then use your own words. Just tell God how you feel. Name your fears. Choose to name God’s virtues out loud. Praising God helps you believe that he will protect you. If necessary, make changes in your beliefs and habits wherever you feel afraid. Root out the fear by claiming God’s truth.
What Does the Bible Say about Praying for Protection?
Prayers of protection occur throughout the Old and New Testaments. Here are a few examples of people who prayed when they felt afraid, anxious, or overwhelmed:
David prayed for protection against his enemies (mostly, his father-in-law) multiple times in Psalms. He asked God for vengeance, protection, and purpose. He shared his fear sand promised to trust God’s plan for his life (Psalm 54, Psalm 55, Psalm 56, Psalm 57, Psalm 59, Psalm 63)
Jesus prayed for his disciples’ growth, unity, and protection from the devil (John 17:12-15)
Jesus prayed for Peter to withstand Satan’s attacks (Luke 21:31-32)
Daniel and his friends prayed for God to reveal Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to Daniel so they wouldn’t be killed (Daniel 2:16-19)
Whatever kinds of protective prayers you say, make your request in bold faith that God is going before you and beside you into whatever you face.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Aldomurillo
7 Prayers of Protection over Your Family
A Prayer for Physical Protection and Healing
“Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.” (James 4:14)
Lord, I ask for your powerful hand of healing in my family today. I ask for you to bring us healing and protection from disease and sickness. I will trust you and praise you no matter what happens, but I ask for you to protect us and transform us so that we trust whatever you allow into our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A Prayer for Courage
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)
Lord, I am afraid of all the things surrounding me and my family. I’m afraid of the past, the present, and the future. I know that you have the power to subdue and eradicate my anxiety and fear. I ask you to take it away and shield me from believing in its power. Help me to trust your goodness and live courageously because I know that you can and will protect me from the things that frighten me. You love me and you only do good to me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A Prayer for Your Children's Protection
“We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding, and we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way.” (Colossians 1:9-10)
Lord, I pray for my children, that you will fill them with spiritual understanding of you. I ask for the Holy Spirit to move powerfully in their lives. Surround them with spiritual influences. Give them a thirst for your Spirit. I pray for tender hearts to hear and receive your word. Grow them into mighty men and women of God who share your love and mission with the world. May they seek first your kingdom. Protect them from following after an earthly kingdom and the pleasures of this world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A Prayer for Your Marriage
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
Lord, protect my marriage. Thank you for giving me a picture of the church and how I should live in it, right in my home. I pray for my spouse to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, to seek you above all things. I ask for your guidance and wisdom for myself, that I will respond and act with love, kindness, wisdom, grace, and faithfulness. I pray that we will guard our marriage from influences that will harm it. Help us to forgive freely and never harbor resentment or anger. I pray that we will share Christ’s love through the testimony of our marriage. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A Prayer for Your City and Country
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Lord, I pray for your Spirit to fall on my country and my community. Protect my family and our culture from idolatry, selfishness, injustice, and corruption. Infuse Christians with love, mercy, and compassion. May our lives glorify your name and bring honor to your Son. Convict lawmakers, leaders, and fellow-citizens to humble themselves before you and seek your wisdom. May we be a people of love and mercy as a light of the gospel of Jesus. In his name, Amen.
A Prayer for Your Mind
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)
Lord, renew my mind and the minds of my family members. Convict us of sin and protect us from the lies of the enemy that are all around us. Help us to discern truth from error and to defend ourselves against godlessness and idolatry. Fill us with a knowledge and wisdom of your word. Guard us with the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A Prayer against Spiritual Warfare
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:10)
Lord, defend my family against my spiritual enemies. Guard our hearts and minds. Protect us from the flaming darts of the evil one. I give you myself and my family; we devote ourselves to prayer and understanding of your word and your mission. With you, we can defeat the devil. He has no power over us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
What to Remember about Praying a Prayer of Protection
- God wants to answer your prayers. He is listening and waiting to hear them. (1 Peter 3:7, Daniel 9:17)
- Pray for God’s will. He knows the future; you don’t. What might seem like a lack of protection now might be full protection from something else. Decide to trust and follow Jesus, even when you don’t feel safe. He’s got you. (Matthew 6:33-34, James 1:2-8, 2 Thess. 1:11-12)
- Prayers of a righteous person make a difference. Your prayers can alter the future. Your prayers can change history. God is full of redemption, restitution, and blessing. He can take anything that’s happened and made good come from it. (James 5:16)
- Sometimes praying protection means stepping into a difficult situation yourself and being Jesus to someone. In addition to praying for specific needs, you can go meet the need. After all, faith without works is dead. (James 2:20, 26)
- Pray regularly. Nothing builds your faith and resilience to the enemies of this world better than prayer does. (2 Timothy 1:3)
Our God is our faithful Protector. That’s who he is. He leads us through suffering. He comforts us in grief. He guides us through temptation. He forgives us when we confess our sins. Because God is loving and faithful, he always protects us, even when it doesn’t feel like it. God cannot go against his own nature. And the nature of a Protector is care and compassion.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Cecilie Arcurs
Sue Schlesman is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, English teacher, and pastor’s wife. She has a BA in Creative Writing and a Master’s in Theology & Culture. Her second book Soulspeak: Praying change into unexpected places is a Selah Award finalist. Sue’s material appears in a variety of print, online, radio, and podcast mediums. She has a passion for missions, social justice, traveling, reading, and the local church. You can find her writing about life, education, justice, and Jesus at sueschlesman.com.