Millions of families were tricking and treating last week. Halloween has become one of biggest holidays in our nation, with millions spent on costumes and candy. The Stay Puff Marshmallow Man comes around the corner and our childhood fears are celebrated in a holiday about goblins and spooks.
Most families assume the scariness of Halloween is a pretend night of fearfulness with the reward of getting candy from our friends. And while we know there are dangers in the world, we seldom consider the unseen dangers our families are facing each day. As long as we have no serious issues or tragedies, we assume all is well.
But all is not well. Life is scarier than we want to believe. Visit Facebook for a few moments and you’ll quickly discover the fears, illnesses, heartaches, loneliness, and distress people have within their families. Even when our families seem to have everything going their way, we know they will face situations that are difficult, and even tragic.
Our families are in danger, not only for their everyday safety and health, but for much more serious concerns than these. Ghosts and zombies may not exist but we are in a battle “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 ESV). We may choose not to believe there are evil forces at work, but if we do, the only losers are the families we love. “Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NRSV). Our families are in danger, no matter how cool they may act, or successful they appear. Our families are in danger of dying without God, an eternity of agony that we cannot imagine and cannot bear to consider. But we must.
We have many ways we help our families. We take care of one another when we are ill, we celebrate the good times, and we cry together in the hard times. Yet none of these actions protect our families from the forces of evil seeking to destroy them. We do not have the resources within us for the most insidious threat of life. “In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” (Eph. 6:18 MSG). When we fail to pray for our families, we are willing to let them live wasted lives, and even sadder, we are willing to risk their eternity.
Who is praying for our families? At the end of each day, may your answer and mine, be “me!”
Here are a few resources to encourage you as you pray for your family.