The Power of Praying Together as a Family

We all know–at least in our heads–that praying together is important.

As Christians, we’ve all heard how powerful is is to pray together as a husband and wife, and how important it is pray together as family . . . but why is it often so hard? Is is worth it to press-through the challenge? How many of us honestly wonder if our our prayers, and the simple prayers of our far-from-perfect family, can really make a difference?


It’s actually that very gut-level of honesty within a family, and our knowledge of each others’ inadequacies, that makes praying together so powerful.

You can’t be fake when praying with your family; you have to rely on God’s forgiveness and His righteousness through the Cross of Jesus Christ.

Praying Together as a Christian Family

If we could comprehend, deep in our spirits, the true power of prayer, we would all pray more–and the difference would radically impact our lives and the lives of those around us.

James 5:16 tells us, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

We want our prayers to be effective, but what does it mean to stand “righteous” before God? It’s totally standing and relying on Jesus Christ and HIS righteousness, not coming to God based on our own “good works” or efforts!

As a family, we’re very aware of our differences and our faults. We’ve all sinned, and we need to acknowledge that no one of earth can stand blameless before our perfect, holy, and awesome God. No matter how good we try to be, our own works are nothing but filthy rags in His sight (see Isaiah 64:6). To pray effectively as a family, we need to grasp the importance of the “fear of the Lord.” We need to realize how powerful and mighty He is.

Self-efforts are like Filthy Rags . . .

  • Teach Your Kids about Prayer with Filthy Rags:
    The next time you come across an extremely dirty rag in your house, use it an opportunity to share an important lesson with your kids. We may think our own self-efforts help us earn “Brownie points” with God. But, to Him, our human works are as worthless as stinky rags. If we try to earn favor with God-instead of trusting in Jesus-it’s like collecting yucky rags. The more they pile up, the more they stink and mildew.

But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.

Isaiah 64:6

3 more family prayer ideas:

  • Take a Prayer-Walk: As you walk around your neighborhood, take time to quietly praying for each neighbor, and seek God for ideas on how your family can be a light for Jesus.
  • Make a Poster: Have your children make a “Ten Most Wanted” list or poster. Have them think of ten people who need Jesus. These can be relatives, neighbors, famous people, or the man who works at the convenience store. Use this list or poster to remind you to pray for these people to come to know the Lord.
  • Use a Map: Put a small world map on your refrigerator, and use this area to display newsletters from missionaries you support, along with current international news updates. Pray regularly as a family, perhaps around the dinner table, for specific world needs and for people you know who need the Lord.

Power in prayer is by Christ’s righteousness!

In prayer, each of us must come to God in an attitude of total surrender and humility, keeping our hearts clean and open before Him. Through the cleansing sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, every mom and dad, and boy and girl, can pray as a “righteous man” before God. Because of Christ’s forgiveness and righteousness, even your family can come before God with boldness and authority to effectively intercede on behalf of others.

Click here for more Mission-Minded Family articles about PRAYER.


t682047469_1919124_89151This article by Ann Dunagan, is an excerpt from her book, The Mission-Minded Family – Releasing Your Family to God’s Destiny (IVP – InterVarsity Press). It is also a featured article on The Christian Post’s “Better Parenting – Better Families” blog.

Hot off the press preview of THE SCARLET CORD!!!

It’s a dream coming true . . .

The Scarlet Cord: Nothing but the Blood of Jesus is a concise call to world missions. This brand-new little book, co-authored by Jon & Ann Dunagan of Harvest Ministry, has been a dream of our hearts for many, many years.

And it’s finally becoming a reality!

An Excerpt . . .

From the Preface of The Scarlet Cord . . .

Jesus Christ allowed His hands and feet to be pierced by Roman nails.

As His blood flowed down that rugged cross, it was God’s love that was poured out for you and for this world. As we were writing this little book, we prayed for those of you who would someday read these pages, and as we prayed, that word “pierced” kept coming to our minds.

Our Lord was pierced because of God’s perfect love.

As you take hold of The Scarlet Cord: Nothing but the Blood of Jesus, may God’s passion pierce Your heart.

–Jon & Ann Dunagan

A Review . . .

“I have just finished reading The Scarlet Cord: Nothing but the Blood of Jesus. This powerful book has put a fresh fire in my heart for world evangelization.

To those serious about world missions, I recommend this book strongly, and to those not serious about world missions, I recommend it even more.”

— Timothy Johnson, Dominican Republic:
foreign-based missionary for over 25 years

Click here for a closeup preview of the COVER . . .

Please pray for us . . .

We would appreciate your prayers as we are beginning to share this new book with others.

Our preliminary vision is for it to be used in churches (especially in congregations where we will be ministering) to instill a passion for world missions and reaching the lost for Jesus.
If you are interested in learning more, please CONTACT US.

Daring Daughters: ARROWS aimed by God!

Missions & SUB-mission

Today, we want to invite you over to another site called Visionary Womanhood.

Two of Ann’s new articles are being featured there this week –about the relationship between “Missions and SUB-Mission.” Both articles were written especially for mothers, but they are also applicable for daring daughters of all ages!

As Daring Daughters, we need to realize that we are special arrows for God,
and we need to submit to His alignment and direction in our lives.

We need to allow the Lord to “aim” us and to focus us toward His goals and His purposes,
which begins with our daily relationship with Him . . .

read the articles . . .

Missions & SUB-mission 1 — click here for PART 1 —>
Part 1 is a short teaching and encouragement for women about how SUB-mission to God is like an ARROW yielding to the archer, a SUBMARINE advancing silently underwater, and a FRUIT TREE being pruned in winter.

Missions & SUB-mission 2 — click here for PART 2 —>
Part 2 is Ann’s personal story of SUB-mission and how she learned the importance of obedience to God (as a adventurous newlywed, while smuggling Bibles into China).

A Filipino Cure for Fleas

On the Light Side . . .

One of our Dunagan family mission memories

Our family was in a remote Filipino village on one of our first missionary trips, and the national pastor hosting us was very nervous.

“I’ve never hosted foreigners and don’t know what to feed you,” he said.

“Oh, we’re easy to please,” we responded naively. “Just relax; we’ll eat whatever you put before us.”

A few minutes later the pastor introduced us to the church women who were going to be cooking our food. One of them was eating this very different looking egg. It was black; and as she cracked it open, she started tugging at the insides–pulling out a black embryonic chick!

We found out that balut (a fertilized duck egg with a nearly developed embryo that is boiled and eaten in the shell) was a common Filipino food . . . and we were nervous.

The people gave us an esteemed room in the village — the only one with a rug. Unfortunately, the rug was totally infested with fleas; and within a few days my legs were covered with flea bites.

When the pastor saw the bug bites, he said, “Oh, that is terrible. We must do something about those fleas biting you. Yes, there is only one thing to do.”

“What is that?” we asked.

“Well, we must eat the dog. I was going to save it for a party, but I think we must eat it now.”

A few days later, Jon came into our room. “Guess what we’re having for dinner,” he said with a raised eyebrow.

Not balut, I hoped. (I didn’t know if I was that good of a missionary yet.)

I went to visit the church women and to see our menu for myself. These precious ladies were cutting up some strange white-looking meat. When I asked what it was, they talked among themselves in their Filipino language of Tagolog and then went to find someone who could interpret.

A few minutes later one woman came in and distinctly pronounced with wonderful enunciation the new English word she had just learned.

“Dog.” she said.

“Dog?” I timidly asked, as my mind whirled with memories of special pets from my childhood.

The woman clarified herself: “Yes, you know — Ruff! Ruff!”

Yes, I knew far too well. But that’s what we and our kids had for dinner that night. Our menu actually consisted of nearly-raw dog meat and fried dog intestines.

And we still had fleas!

This story was excerpted from Ann’s book, The Mission-Minded Child – Raising a New Generation to Fulfill God’s Purpose , Chapter 11, “Making Missions Fun – At Home, School, and Church”

Mission-Minded @ St. Michael’s in Charleston

We’re excited about an opportunity to minister to families and youth in Charleston, South Carolina.

In Charleston . . .

If you know anyone in the Charleston, South Carolina area, Ann & Christi Dunagan will be speaking about mission-minded families (to families and to youth) at St. Michael’s Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

scheduled events & service times . . .

Sunday Morning:
TOOL TIME for FAMILIES with Ann Dunagan
9:20 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. (in the Chapel)

Sunday Afternoon:
YOUTH TIME (for both guys and girls) with Christi Dunagan
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (in the Chapel)

CLICK here to download an information FLYER

For information, please contact Dee Goehring 843-814-7835
or email:

Daring Daughters: Girls Night in Charleston!

Come with a friend or a daughter for a fun and inspiring evening!

girls night out . . .

Daring Daughters is a vision to inspire young women for world missions.

There are many BIG needs in our world today: orphans, unborn babies, hurting children, poverty, human slavery, and people who desperately need Jesus. Has God put an idea in your heart to make a difference in the world? Mother and daughter team, Ann and Christi Dunagan want to stir-up YOUR vision, for God’s eternal purposes.

WHEN: Monday, March 19th, 2012
WHERE: Charleston, SC (at a private home).
CONTACT: For more information, contact Ann (for information, and home location).

P.S. If you would like to help, please bring a small snack to share! Thanks!).

Click here for an information flyer:

Power Word: “Turn the World Upside Down!”

We live in a totally upside-down world, where “right” seems “wrong” and where “good” is called “evil.” God has called us as Christians to go and turn the world “upside-down” (which is actually “right-side-up”) for the Kingdom of God!

In this short “Power Word,” Ann Dunagan will challenge you, with passion, to boldly share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “Let’s get out there and turn the world upside-down!”