By: Jessica Bertsch
As I approach 15 years of “dating” a Coastie and 13 years of being married to a Coastie, I tend to hear on a routine bases, “I’d love to pray for you.” Or, “How can I pray for you?” In true Jess fashion, I tend to brush over the sentiments and say, “Oh…I’ve got this. God gave me a platter instead of a plate…no worries at all.” Then I chuckle, move on, and end up in fetal position on the couch gnawing on a giant size Godiva chocolate bar realizing my husband is out to sea, I’m solo parenting three children (age seven and under), and I’ve got to keep myself together so I can successfully run a business.
So, considering all of that, I figured maybe it was time to focus on how I could ask for prayer based on the basic needs of those who serve.
I’ve created a calendar that breaks down a different focus for each week. It’s super easy to use, and some tips below might help you as you spend some quiet time covering families that serve in prayer.
Week One: Prayers for the Service Member
Day 1 – Pray for him/her to have strength as a leader.
Day 2 – Pray for the service member to find confidence and clarity in his/her job as he/she is given tasks to accomplish.
Day 3 – Pray for the service member to be safe as he/she fulfills his/her duties.
Day 4 – Pray for the service member to have peace of mind as he/she is away from his/her family.
Day 5 – Pray for the service member to have stability in his/her marriage and to find ways to connect with his/her partner when he/she is working missions that call him/her away from his/her spouse for extended periods of time.
Day 6 – Pray the service member finds encouraging words to use with his/her crew and that he/she steps into being a positive force at his/her job and that negativity is washed away.
Day 7 – Pray for professional growth. Pray that the service member finds peers who pour into him/her and challenge him/her to grow personally.
Week Two: Prayers for Children
Day 8 – Pray that our children easily adjust to their new school/norm.
Day 9 – Pray that our children find genuine friendships and children who are willing to befriend them easily.
Day 10 – Pray our children have peace of mind and that they spend little time worrying about mom/dad who are away. Pray they can be focused on the awesomeness of the here-and-now moments they can experience.
Day 11 – Pray our children find joy on a daily basis.
Day 12 – Pray our children find strength in their family.
Day 13 – Pray our children have peace and understanding as their parent serves. Pray that they attain a sense of appreciation of the sacrifices being made.
Day 14 – Pray our children grow stronger in character and empathy so they can be leaders in their spheres and models of kindness for others.
Week Three: Prayers for a Service Member Spouse
Day 15 – Pray we find strength as we solo parent.
Day 16 – Pray we find genuine friendships and a circle of friends who openly and quickly embrace us.
Day 17 – Pray we have peace of mind in general (e.g., regarding our spouse, finances, children).
Day 18 – Pray we have clarity and wisdom when big decisions need to be made as we’re flying solo.
Day 19 – Pray our professional worth is noticed and appreciated as we move.
Day 20 – Pray we find stability in our marriage.
Day 21 – Pray we find community where we live. Pray that we find people who genuinely want to do life with us even though our stay in that community may be short.
Week Four: Prayers for a Family that Serves
Day 22 – Pray we find creative ways to stay connected as a family.
Day 23 – Pray we find joy and laughter together daily.
Day 24 – Pray we find and make traditions that bond us.
Day 25 – Pray we have financial comfort.
Day 26 – Pray we have good health.
Day 27 – Pray we have safety.
Day 28 – Pray we give grace to one another (and to ourselves).
Week Five: Prayers for the Community that Serves
Day 29 – Pray for our men and women who serve and their safety.
Day 30 – Pray that our men and women who serve have peace of mind as they work tirelessly serving our country.
You’ve made it! Thank you for devoting 30 days to prayer!
While I’m at it…
Thank you for welcoming us into your communities from day one.
Thank you for talking to your kids about how to befriend new kids who show up in their classes.
Thank you for asking us in a genuine way, “How are you really doing?”
Thank you for sending us “out of the blue” thinking-of-you gifts.
Thank you for cheering us on and tearing up as watch welcome home videos.
Thank you for showing up when a hurricane is coming to help me put up my shutters (for the second time).
Thank you for bringing us a hot meal because you know we need a break.
Thank you for inviting our family to your holiday celebrations when you know we’re missing our loved ones.
Thank you for instilling a sense of American pride in your family.
Thank you for taking 30 days to give us focused prayer time. Often times, as a family that serves, we hear, “Thank you for serving.” Well, to that I say, Thank you for praying. Thank you for setting aside focused time to think of the families that serve. Your prayers and continual acts of kindness are greatly appreciated and felt, and for that, we thank you.