It is the privilege and responsibility of fathers to watch over their families in prayer.
Fathers have a priestly responsibility: As head of the house, God appointed men as priests to pray for their families. Men represent their families to God in prayer. However, this does not imply that men take over the individual responsibility of family members to pray.
Fathers must pray for the family’s protection: The husband must pray for protection of the union from encroachment by a third party in the marriage. He must also pray for his wife’s safety, her physical protection against rape, accidents, attacks, robbery etc., her health, her emotional wellbeing and for the decisions that she faces daily. Furthermore, he must provide for his wife a place that is spiritually and emotionally ‘safe’. He should pray that she walks in truth because when she does, she walks in spiritual freedom. A father should pray for his children in such a manner: Pray for their relationships (friendships), their thought-lives, their physical protection, and their exposure to false teachings, perversion and impurity.
Fathers must take responsibility and provide for their family’s spiritual lives, their relationship with God and their spiritual growth. The father must pray for his wife and children to follow God unconditionally and be filled with His Spirit. He must also pray for their insight into God’s Word, and for them to be living testimonies of God. He should pray that they would believe and have faith in God for every aspect of their lives.
Fathers have the responsibility to pray prophetically for their families: Some fathers might choose to pray that God’s will be done in the lives of their family members, that God’s purpose in creating them would be fulfilled, and that they would each be willing to do what God asks of them. Fathers should also pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal God’s will and His greater purposes for their lives. In the New Testament, the word ‘prophetic’ can in some instances be translated as ‘teach’. When fathers pray, they should ask their heavenly Father what the Holy Spirit would have them teach their family members and how he should guide them.
Fathers must make time to listen to God: Fathers must take time to listen to God so that they can pray God’s will for their families (Mark 13:33, 35, 37). When we listen to God, He reveals what He would have us pray for. He may reveal that a family member is headed for danger, or that they are experiencing some kind of inner conflict; maybe they are discouraged, or unsure of what God’s will is for their lives. At such times, fathers need to ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and pray accordingly. If, for instance, there is a relationship issue, the Spirit can prompt the father to pray regarding selfishness or jealousy, for example. At another time, the Holy Spirit might prompt the father to pray for his children to have favour, or for them not to compromise and do something that would damage their witness.
Demonic attacks are a reality, and it is the father’s responsibility to pray and resist evil. Fathers must be sensitive to attacks from the evil one on any one of his family members. They must listen carefully to what the Holy Spirit instructs them to pray for, and they must resist the devil, in the authority of Jesus (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8).
Fathers must pray for their families according to Scripture: Fathers must pray that their families would be obedient to God’s commands, and for God to fulfil His promises. It would be useful for fathers to read through the Psalms and notice God’s instructions and promises, and pray for their families accordingly.
Lastly, fathers must bless their children daily: Use Numbers 6:23-27 and Ephesians 1:3 to pray God’s blessing over your family. Few things are as important as praying daily for your family’s protection, and blessing them in the name of the LORD.