Prayer for the Family: Teach Us to Overcome Challenges

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Dear Joseph, Mary, and Jesus: Together, you three made up the Holy Family. There are no novels written about you, and I find that comforting. You lived a quiet, routine life, much the way I do with my family. Yet, even you had your struggles. We ask for your intercession throughout life’s challenges. You know it best, from the beginning, you three had challenges of your own.

Prayer for the Family

[B]ehold, the angel of the Lord appeared to [Joseph] in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this Child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins”

(Matthew 1:20–21)

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It is amazing to think that the Holy Family almost did not stay together. There was misunderstanding, and most likely confusion and hurt on the part of Joseph. He must have wondered how someone so special and pure as Mary could have deceived him. And surely, she would have wanted to explain. 

Yet, what trust in God that Mary remained in silent prayer, allowing the Lord to reveal all in His good time! What trust in God that Joseph, who initially planned to discreetly divorce Mary, later heeded the words of an angel! What trust in God that Jesus humbled Himself to be formed in Mary’s womb, beginning as a tiny, hidden soul, and growing as the Word-Made-Flesh, born of a woman, to dwell among us. Lord, help me and my family to trust in You as the Holy Family did.

Joseph and Mary Journey to Bethlehem

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

(Luke 2:4)

Sometimes the world has bad timing. It was very undesirable for Joseph and Mary to be required to travel to Bethlehem when their child—the Son of God—was expected to be born at any moment. But even so, they obeyed the census requirements and trusted that God would provide everything necessary for welcoming His Son into the world. Lord, help me and my family to obey civil authority with docility, and to trust in You to provide for all our needs.

Prayer for the family

Jesus is Born to Mary His Mother and to Joseph, His Foster Father

While [Mary and Joseph] were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

(Luke 2:6–7)

Lord, help us when we feel unwelcome, displaced, or even shunned by those who should show kindness. Bless us when we are vulnerable and in need of your mercy. Help us to look beyond our own humiliation and discomfort so that we may care for others, the way Mary cared for Baby Jesus, tenderly laying him in a manger so that He might rest peacefully.

Dear Joseph, Mary, and Jesus: Hear this prayer for the family. Bless us to remain attentive to the Lord’s guidance and to one another.

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