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July 14, 2022

God Will Save Your Family

I have often heard the phrase “All we can do is pray.” That misguided statement reminds me of the amazing role played by some Czechs in World War II. Craig Larson offers this retelling of Elmer Bendiner’s account of one bombing run over the German city of Kassel, which Bendiner describes in his book The Fall of Fortresses:

“Our B-17 (The Tondelayo) was barraged by flack from Nazi anti-aircraft guns. That was not unusual, but on this particular occasion our gas tanks were hit. Later, as I reflected on the miracle of a twenty-millimeter shell piercing the fuel tank without touching off an explosion our pilot, Bohn Fawkes, told me it was not quite that simple.

“On the morning following the raid, Bohn had gone down to ask our crew chief for that shell as a souvenir of unbelievable luck. The crew chief told Bohn that not just one shell but eleven had been found in the gas tanks - eleven unexploded shells where only one was sufficient to blast us out of the sky. It was as if the sea had been parted for us. Even after thirty-five years, so awesome an event leaves me shaken, especially after I heard the rest of the story from Bohn.

“He was told that the shells had been sent to the armorers to be defused. The armorers told him that Intelligence had picked them up. They could not say why at the time, but Bohn eventually sought out the answer. Apparently when the armorers opened each of those shells, they found no explosive charge. They were as clean as a whistle and just as harmless. Empty? Not all of them.

“One contained a carefully rolled piece of paper. On it was scrawled in Czech. The Intelligence people scoured our base for a man who could read Czech. Eventually, they found one to decipher the note. It caused us to marvel. Translated, the note read: ‘This is all we can do for you now.’”(1)

All we can do? The pilots on that B-17 certainly did not have a small opinion of what those Czechs had done. Nor did the wives, children, or grandchildren of those soldiers. Not to mention other lives they saved by helping deliver the world from Adolf Hitler.

I sometimes think of this story when I hear people bemoan their helplessness or lack of contribution as they announce, “All we can do is pray.” What better activity could a person possibly do? We can impact the world, secure destinies, and affect eternity through prayer.

As we think about the importance of watchman intercession for individuals, most of us probably think immediately of our families, as well we should. Our personal family is where we must begin.

Quin Sherrer has taught much on the subject of praying for family members. In her book Good Night, Lord she relates an occasion of interceding for her son:

“I clearly remember a day when the Lord spoke to me about my teenage child, as I walked the beach, deeply concerned about his spiritual condition. I realized that as a parent, I had made so many mistakes. So, I asked the Lord to forgive me.

“That afternoon, as I walked alone, I proclaimed aloud Scriptures tucked away in my heart. ‘The seed of the righteous shall be delivered,’ I shouted into the wind. ‘Because of Jesus’ blood I am righteous and my children are my seed and they shall be delivered,’ I paraphrased. ‘All my children shall be taught of the Lord, and great will be their peace,’ I paraphrased again. (see Proverbs 11:21; Isaiah 54:13 KJV)

“Over and over, I repeated scriptural promises God had given me for my children; I desperately needed an answer for my child. After more than an hour of this, I reached down and picked up a small brown shell being tossed about by the waves. ‘Trust me to polish and perfect your son,’ the Lord seemed to whisper to my spirit as I turned the shell over in my hand.

“I took my shell home, cleaned it, and set it where I could see it whenever I cooked. ‘Lord, You promised,” I would say some days as I cradled it in my palm. Even after he left for college and I saw little change, I thanked God for His word that He and He alone would perfect my son whom I loved so very much.

“Our prayer battle ended one night when he called to ask his father and me to forgive him; we asked him to forgive us, too. He had started his pilgrimage back to the Lord. After college and a short career, he enrolled in Bible school.

“Not long ago, he finished seven years of service with the Youth With A Mission organization (YWAM)...Today he’s a godly husband and father. “My ‘promise shell’ still sits in my kitchen, testimony to a prayer answer God gave me so many years ago.”(2)

That is the watchman anointing! Quin also shares prayer steps she used in being a watchman for her children:

  • “Be specific

  • Pray Scripture passages aloud

  • Write down your prayers

  • Pray in accordance with God’s will

  • Pray for your children’s future.”(3)

In another of her books, The Spiritual Warrior’s Prayer Guide, she and Ruthanne Garlock give biblical examples of how to do this by offering the following scriptural prayers:

  • “That Jesus Christ be formed in our children (see Galatians 4:19)

  • That our children - the seed of the righteous - will be delivered from the evil one (see Proverbs 11:21 KJV; Matthew 6:13)

  • That our children will be taught of the Lord and their peace will be great (see Isaiah 54:13)

  • That they will train themselves to discern good from evil and have a good conscience toward God (see Hebrews 5:14; 1 Peter 3:21)

  • That God’s laws will be in their minds and on their hearts (see Hebrews 8:10)

  • That they will choose companions who are wise - not fools nor sexually immoral, nor drunkards, nor idolaters, nor slanders, nor swindlers (see Proverbs 13:20; 1 Corinthians 5:11)

  • That they will remain sexually pure and keep themselves only for their spouse, asking God for His grace to keep such a commitment (see Ephesians 5:3; 31-33)

  • That they will honor their parents (see Ephesians 6:1-3)”(4)

I have said several times in recent posts that the concept of being watchmen involves aggressively laying siege through prayer in order to possess or capture, not just protecting. Quin’s friend and writing partner, Ruthanne Garlock shares a powerful testimony of someone who implemented this aspect of the watchman anointing for an unsaved family member:

“Sue, a former student, called one day and asked me to pray for her unsaved father who had terminal cancer. Sue and her mother had prayed for years for him to accept Jesus. Now near death, he was very bitter, blaming God for his illness.

“‘How can we lead him to Christ when he is so angry?’ Sue asked me.

“‘The problem is, he’s believing satan’s lie that God is his enemy,’ I responded. ‘He needs to see that God is his only source of help. I suggest you bind the lying spirit that has deceived him. Then just shower your father with unconditional love; don’t preach to him anymore.’

“Sue’s mother and brother picked up extension phones, and I prayed while they agreed: ‘Thank you, Father, that it is your desire to bring Sue’s dad into your kingdom. We take authority in the name of Jesus and bind the deceiving spirits that are lying to him. We ask Holy Spirit to reveal the truth that You love him. Lord, cause him to come to his senses and escape from the trap of the devil. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.’

“I suggested they continue this strategy. ‘Use the authority Jesus gave you to forbid the enemy to speak to your father.’ About six weeks later, Sue called to tell me her father had died. But just before he died, he received Jesus as his Lord.

“‘One day as I walked through the living room where he was lying on the sofa, I went over and hugged him and said, ‘I love you, Dad,’ Sue related. ‘Tears came to his eyes - it was the first time I had ever seen him cry. As I began to share with him about the Lord, I could tell Holy Spirit had already prepared his heart. He willingly accepted Jesus right then.’”(5)

That is the watchman anointing bearing fruit. Siege walls were built by prayer, prohibiting satan from continuing to lie to this father. As a result, he is in Heaven today.

Pray with me:

Father, it is Your will that all people are saved. We know we have tremendous authority to pray for our children and other family members. We ask for You to do whatever it takes to bring them to a point of faith in Christ. We ask for the revelation, deliverance, and connections with laborers that they need. For those who are prodigals, we ask that they come to their senses, just as the prodigal did in Scripture.

We come into agreement now for a mighty move of Your Holy Spirit to sweep them into the Kingdom in this season. We boldly declare that none of them will perish without coming to know You. We surround them with walls of protection in the spirit and decree that they will not die before coming to know You.

And now we also come into agreement for the necessary understanding to come to the church, enabling us to more effectively lay siege in the spirit. Show us how to pray and what to pray. As we implement the scriptures and principles in this post, we declare boldly that all of our family members will come to Christ. In Your name we pray and declare this. Amen.

Our decree:

We decree that salvation is coming to our family members in the name of Jesus!

Portions of today’s post were taken from my book Watchman Prayer.

[Dutch Sheets, Watchman Prayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2008), pp 102-106.]

Click on the link below to watch the full video.


  1. Larson “Servanthood #624.” 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers, and Writers, pp 502-503.

  2. Quin Sherrer, Good Night, Lord (Ventura, Calif.” Regal, 2000), pp 164-165.

  3. Quin Sherrer, How to Pray for Your Children (Ventura, Calif.” Regal, 1998), pp 25-27.

  4. Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock, The Spiritual Warrior’s Prayer Guide (Ann Arbor Mich.: Servant Publications, 1992, pp 158-159.

  5. Ibid., pp 32-33.


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