Monday, December 3, 2012

Prayer and Marriage


I regularly discuss in my blog posts the importance of praying together as a couple.  I can’t emphasize it enough.  I feel so strongly about it that I want to take the time to look at why it is so important.

If you believe in God or have attended church, you probably know the value of prayer.  Or do you?  I’m amazed at the amount of people who are uncomfortable with prayer, especially in front of other people - particularly their own spouse.  Even if you had the benefit of living in a family that required you to attend church weekly, you did not necessarily learn how to pray.

I look back at my own church experience.  Maybe my heart wasn’t in the right place as a child or I didn’t listen well, but I don’t remember any discussion about how to pray.  It always seemed to be the pastor leading the prayer, and it was usually to open or close the service.  I did not go to a church that taught you to seek the Lord in prayer in all you do.  I thought you only went to Him for the big things – like life or death situations.

I do clearly remember one of my prayers as a child.  I had a new kitten that disappeared.   He was gone for a few days, and I asked God to please return him safely.  And He did.  I’ve never forgotten that special miracle.  I only prayed to God in an emergency, though, as a child.  I didn’t think you could bother Him with the little things.

Many of us feel too unworthy to lift up our prayers to God, much less with people around to hear us. We’re afraid we won’t say the right words.  No wonder!  If our parents or Christian friends never prayed in front of us, we only have the clergy from our churches as an example of how to pray.  They usually pray with eloquent words that flow out from all their years of experience – enough to intimidate even the wisest scholar. 

Jesus talks about prayer in Matthew Chapter 6.  Verses 5-8: say: “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full, but when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

Jesus goes on to discuss the Lord’s Prayer.  When in doubt about how to pray, go to Matthew 6:9 and follow this guideline of how we should pray. (Not by the words but by the structure – Praise [Hallowed Be Thy Name] – Will [Thy will be done] – Grace [Give us this day our daily bread] etc.)

It is not necessary to have a formal, impressive prayer when we seek God.  We only need to tell Him our concerns as if He was our best friend sitting right next to us.  He already knows what we’re going to ask Him! (vs.8)  I find myself talking to God throughout the day, only using a few words at a time.  “What should I do, Lord?” or “Please help me find a parking place!” (You wouldn’t believe how He blesses me with parking spots.)

It may take you a little while to become comfortable with your prayer life, but who is better to learn it with than your spouse?  We are joined as one with our spouse when we marry, so we can pray privately, in secret with them.  And the Lord will reward you. (vs.6)

Matthew 18:19-20 says, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in Heaven.  For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

God tells us that He will be with us when two or three come together.  We absolutely need God with us in our marriages when the devil is working over-time to destroy marriage. You will see great changes in your relationship when you begin to pray with your spouse.


More to come on prayer with your spouse!

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