“When the going gets tough…tough couples PRAY.” – Kyle Gabhart
On Sunday, we talked about priorities, putting God first, your spouse second, and then protecting those priorities. One of those priorities should be prayer. Prayer has immeasurable capabilities to transform the reality around us. Prayer moves the hand of God. Through our prayers He moves, transforms, and heals us. Successful marriages have talking to God through prayer as its cornerstone. We should strive to pray daily for – and with – our spouse.
Prayer is the married couple’s declaration of dependence on God. When married couples don’t pray, it’s their declaration of independence. It’s the couple’s way of saying “We can do this without God.” The truth is we can’t do marriage well without God, and talking to God on a daily basis works like glue in a marriage.
Something amazing happens to our hearts when we pray for our spouse. The hardness melts. We become able to get beyond the hurts, and forgive. We are rarely phony or petty in prayer. We drop the excuses and masks. We open up and are vulnerable before God. Because prayer is intimacy with God, a natural by-product of praying together is intimacy with each other. Corrie Ten Boom said, “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”
The Bible tells us, “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). In order to do this, you must pray for yourself first, that you will be the person God wants you to be. You can begin with Psalm 51:10: “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” Only then, when we have a clean heart and a right spirit, will we be in the right place to pray effectively for our spouse. Then pray for and with your spouse.
Prayer is more personal and powerful when we accept prayer not as a daily or daunting task, but as a way of life. When we strive for closeness not only with our spouse, but closeness with God, we can ultimately deal with the everyday challenges we face. Pray that God will help and guide your marriage. Ask God to teach you and your spouse how to pray together so you can have the marriage He intends for you to have.
This Valentine’s Day, one thing will say “I love you” better than any card, outlive any flower, and be remembered longer than any romantic dinner: praying for and with your spouse.
- How important is prayer in marriage? Do you think it is important to pray together rather than separately?
- What can we do this week to start earning our black belt in prayer as marriage partners?