Archive for April, 2012
We talked about praying for your spouse. When I started to prepare I had no idea how important this topic was to those in attendance. I saw the importance in my own life and even had to re-evaluate how much I pray with and for my wife. But I didn’t realize how others at the prayer meeting would get out of such a topic.
I thought I would do an overview of what we learned together so that you can see the importance or praying for your spouse.
I have been married for almost 19 years to my wife, De-Ann. [I have had many say people say in the past, so does that mean you got married when you were 13? Obviously I look younger than I am].
One thing I realized after being married for a while the hardest thing to do is to pray for De-Ann. Not at first, at first I would pray with De-Ann regularly and pray for her every morning while I did my devotions. But when things got busy or we had friction between us, I forgot to pray and didn’t pray for her and there were many times we didn’t get together to pray regularly either. Sure we prayed before each meal, but the kind of prayer I should have been having for her and with her, I didn’t.
I think the reason we find it hardest to pray for our spouse is because they are closet to us. Let me explain…the people we are closest too we take for granted. If you see someone day in and day out, you just assume they are fine. And you take them for granted.
The author, Will Davis, of Pray Big says that prayer should be the oxygen of marriage. Or another analogy is prayer is the glue of marriage. Obviously it is important.
The best example of a spouse that prays is Jesus for his bride (the Church–all Christians)
Hebrews 7:25: “Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.”
This simply means Jesus spends his time praying for us. Interceding on our behalf to the Father. This is a great picture of the kind of spouse you and I should be. I love that he doesn’t just do it when he thinks of us but he “he live forever to intercede” for us. A great example of how we should be praying for our spouse.
I like this questions Davis poses: “how would the marriages in our culture look if husbands & wives believed their primary role in marriage was intercession?”
Let’s take a few minutes to name off a few reasons why prayer is so important to a healthy marriage:
1. It equips us to fulfill our biblical roles.
We are both given assignments as husbands & wives.
Look at Eph 5:22-30: 22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. 25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body.
v.22-23, 25-26: Husbands are instructed to love their wives the way Jesus loved the church–every Christian.
How did Jesus show his love for the church? What did Jesus do for the church (us)? He DIED for us! We’re suppose to die for wives. He set aside his rights and died for his bride. That’s the role model for every Christian husband. To put our wives priorities over ours, to think of them first before we think of ourselves. Every day we are called to die for our wife (and family). And you can’t do it alone. We need prayer.
We should be praying for our wives all the time, so when friction or busyness happens, we are already praying for our wives. And we can find it easier to die to our wives each and every day by praying for them every day.
v.24: Wives are to submit to their husbands in the same way the church submits to Jesus. This is not a submission that is demanded upon wives or coerced, but one that is to be given voluntarily. Jesus is the perfect husband–always loving, always selfless, always safe–easy to submit to. If wives are praying daily for their husbands, they will want to voluntarily submit to their husbands. And the husband that is praying for his wife will want to show love and die to his wife daily as well.
In order to fulfill our biblical roles we need prayer, prayer for each other and with each other. I don’t know about you but I am too selfish and caught up in my own life to always be selfless, loving to De-Ann. If I were honest I would say I prefer meeting my needs before De-Ann’s. Ex. I would prefer to playing Angry Birds then do the laundry. And when I do the laundry or vaccum I often think “what’s in it for me?” or “she better notice the work I have done!” That’s not only unbiblical but ungodly (as Davis says). So we need prayer, I need prayer, you need prayer–pinpoint prayers.
These prayers equip you & I to fulfill our biblical role as spouses.
2. Prayer provides perspective
It is very easy to loose focus on your marriage. Life keeps us very busy, bills, work, cleaning, carpooling, toddlers, diapers, pull-ups, bath time, dance lessons, homework, iPhones, iPods, and on and on. We can get so caught up in routine that we forget about what our role is to our spouse and we begin to see it as simply a routine.
And over time you can actually start to see what you thought were quirky and adorable in your spouse are now annoying. You can focus on them so much that you become irritated and start to even hate your spouse–no one is like that, right?
Praying for your marriage puts your focus on Christ and not on your spouse and her faults. It helps you see your spouse from a godly, eternal perspective.
Do you wish your spouse was more understanding? Made more $? Thinner? She said less and thought more? Our temptation is to begin to see them from the world’s point of view, we then take them for granted, respect them less, find them less attractive and not as fun!
When you start to pray for your spouse you will see him or her as God had intended and not from the world’s point of view. We need to pray pin-point prayers for our spouse.
3. Praying for your spouse gives you free marriage counselling.
I’m sure if I had time to interview each of you, you could tell me of the issues you have faced in your marriage…financial pressure, loss of job, relational tension, death, problems with extended family, lack of quality time, and more.
This is why we need to pray for our marriages. Davis says it is the best & cheapest marriage counseling available to any couple. Prayer does wonders when we sincerely pray.
The Holy Spirit is referred to as the Counselor or Comforter in Scripture. This literally means “one called alongside.” He comes alongside us and comforts, counsels and guides us with the wisdom of God.
John 14:26 “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”
John 16:13: ”But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.“ Holy Spirit is also referred to as the Spirit of Truth.
I don’t know about you but when things are tense between De-Ann and I, I don’t care about the truth I just care that I am hurt, or my needs aren’t being met or she is not listening to me. When things are tense it is difficult to see the truth. That’s why I should be praying for De-Ann and she should be praying for me–before it gets this way. We need to pray for our spouses!
Prayer connects you to the Holy Spirit–he’s our 24-7 marriage counselor with all the power of God at his disposal. He’ll lead you to truth, humble you, remind you of Jesus’ words, and guide you back into a place of calm.
Application: we need to be praying for your spouse daily. If you aren’t already doing so, starting praying with her or him, as well. I know when I was preparing this devo I had to take a good look at my prayer life for my wife, and I realized I wasn’t praying daily with her and for her, so I need to do as I am telling you to do…pray for and with your spouse!
“If you really want to turn up the heat and passion in your marriage, if you want to get to know your spouse’s heart, and if you want to receive God’s fullness in your relationship, then prayer together.” –Will Davis
What a great day at the FEB Central conference today.
So great to see so many of my pastor friends. It’s been awhile. I saw some of the pastors I worked with when I was on the Youth Commission, pastors I actually worked for when I was on staff with them and even some guys who interviewed me when I was looking for a new church. But the one that was most memorable was a pastor who was in my very first youth ministry as a teen, now an associate in Pembroke.
I also was able to attend some great workshops, one with Dr. Charles Price as the special guest and another about theology issues we need to be aware of that our congregations are concerned about or at least thinking about. So helpful and informative.
Looking forward to tomorrow’s conclusion to the conference.
We just had another fantastic Easter service this morning, at the Living Arts Centre–in the heart of Mississauga. What a powerful day with amazing worship, great message from Mark 16 and wonderful friends and family! I just love this church family and how much you love and care for their friends enough to bring them out today to hear the Truth–Jesus died on the cross for our sins and if you believe he has forgiven your sins, you will have eternal life (John 3:16).
Check out the pictures and video of a small glimpse of what we experienced. Hope you can join us next year.
I got up early this morning to hide about 60 chocolate eggs on our main floor of the house so the kids can go and find them. We did this last year when we only had Faith and it took her a bit to catch on, but she did.
But check out this video both Faith and Shawn really enjoyed hunting for Easter eggs this morning–no learning curve for Shawn. You’ll notice Shawn has become very vocal, his sister has taught him well. haha. All in all they both had a great time.