Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Nov 04

Good afternoon friends! When things really do not seem like they are as they should be in a marriage it is perfectly natural for doubt to creep in. What if I married the wrong person? What should I do if the person I married is not the one God planned for my life? Maybe I made a mistake or maybe I should have consulted God more before choosing my spouse. I have had a few people ask me these questions recently and it has burdened me in prayer. In fact, I remember that there were several times that I asked myself the same questions. When my husband and I could not see eye to eye on just about anything I became really concerned that I had chosen wrong. I remember that these doubts left me feeling like God was punishing me. It left me in a state of despair because I am really against divorce and I saw no way out. I thought I had made my own bed and now I am going to have to lay in it…ugh.

In light of this, I have been asking God to reveal His heart to me on the matter. First thing I believe He showed me is that He knows us intimately. Isaiah 46:10 states, “I make known the end from the beginning.” God knows what we are going to do and the choices we are going to make. He gives us free will, but should we surrender that will to Him, at any time, He can take anything and turn it around for our good. In fact, He drew me to Romans 8:18-30. Please read it carefully, because there are principles in it that are directly applicable to your doubts.

” 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[a] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[b] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” (Romans 8:18-30 NIV Emphasis Mine)

Last time I talked about praying for our spouses and the things going on in our marriages, and I believe that applies also to praying for our spouse to be saved and be walking closely with God. Because you and your spouse are “one” you have authority in the spirit to bring this before the Lord and eagerly wait with confident anticipation that God will answer this prayer. Also, I have seen firsthand that there are some barriers that people put up unintentionally that make it more difficult for their spouse to surrender their heart to Jesus. One barrier could be if they detect hypocrisy in your walk with God. Please understand that we all make mistakes and are human, and God’s grace is sufficient for us, but if we are walking in blatant sin and looking for our spouse to change it can severely hinder this. If this is a reality you see in your walk with God, repent, and start moving forward in the truth of God’s love, and you may win over your spouse simply by the change they see in you. Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Another barrier to our spouse not being able to receive Christ’s love is if they cannot see your love. Christ lives in us, and we show people the love of Christ by the way we treat them. If you are not showing your spouse the love of Christ, then they will have a much more difficult time turning to Christ when they are in need of love or even believing that God loves them. See 1 Cor 13 for what love should look like. Also, for wives, the Proverbs 31 woman is a great description of how we can practically love our husbands. For husbands, Ephesians 5 is an excellent description of how you can love your wives. Every description of love has a few things in common, namely thinking highly of the other person, placing their needs before your own, and doing what is right in the sight of God.

I believe that it is the heart of God to move upon your marriage as it stands right now. I want to encourage you to try to look past your doubts, for God knows your heart, and He loves you. His desire is for your good, and regardless of whether or not the choice you made was wise, it is not too far gone for Christ to move upon your situation with a fresh breath of His Spirit. But remember, it is not on you to change your spouse, that is God’s problem to solve. The best way for us to work with God and not against Him is to make sure our hearts and minds are right before Him. Just by doing that, you will change the atmosphere in your home. By loving at all times and enduring all things (which is not easy by the way but incredibly rewarding) you take back ground for Christ and the enemy of our marriages will no longer be able to operate in the same way. Someone has to break the cycle; let it be Christ in you, the hope of glory!

In the face of your doubts about your marriage I encourage you to take a hold of the hope you have in Christ. Try to look past the present sufferings and let God give you a vision of what He intends to do with your marriage. Have faith that God can perform miracles, that He is the restorer of all broken things, that God is bigger than this, and that no matter what has come before, you can move forward in a new reality. Have faith for your marriage, and have faith for your spouse. Don’t let doubt steal your hope, but let God be God. “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes!” (1 Samuel 12:16) God Bless!

Oct 31

Hello friends!! There are so many different ways that God goes about repairing the broken places in a marriage. He uses His Word, people, circumstances, time, and prayer amongst other things. He knows us deeply and intimately, and He knows our hearts towards one another. He understands the intricacies of our motivations, reactions, and what makes us “tick”.  In my experience, there are three types of issues that create conflict within a marriage. His issues, Her issues, and Our issues. The first step to being able to pray in a strategic way is to properly identify the difference between the three of these.

When my husband and I got married, boy were we in for a rude awakening. We thought things would be instantly rosy, the grass would be greener, the sky a more brilliant blue, and all of our other problems would melt away in our love and devotion to one another. HA!!! We immediately came to realize that our fears surfaced, our insecurities deepened, and our vulnerabilities were ever-present. We fought and cried and then fought some more. But, how could we possibly have “issues” the first few weeks of marriage? Because these issues that were coming to the surface were not “Our issues” but issues we had brought with us from the past.

I came to realize as we talked and prayed that I had my own baggage that I didn’t realize was hidden, and it began to come to the surface when I was with someone all the time. I wanted my husband to think I was this amazing, perfect wife. I blamed him for everything because I didn’t want him to know I was flawed. But, he wasn’t to blame for everything. I had a lot of past hurts and even more fears. He had his own stuff too. Things that had happened in his life both to him and in front of him that left him hurt, skeptical, and confused. We spent a long time focusing on the other person’s baggage, but it wasn’t until we realized that we had our own stuff to deal with that we were able to begin making forward progress.

So, here’s the thing. A very good question that one might ask right about now is, “How do I get my spouse to deal with his/her stuff?” My answer would be prayer. It is not our job to fix the heart of our spouse. It is our job to bring it to the One who can, but it is more important that you bring your stuff before the Lord. When you get the healing you need, the dynamic of your home will automatically change because the things that triggered you will no longer affect you. Many of the things that bothered you will become your prayer burden for your spouse, and as a result of your change, your spouse will change too. Ephesians 5  talks about being submitted to one another. There is an underlying principle here. You and your spouse are one. “He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Ephesians 5:28b-31 (NIV) Therefore, if one changes, they both change.

Preparing for strategic prayer begins with identifying what the issues are. The way we do that is by asking God to reveal them to us. To get real practical, sit down with a notebook and pen, and just say something like this, “Lord, I open my whole heart to you. I invite you to look into the deepest parts of me and I trust that you love me no matter what you find and that you are the God that heals. Please reveal the places you would like to touch and heal completely.” Write down anything that comes to you. This will help you begin to pray strategically. There may be some things that God chooses to heal immediately, and if He does that is great!! Victory! However, there will more than likely be things that He heals through process.

The next step in your strategic prayer preparation is to identify the things in your marriage that are truly bothering you. Things that hurt you, things that hurt your children, things that break intimacy. Realize that God can handle it and write down all of those things. Because of our unique vantage point, we can see what our spouse needs better than they can sometimes. We can intercede for them in a way that no one else can. Check your heart before God, because you want to bless them and not curse them. But be real with the problems, for I assure you that God does not need things sugar-coated.

The last preparation step in preparing for strategic prayer is to identify specific promises in God’s word that resonate with your situation. Take your concerns to the Word, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the verses that speak directly to your marriage. Write those down as well. For example, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed.” 2Corinthians 4:8-9(NIV)  There are many, many promises. Let God reveal them to you and keep record of them.

Once you have done this you are ready to pray strategically. I wrote down my prayers. I started with glorifying God for who He is. It prepared my heart before Him. I then asked God to specifically move on the areas He had revealed to me that He wanted to heal. I gave Him full permission and authority to do what He had to do. I then asked Him specifically to move on the areas of my marriage that needed His attention. I gave Him the toughest and seemingly most impossible problems to deal with. I then reminded Him of His word (but I was really reminding myself). I thanked Him in advance for the faith He had given me and for answering all of my concerns. I took my time writing these prayers, and I prayed them word for word everyday. I prayed them whenever fighting ensued, whenever doubt crept in, whenever I felt led by the Spirit to pray.

I encourage you that God is strategic and orderly. He loves to be asked to heal marriage. It delights Him to do it, and your prayer for your marriage will begin to change the pattern. Trust Him and give Him the glory, for I believe you will begin to see changes and you will get the healing and restoration you most desire!!! God bless you, and if there is anything I can pray for I would be happy to agree with you in prayer.