I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Romans 15:30 NIV
Pam and I were at home last night reflecting on the next season of our lives. All of our children were on vacations or ministry trips and gone from our city. I remembered one friend asked me, “When the children are gone, how do you keep the intimacy and love in marriage growing”? It is so easy for the cares of the world to capture your best efforts, that nurturing marriage is put on the back burner.
At the same time I am reading a book entitled, The Adversary at HOME – Protecting Your Child From the Evil One by Mark I. Bubeck. It is a book about praying for spiritual protection and blessing your children, BUT the first few chapters are devoted to strengthening marriage. The biggest blessing that we can pass on to our children is committed love toward our spouse in open and full display for our children. Not perfection, but love that exhibits devotion, grace and forgiveness.
In the discussion on helping couples grow deeper in love with each other, Mark Bubeck makes the following statement about daily prayer with and for one another
If you want to learn to love your spouse, pray. Ask God for the ability to see your spouse as His gift. Pray for patience, the will to forgive, and to love your spouse as God loves you. And pray with your spouse. Whenever I counsel struggling couples, I always ask if they pray daily together for God to bless their marriage. The answer never changes. They don’t. If they desire to continue in counseling with me, they must agree to pray daily together that God would strengthen their marriage. Otherwise, I terminate our counseling relationship. Whenever a couple agrees to pray together, big problems seem to melt away. I have sometimes received more credit for my counseling than I deserve. The biggest factor in my counseling success is the God who answers prayers. It is presumptuous to assume that God will bless our marriages without continually asking Him to do it. Pages 57-58
Asking couples to find time to pray TOGETHER is no easy task. The devil will do everything to keep this from becoming a life giving expression. Interruptions will occur. Legitimate excuses will make their stand. The awkwardness and unfamiliarity of how to do it, will convince many that it is unattainable. BUT you can learn and grow in praying together. God is on your side. Faithful is He who calls you and He will also bring it to pass.
For today, focus your prayers on blessings and safety for one another. Let the length of prayers grow naturally. If you are a long pray-er, be sensitive to shortening your prayers to allow the other spouse to engage. Your words of blessing in the ears of your spouse will remain with them in their heart all day long. It is a gift of love shared vocally.
Here is a sample prayer. It’s okay if you read it over one another. Feel free to add specifics for your life. This would only take 1 or 2 minutes, but the impact, when your faith is engaged, will have eternal fruitful results.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your love and grace that you give to us. I ask that you bless my spouse with wisdom and discernment to make good choices all day long. Help them to think clearly. Bless the work of their hands that everything they touch would prosper. Bring life and health to their physical bodies.
Put Angels around them to protect all of their going in and out throughout the day. Give them ears to hear the Holy Spirit and a willingness to obey Him. When they grow tired and weary, breathe your life into their emotions. I thank You, for my spouse. Thank you for putting us together. I pray all of this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
You can pray for Pam and I to remain vigilant in praying together, as we pray for you.
For those who are not married, you can pray similar prayers for significant others and family members. Blessing prayers align with God’s heart for you and others.
Blessings Love y’all