marriage

Day 30 Prayer: Marriage

We are on our 30th day of praying for our spouse and children. What a journey this has been! What you may not know is that the Lord put this on my heart about six months ago. I didn’t want to obey. My first thought was, that means I have to write every day. I enjoy writing, but with my busy schedule, it can be difficult to find the time to write. My second thought was, could I actually write about marriage for 30 days? Well, I have found plenty to write about and God provided not only the words, but the time.

We have covered a lot of ground this month. We’ve looked at communication, our speech, faithfulness, love, and so much more. My prayer is that we would continue to pray for our families. One of the ministries, here, in Mexico has a motto that says, “Fight for Families.” I love that. We are fighting. We are fighting against the rulers of this dark world (Ephesians 6:12). Your spouse is not your enemy. I want to urge you to fight for your marriage because there is nothing that shines the love of Christ brighter in this world than a healthy marriage.

Early on in our marriage, I realized that people don’t wake up after 20 years of marriage and decide to get divorced. It happens over time. Every day you are either drawing closer to your spouse, or drawing farther away. For instance, if you have an argument and you don’t resolve it. The next day you wake up harboring bitterness and that anger or resentment keeps growing until you come back together and can forgive. If you just keep going day after day without resolving the issue, you soon realize you have grown so far apart you don’t even recognize the other person.

You have to keep building that relationship. You have to come together, daily and talk, commune, spend time listening to one another, joking, laughing, and crying; sharing thoughts and emotions.

God created marriage. It’s a good thing. It’s a place where life begins. Is it difficult? Yes. Does it expose our weakness? Yes. But by understanding our weaknesses, we then can go to our Heavenly Father and ask Him to change us into the beautiful vessel He wants to make us into.

I used to believe that I was just a pile of broken glass laying on the floor, waiting to be swept up and tossed into the trash. The Lord showed me one day, that instead of a pile of dirty broken pieces, I was a beautiful glass mosaic candle holder, waiting to shine His light through.

That can be you, too, regardless of the past you have. No matter what your marriage was like yesterday. Today is a new day, my friend! Take hold of it! Tell Satan to back off and rejoice because we know the One who conquered death! When your spouse walks through that door, love on him! Tell him how much you appreciate what he does. Find something to affirm him. You will be blessed when you do.

Day 30 Prayer: Marriage

Lord, thank you so much for creating the unity of husband and wife. Help me to see the beauty of it even when it’s difficult. Please take away my selfish pride, jealousy, and anything else that prevents me from seeing my spouse the way you do. Give me the grace to be able to love regardless of what I get in return. I want to love with a selfless love. Help me to be patient and kind, always forgiving, and never rude. Remind me that when my husband wraps his arms around me, it’s as if you are saying “I love you.” Thank you for creating marriage and giving me someone to love.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A chord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

 

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marriage

Day 29 Prayer: Covenant of Love

We have been on a journey of praying for our marriages and families. Today we are going to look at love.

1 Corinthians 13 is called the love chapter for good reason; it shows what love is. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

When we look at these verses, we can immediately see how we fall short. But, if I were to replace the word love with God because God is love, (1 John 4:8) we see that God is able to do all these things. For instance, God is patient, kind, does not envy or boast, etc. Best of all, He never fails.

The exciting thing is that the more we abide in Christ, the more we become Christlike, thus making us capable of loving our spouse and others the way it is described here!

The word covenant means contract, bond, or promise. Many covenants have been in the Bible. God made a covenant with Noah and Abraham. There was the covenant of the law, but now we are under the new covenant that forgives our sins and we can go directly to God through Christ, which enables us to one day be His bride! (Hebrews 7:12, Hebrews 9:14-15) God made this promise long ago in the garden with Adam and Eve. He was going to fix the mistake they made. He loves us and wants us to be with Him forever. He was going to send His one and only Son to die a brutal death, for us. It was painful for God, but He knew it would be worth it in the end.

If you are finding it difficult to love your spouse or anyone who has wronged you, go to God and ask for Him to give you the ability to love them. It’s starts with being humble and crying out. Its recognizing where your heart is. Do you have a heart of stone? He can replace it with a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)

I have seen marriages turned around because one person was willing to start praying for the desire to even want to love their spouse. Love doesn’t give up. It keeps hoping, it keeps praying, regardless of how long it takes.

Day 29 Prayer: Covenant of Love

Thank God that He provided a way for us to be with Him forever.

Pray for the ability and the desire to love your spouse and kids the way it is described in 1 Corinthians 13.

If you haven’t done so already, memorize 1 Corinthians 13, so when evil thoughts arise, or you find yourself responding rudely to your spouse or kids, you will be reminded of these scriptures and react appropriately.

marriage

Day 25 Prayer: Deliverance

How many of us want to be free? For me, it took moving off-grid, living 45 minutes from the nearest town, and learning to depend on God for everything.

I enjoyed our simple life on the mountain, but some things were really difficult. I was being squeezed. I was having to face my past. I had to revisit hurts and sins I wanted buried.

It seemed my husband and I were on a six month cycle in our relationship. Things would be great for about six months, then we would have an argument and expose deep issues. We would try to resolve them, never able to until we realized there were things that needed to be addressed and changed.

How did change happen? We started reading the Bible together. Slowly, over time, healing took place. Deliverance from things done in both of our pasts occurred. We prayed together regularly and prayed that strongholds that were passed down through our families would be broken. Finally, the most amazing thing happened…God broke those chains!

Was it difficult? I would say, yes and no. The most difficult part was not going back to what was familiar. The lies the enemy throws at us are much easier to believe than the truth. The truth being, I am a new creation in Christ. The old is gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I finally realized I was in a cage that I had put myself in and the door was wide open! I didn’t have to be in the cage. The only reason I liked the cage was because it was what was familiar and easy for me. I thought it protected me. It didn’t. It only made matters worse.

I have experienced freedom first hand and I am telling you, it is worth fighting for!

Day 25 Prayer: Deliverance

Thank God that deliverance is possible. Jesus came to heal the broken-hearted, to give sight to the blind, and to set free those who are in bondage. (Luke 4:18)

Pray for deliverance in your family. If there is reoccurring sin, pray for it to be broken. That the chains would come loose and you would no longer be a prisoner to it. I have seen God break bondage of alcoholism, drug addiction, gluttony, sexual immorality, lying, and so much more.

Rejoice that God sent His Son so we could be washed white as snow.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

marriage

Day 22 Prayer: Faithfulness

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever” Hebrews 13:8

The dictionary definition of faithfulness is loyal, constant, steadfast. God is definitely faithful, unchanging. I wish we could say the same about ourselves. Unfortunately, being flawed humans, it’s not possible without Christ.

So many of us have experienced unfaithfulness. How do you get over rejection? How do you forgive without somewhere, in the back of your mind, you still think about what happened?

I have known couples who have had many struggles, whether it be an online affair, physical affair, or an emotional affair, they finally make it through those difficult times by choosing to love and forgive.

It doesn’t happen overnight, but if both parties are willing, restoration can happen. God is the healer of broken hearts.

How many times have I broken God’s heart by cheating on Him? Every time I give in to temptation or desire something that I know isn’t good for me, I am cheating on Him.

The good news is, God is unchanging, loyal, constant, and steadfast. He is faithful. We can count on Him to forgive and take us back into His loving arms. He leaves the 99 to go after the one lost lamb.

Day 22 Prayer: Faithfulness

Thank God that restoration is possible; not only with our spouse, but with kids also.

Pray for loyalty and faithfulness within your family.

If infidelity has occurred, pray for the strength to forgive once and for all.

Lastly and most importantly, pray that you would be faithful to God; that your needs and wants wouldn’t become the focal point of your life. If you are faithful to Christ, everything else will fall into place.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37

marriage, Missions

Day 19 Prayer: Coming Out of Comfort Zones

When we were in the Philippines, we asked one of the Pastors what his vision was for the ministry. His reply has stuck with me.

He said, “I want to get this church established and raise up a leader, so I can go to other parts of the Philippines and start more churches to spread the gospel.”

I thought, wow! I like his vision. But, what a difficult one. He was willing to start fresh. To give up what he had worked so hard for, to continue reaching people. For him, it wasn’t about how many people came to his church. He just wanted to reach more people. This seemed like such a different concept than what I have seen in American churches.

I struggle with my comfort zone. Some maybe thinking, you?! I know we lived off-grid where we had to haul water everyday and didn’t have conventional electricity and Now we are living in Mexico. But, These things are just giving up some modern comforts.

To volunteer at a rehab home or walking through the red light district inviting drug addicts to church, that’s way out of my comfort zone. However, I have been blessed every time I do it.

It’s baby steps. Like the Pastor in the Philippines, I’m sure when he started his first church, he was anxious and wondering how it was all going to work. Seeing God work out all the details and watching people get excited for Christ, I bet it spurred him on to go a little further and continue God’s work.

Day 19 Prayer: Coming Out of Our Comfort Zone

Thank God that He stretches us beyond what we think we are capable of.

Pray for you and your spouse to step out in faith and do something that is uncharacteristic. For your husband, it may be as simple as leading your family in a Bible study, which can be difficult for a lot of men and way out of their comfort zone.

Pray that your kids will be willing to go beyond what they normally do. Maybe it’s talking to a friend about Christ.

Pray for an opportunity to talk as a family about what God’s vision is for your family as a whole.

“But be doers of the Word, not hearers only.” James 1:22

marriage

Day 17 Prayer: Money

They say finances are one of the top arguments couples have in their marriage. It can be difficult to get on the same page. Some people are spenders while others are savers.

When we counsel couples before they get married, this is a topic we talk about. Naturally, you think lack of money will bring stress. However, I have seen couples with plenty of money have stress, if not more.

I know in our marriage, when we forget to trust God, that’s when our emotions get the best of us and we begin the downward spiral of “what-if’s” causing anxiousness.

I have experienced first hand the verse that says, ” I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging for bread.” Psalm 37:25

Learning to be content in all things is a lesson that I have had to learn. It can be hard when we see others with the latest and greatest things. Early in our marriage we made some mistakes financially. But, thank goodness we have learned from those mistakes.

Living in Mexico, I realize how lucky I have been all of my life. We see people who struggle on a daily basis. It’s sad to see and we try to help whenever we are able. Sometimes that doesn’t mean giving them money. It can be providing clothes that have been donated, or taking them to a shelter. The most important thing is sharing Jesus with them. I love the verse, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, I give to you.” Acts 3:6

Day 17 Prayer: Finances

Thank God for his provision today.

Pray for unity between you and your spouse. If there is financial tension, pray that it would be removed.

If spending is an issue, pray that God would give you the ability to stop and take a step back from what you are desiring and ask the question, “Is this a need, or a want?”

“Don’t love money; be content with what you have for God has said, I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5

marriage

Day 15 Prayer: Safety

Prayer for safety has been a part of my prayer life since Mark and I were first married.

Then as kids came into the picture, I have continued those prayers with even more fervency.

We have had our share of bumps and bruises and I will never forget when my husband fell 20 feet off our roof. He came away with a broken wrist. He did have to have surgery and now has a plate and 13 screws inside his forearm. Although this incident shook us, we knew the accident could have been much worse.

My daily prayers have been not only for physical safety, but for spiritual and emotional safety as well.

As much as I would love to protect my family from anything negative in their life, I do know that God uses all things for good, who are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28. Again, I need to trust that God has their best interest at heart and regardless if bad things happen, He will see it through to the end.

When our daughter went to Ghana this last year, I was praying constantly for her protection. I knew if something happened I wouldn’t be there to help her through. I prayed against sickness and disease, against bad people with evil intentions, against any accidents and that she wouldn’t get lost and lose her way.

Prayer is powerful. When I get to heaven, I would love to see the things that were prevented just because a mom got down on her knees and prayed for safety.

I know families whose spouse or children were killed in an accident. I am not saying it could have been prevented if only someone prayed. We are in a fallen world and tragedy does happen.

What I do know is that He will comfort us when we most need it.

Day 15 Prayer: Safety

Pray for safety and protection for your family from any accidents, sickness, or danger. If your spouse works around heavy equipment or has a dangerous job, pray for clarity of mind.

If your kids are in school, pray for emotional protection from influences that may cause harm. Pray that they would know they are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9