I met a friend for lunch today. It was a truly wonderful time of fellowship and sharing in Christ with each other. Things God has done in my life, things he has done in her life. It was a time of sharing pain, answered prayers, and how God has and is working in our lives. I found a privilege to sit with her and talk to her and hopefully she felt the same.
The only thing that I regretted about the afternoon we spent together is that I think we were so excited to see each other and to finally have a chance to talk face to face that we just dug in and started eating and I totally forgot to ask the Lord’s blessing on our meal. I was so ashamed after I got in the van I immediately asked forgiveness from God. Here I am trying to be a friend, a Christian friend and the first thing out of the gate I forget to pray. Please forgive me, dear friend, and I won’t let it happen again.
With that in mind, I came home to do my devotion and I opened up a book sponsored by Family Life called Two Hearts Praying As One, by Barbara and Dennis Rainey. They are truly a remarkable couple that are co-founders of FamilyLife, a division of Campus Crusade for Christ. Dennis co-hosts the daily radio program FamilyLife Today, heard by 3 million or so people each week. They have 6 children and live in Little Rock Arkansas. I read everything of theirs I can get my hands on. I feel they have a passion for saving souls, in particular families, like no other.
So this got to me to thinking…When is the last time I prayed with my family. Now not that I don’t pray FOR my family but when is the last time I sat down with ALL of my children and prayed for them WITH them. They need to know I pray for them. They need to SEE that I pray for them. Not just at supper, or before traveling, but all the time. Without ceasing.
Richard and I pray together as often as we can. I love praying with my spouse. I feel so uplifted when we pray together. God blesses our marriage when we do so. Here is an excerpt from the before mentioned book:
Praying together as a couple will enrich, enhance, and fortify your life, marriage, and family. Praying together may be the single most important spiritual discipline you and your spouse will ever share. Here’s why:
Are you lacking intimacy in your marriage? Praying together will take you to new levels of intimacy far beyond what you thought possible.
Is there conflict in your marriage? Praying together will defuse, disarm, resolve, and prevent disagreements.
Do you want more transparency in your marriage? Praying together is certain to open your hearts to one another.
Do you feel distant from God? Here’s a scriptural promise to grab onto and apply: “Call to me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).
Are you fearful? Disappointed? Discouraged? Worried? Angry? Hopeless? Praying together will calm the storms in your heart marriage, and family.
Are you struggling against sin? Praying as a couple exposes sin so God can work.
Are you near divorce? Praying as a couple restores unity of heart, mind, and purpose.
If you want your family to be all that God intended for it to be you HAVE to pray together as a family or even as a couple everyday for those intentions to be revealed. Is it the only thing we have to do to have a successful family? No. but it is the first step toward experiencing the blessings of having God at the center of your marriage.
Prayer will test your resolve, your perseverance, your humility, and even your courage. And as you pray, keep in mind that you will meet spiritual opposition. Old fuzzy nose, as Richard likes to call him, knows the spiritual power available to family united in prayer. After all he was one of the highest angels in Heaven. he will oppose your efforts to come together as a family in prayer.
On a higher note, prayer can bless your life beyond belief. The Bible tells us in James 5:16 that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Prayer is the Christian’s most powerful resource in communing with God. The results are often greater than we thought were possible. Some people see prayer as a last resort to be tried when all else fails. This approach is backward. Prayer should come first. Because God’s power is infinitely greater than ours, it only makes sense to rely on it, especially because God encourages us to do so.
Pray with you spouse. Pray with your children. Do it often and with a passion of really meaning it. You WILL be rewarded for it.