Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today we have Barbara Carneiro from Word Revolution sharing about praying for your marriage! Successful marriages start with prayer!
As we sat there in the kitchen, texting other couples with a prayer for the day, I was reminded of God’s grace in my life and my marriage.
Isn’t it funny how we don’t realize but a small percentage of our blessings?
But that day, I was smiling on the inside and out.
Here we were. Joyfully texting other couples with prayer requests for their spouses. We were not in a fancy restaurant or in a cruise. Nor entertained by any TV show or latest movie. Not enjoying expensive gifts and gadgets. However, our level of joy was through the roof.
You see, my husband and I have been feeling this prompting to “teach” couples how to pray. But not just how to pray. How to pray together. How to pray for one another.
For about a year now we have been doing what we call Prayer Workshops for Couples and I can’t begin to tell you how many times the Lord showed up. In our marriage and in the marriage of those we were serving through these workshops.
I did not grow up in the church, so the thought of spending time in prayer was foreign to me. But since 2010 when I had an encounter with Jesus, I have wondered how come Christians don’t pray more.
I don’t know if it was because I had a “Paul-like” type of conversion but I was immediately drawn to this idea of being able of speaking to the God of the universe.
I mean, how amazing is that!? Let’s be honest!
But it took a while until my husband and I were praying together.
I could spend hours in a prayer room with other women, praying in agreement for miraculous healing and causing revival in ten different countries but I was somehow embarrassed to pray in front of my husband.
He knew me before I was a believer. He knew me before I started praying. Something about showing him this new facet of me was somehow stressful so we just didn’t pray together.
Little did I know I was missing out on so much.
A couple of years later my husband himself had a very intense response to a sermon by David Platt at Catalyst (a conference for Christian leaders in Atlanta). He had been a believer all his life and David challenged him to become a follower.
And so he did.
That started a process that little by little moved us closer. We started with simple blessings during the meals or praying over the kids. That led us to crave the word more. We started exchanging passages of the Bible that were shaping us that day. Worship music was a constant in the house. And that moved on to actually stopping what we were doing to pray together.
Just the three of us, me, my husband and God.
As a type A kinda girl the idea of submitting is not one I embrace very well. Praying with my husband gave me a new — refreshing — way to learn how to submit to him. I would simply rest my head on his chest and listen to his heartbeat while he was speaking to God about me.
We found ourselves wondering, how can couples remain together and be strong in their marriage without prayer?
Soon after, many marriages around us started to crumble. Maybe many were crumbling before and we just didn’t pay attention. But now we did. And every time we kept repeating: prayer makes us stronger, it keeps us together.
You see, you can’t be mad with someone when you pray for them. You can’t hate someone when you pray for them. You can’t be indifferent to someone when you pray for them. You just can’t. Flesh and spirit can’t coexist.
We started to talk about prayer. A lot.
Next thing we know our church opened an opportunity for us to tell other couples about praying together. And for each other.
We felt unqualified but inside we also had this childlike excitement. We knew how much closer we were because of prayer. We just wished others knew it too.
Time to put together the program. Five weeks.
We searched the Bible, we read books (ok, my husband read books!), we prayed. Somehow the content came together but we knew we had to make this practical. We all know the theory after all.
And that’s when we started the prayer prompts. For the duration of the workshop, I would text every woman every single day with something for them to pray about. My husband would text every man.
And so it begun. We didn’t know them. They didn’t know us. But the Lord would give us words to share with these couples: “pray that your husband will have an encounter with Jesus today”, “pray that your wife would crave the word today”.
We would smile excited every time the Lord would give us a new prayer to send out. For five weeks, these couples prayed for one another when the text messages would arrive.
The testimonies however, are still my favorite part.
“I spent all day praying this prayer for my husband and when he got home I felt like we were dating again.”
“I have prayed this for my husband and I don’t think I’ve ever felt this in love with him.”
Pray. With your husband.
Start with something as simple as sending him a passage of scripture in a text message.
Barbara Carneiro is the founder of Word Revolution (a communication and design agency for Christian ministries) and the brain behind 4:12Lab (a training program for Church Communication). She is Christ follower, wife, mother, forever curious strategist, minimalist designer, storyteller and geek. You will make her happy with a white chocolate mocha.