Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Preparing Ourselves for Marriage: The Importance of Prayer

This past Saturday evening, Joe and I along with my future mother-in-law watched "The War Room."  If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend.  The creators wrote "Fireproof" and "Courageous" both of which I've enjoyed.  I couldn't help enjoy the beautiful North Carolina scenery as well.  The movie provides humor and heart of the power that prayer can have in our relationships, marriages, home, and in our heart.  Although the movie ends on a positive note, its a vivid reminder that prayer is a powerful weapon.

Prayer can be so hard for some because it creates this place of vulnerability.  Many of us only seem to pray when things aren't going right but forget to pray everyday, along the way, through the good and the bad.  Prayer is important for both personal growth but for marital growth.  I'll be the first to admit, I don't pray like I should.  I guess you could say, I never really know how to pray. Prayer isn't always about asking God to do something because we all know it's in his time but prayer brings us closer to God.  Prayer provides an intimate relationship with God.  When it comes to prayer in a marriage, I believe prayers are about focusing on each others imperfections.  I want Joe and I to wake up every day and chose to love one another not through our own strength but by the power of Christ's perfect love.  Only God can help us do that.

In the movie, Miss Clara, an actress, used a closet in her home as her prayer room.  She went there each day to fight her wars with the devil and allowed God to take complete control over her life.  I struggle with this myself on a daily basis.  God wants us to give all our troubles, worries, concerns, doubts, fears, and anxiety over to him.  The weight is too heavy to burden ourselves. When we give something to God, it feels wonderful because we are essentially giving the burden, worries, and cares of that thing over to Him. We are doing what Philippians 4:6 instructs us to do which is to, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” And when we do this, (present our requests to Him), we feel an overwhelming peace knowing that it is in His hands, which is what the next verse explains will happen…”And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  The devil is out to destruct.  The only thing we can hold onto is the power of prayer.  The movie talks about having a battle prayer plan in place since we are always going to battle with the devil.  It's time we fight for our marriages, families, home, and the world we live in.

We are Christians, we sin, and no one is perfect.  Do you pray for your husband, wife, your family, your kids, your home, your marriage, your community, and the list goes on?  I've read so many Christian based articles about marriage trying to learn tools to equip us for the years ahead.  And EVERYTHING I've read talks about the power or prayer and why it's important for emotional intimacy, growth, allowing God the reigns of a relationship, and creating unity as one.  My hope is for Joe and I when we get married to pray together each and every night and to pray separately for one another. I have no doubt through the power of prayer our marriage will continue to be a blessing. We are not here on this earth to change one another but God can change our hearts, soul and mind if we allow him.  All you have to do is ask him.  Jesus taught us to be answers to our own prayers when, in the Sermon on the Mount, He told His disciples, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matt 7:7-8).

Although this time of wedding planning is exciting, it's the marriage that I'm focusing on the most. The devil is out each and every day to seek and destroy.  Create your battle prayer plan and send the devil home packing. My God restores, and heals but all we have to do is come to him and pray.