Looking through the shelves of a discount store for a book that might inspire the topic of our next marriage small group study, we ran across a single copy of a book about couples who pray. As Christians we had heard the age old adage "Couples who pray together, stay together" but it was the subtitle "The Most Intimate Act Between A Man And A Woman" and a 40 Day Prayer Challenge that warranted the purchase of this book.
We have decided to take this prayer challenge and challenge YOU to join us. We're excited about our journey and hope you are, too, as you follow along on Intentionally Yours. We hope you'll be inspired and invite others to seek out this kind of intimacy with their spouse, too!
Right about now you are probably thinking one of two things; oh yeah we already pray together or I'm not sure how to pray with my spouse. Yeah, we've been there...we are there.
When Nikki showed me the book I thought, "We pray together at night before bed and we have done it for a couple years now." If this is you, I ask these questions: Have you ever skipped out on praying together because one of you was tired and fell asleep before the other, your spouse was out of town on business, or is this prayer only over dinner? It was very easy to neglect our nightly prayer and to be honest, the prayers got to be the same every night. I can tell you, I pray differently when I am alone with God than when I am in prayer with Nikki.
To those of you who are not sure how you are going to do this, let's rewind to 1997. When we met, Nikki was in a Pentecostal Church and if I went to church, it was in a Catholic Church. Those of you who are familiar with denominations would probably say we were a spiritual mismatch.
Craig: Prayer was never part of my daily life. When I did pray, it was during Mass and I was on my knees. I had never prayed aloud and saying the blessing over the meals was usually only during a special occasion. And I was most thankful that no one had ever asked me to say it. The first time I was asked to say the blessing was a work function. Ready to faint, I repeated as many of the words that I could remember hearing my mother say.
Nikki: I knew that prayer was essential to a Christian's spiritual walk and had always heard people pray aloud, but I never saw any of my parents and/or step-parents pray together. I didn't learn until recently that praying together is such an asset to a married couple's spiritual life. And, unlike Craig, I loved to be asked to pray for or with other people. However, I didn't know how vulnerable and awkward it would feel to have someone hear me pour out my innermost needs and desires. Truly, it feels scary to let someone else hear the things you only tell God, but through praying together, you can truly know, and be known by, your spouse.
So, how is it that prayer is "the most intimate act" between a man and a woman? We tend to equate intimacy with the physical, but SEX DOES NOT EQUAL INTIMACY! According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, intimacy is "the state of being intimate" or "belonging to, or characterizing one's deepest nature." Sometimes couples are guilty of only praying for others, or their children, or other generalities. This is good, of course, and necessary, but this is not the intimacy-building type of prayer we mean. We're talking about the fervent, honest prayers of repentance, forgiveness, requests for help and genuine praise that is usually only expressed when we are alone with God.
The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning. -Psalm 25:14 AMP
Lord, we asked you on the first day of our 40 day prayer challenge for our own transparency during prayer. We ask right now for the transparency of husbands and wives that decide to join us. Help them to learn what true intimacy really is. It is in Your name we ask this, Amen!
Starting our 40 day prayer challenge! Here is a verse for inspiration:
“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matt 18:19-20 (NLT)
Ladies, you don't want to miss this powerful message from Beverly and an amazing time with girlfriends!
We're linking up with Yes They Are All Ours, Becoming His Eve, Marriage Mondays, Matrimonial Monday, Time Warp Wife, The Better Mom, Marriage Moment, Messy Marriage, Wifey Wednesday, and No Ordinary Blog Hop!
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