You might say this episode is a little bit of something different, because it surely is going to be that. A few days ago Mindi and I realized anew how much we care about what’s going on in your marriage. We long to see God do all He desires and all you dream for your marriage relationship.
For that reason, we are going to pray for you on this episode. And we’re going to do so for a couple of reasons…
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE
We are going to pray for you on this episode. And we’re going to do so for a couple of reasons…
#1: First off, we’re gonna pray according to scripture and we’d encourage you to get out of Bible and look at the scripture that we’re praying through. It’s going to be in Romans chapter 12: 9-16. There’s a handful of powerful things that happen when we pray according to scripture. We learn better how to pray and we learn better what God’s heart is regarding the subject matter about which we’re praying.
1 – AN EXAMPLE OF PRAYING THE SCRIPTURES FROM MINDI’S EXPERIENCE
Mindi has been praying through scripture for many years, for me, for our kids, for others, so on this episode I ask her to explain what it means and how she does it. Here’s some of what she shared…
“The Lord gave me this idea as I was reading through His Word, having my time with Him day after day. I would come across verses and I say, “Oh, I need to get better at that.
Yeah, I have a problem with that,” and so I would pray that Lord would help me in that area. Then as I was married and began having children, the same kind of thing would happen. I’d read a passage of scripture and say to the Lord, “Oh Lord, help my husband to do what this passage instructs, he’s struggling with this Lord, please help him.” So prayers just naturally flowed out of what I was reading, as I desired it for myself, or for you, or for our kids.
So now, after all these years of building the habit, I have different verses that I’ve underlined in my Bible where I have written next to them, “Pray this for Carey.” It’s been very encouraging to me and helpful because I know I’m praying God’s will. It’s also hopeful, an exciting thing, especially when I see God answering those prayers.”
2 – PRAYING THE SCRIPTURES TEACHES US HOW TO PRAY
Many of us have tried keeping prayer lists, with the names of people on it, but often we don’t know what to pray. We just say, “Lord bless our marriage, Lord help him,” and we use all these generic kinds of broad terms. Praying scripture not only helps us avoid such empty requests, it fills our petitions with meaning, substance, and power because we are praying about things according to the way God Himself thinks about them.
As you follow along through Romans 12:9-16 as we pray for you and and for your marriage, you’re going to see what we mean. You can get very specific just following the patterns and subjects that you find in scripture. As a general rule, any time you see a passage of scripture that’s encouraging or that’s instructive, you can turn that into a prayer. This is exactly what God intended in writing His Bible. He wants us to take His word personally and to read it and to say, “Oh, I need this for myself, or my husband needs this.” God wants us to use His word in that way. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to take advantage of it and use it in this way.
OUR PRAYER FOR YOU (BASED ON ROMANS 12:9-16)
Lord Jesus, we are grateful that we have this privilege of prayer, that you’ve opened up the way for us to come to the Father boldly, as the writer of Hebrews says, that we can find grace and help in our time of need. We want to come alongside our brothers and sisters who are listening to this podcast to ask You to do some very specific things in their marriage relationships.
Let love be genuine (vs. 9)
We start off just thinking through this issue of love between husband and wife and how it’s easy to kind of ignore each other because we are miffed or upset or bothered by something. But, Your word tells us that love should be genuine between brothers and sisters in Christ. And so Lord, we ask You to give the husbands and give the wives the power to love each other genuinely and for that love to have the effect that it’s supposed to have in their marriage.
Love what is evil, hate what is good (vs. 9)
And Father, we also ask that these husbands and wives will grow a hatred for evil, and that when they see evil in their own hearts or in the hearts of their spouses, that they will hate it and they will encourage good to happen. I pray that You will show them how to hold on to what is good.
Love with brotherly affection (vs. 10)
And in doing that, Lord, I also ask that You will help them to love one another with brotherly affection with love that is genuine, but also that is sincere and is constant like family love, like brotherly love. We pray that for these couples who are listening. And Lord, if they do not experience affection right now, for whatever reason, if there’s a tension or a betrayal or a hurt, we pray that You would restore and rejuvenate that affection as things are made right between them.
Outdo one another in showing honor (vs. 10)
We ask You to show them how to honor one another as You would have them do, husband toward wife and wife toward husband, or that they would be able to get better and better and better at that thinking and planning and strategizing ways that they can honor each other and build each other up and to experience the kind of the synergistic sort of a strength that comes from each of them thinking of the other one in that way.
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord (vs. 11)
And Father, we ask that You will help these couples to not become lazy in zeal, to not be slothful in zeal, and to be fervent in spirit and to desire to serve You, Lord. I ask that they will not be affected by the world’s laziness but they will be zealous for You that through Your Holy Spirit they will be passionate to serve You and that You will bring them together as a married couple to serve you together.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in affliction, be constant in prayer (vs. 12)
And I ask that You will help them to have joy in their hearts because they’re coming to know You more and they’re coming to love each other more and that they can rejoice in that hope that You’ve given them in their salvation and the hope that they have knowing You are at work in them. And Father, in that, as they rejoice in Your work in their lives, I pray that when tribulation comes, You will help them to be patient, and that You will help them to wait on You, and to be constantly praying and seeking You for help and for strength during those times of tribulation.
Yes, Lord, those times of discouragement are so devastating. They can just throw us off and make us even turn our hearts away from You because we’re discouraged and maybe disillusioned by what You’ve allowed to come into our lives. Lord, I pray that these couple’s eyes would be fixed on the hope that You’ve given them through Jesus Christ that is not tied to this present age. It’s tied to a future hope and a future glory, but can provide hope now because we’re so confident of what’s coming. So Lord, we ask that the endurance and that patience in tribulation would well up to a greater faith, that it would strengthen them and fill them with confidence.
Contribute to the needs of the saints, and seek to show hospitality (vs. 13)
And I pray Lord, that together they can learn to serve. They can learn to meet the needs of others. They can be a source of ministry in their families, in their neighborhoods, in their friend circles, Lord, that they would show hospitality and they would bless other believers around them, both through the demonstration of Your work in their marriage and through zealous hearts that are learning to express Your love more. Yes, Father, I pray that you will give them generous hearts, that they’ll show your heart of generosity to one another and to others.
Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse (vs. 14)
And I ask, Father, that You will give them the strength to bless those that hurt them, either family members or friends, or even if their spouses are hurting them, that yYou will give them the heart to bless and to not curse. And I know that feels opposite. So, we need your help in doing that, Lord.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep (vs. 15)
I pray, Father, that You will give them hearts to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep, to be able to come alongside and be an encouragement to one another in that way.
Live in harmony with one another (vs. 16)
And Father, one of the biggest things that is needed in a marriage relationship is harmony. I pray that these men and women would learn how to reconcile, how to confess sin to each other, and to repent, how to grant forgiveness and to receive that repentance, and to come together in in harmony and in unity through that reconciliation that you can bring about.
Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly (vs. 16)
Father, we ask that neither the husband nor the wife would remain in a place of pride, that keeps them separated from each other or pushes a wedge between them. I pray you would bring them to a place of appropriate humility so they are servants to each other and they are just a godly encouragement to each other.
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all (vs. 17)
Father, I ask that You will keep these dear people from repaying evil for evil. Help them to give thought to what is honorable in the sight of everyone. And so if they feel offended, if they are hurt, that You will help them not to lash out and to repay evil, but to do what is honorable, what is loving, what is right.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all (vs. 18)
And Father, I pray that whatever the circumstance, whatever is going on in their relationships with one another, that you will help them through your abounding, powerful grace to work at being at peace with their husband or their wife and with others around them as much as it depends on them, help them to work at being at peace. Lord banish things like resentment and resistance and criticism that would take their hearts in an unhealthy direction, away from their spouse. We pray that you would bring this unity through just a very humble and tender heart each of them has toward you first and then toward each other. Help them to remember that you called them together for a great purpose and that that purpose is yet to be accomplished, Lord, and You’re the one who’s going to do it. So we pray, Father, that You would give them the ability to live in that peaceful place where they’re trusting You, they’re watching You to do the work, and they’re just very humbly willing to step in by faith and do what You call them to do, to strengthen and build up their own marriage.
Father, thank You for these listeners. We pray you would enrich them in every way. You would cause their marriages to thrive and to be a great example of Jesus’ great love for His church.
We ask it in Jesus’ name, Amen.
ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS EPISODE
Your assignment for today is to look at Romans chapter 12: 19-18 Is actually what we went through, and consider how you might use this passage and others like it to pray for your spouse.
LISTEN SEPARATELY then set a weekly appointment to discuss what you’ve heard, pray about what God may want YOU to adjust or implement, then plan how you will do so.
LISTEN TOGETHER: Set a standing weekly date to listen together, pray over what you’ve heard, discuss, and strategize how to implement relevant things into your relationship.
DO THE HOMEWORK: The more you invest, the more you’ll grow and experience God’s blessings!