Today, we have a guest post from Beth over at Messy Marriage.
In today’s post Beth deals with Six Blessings of a Marriage Prayer Group.
Wives, praying for your husbands and family is not simply about asking God for things and telling Him what you are going through. When you pray for your families you will be blessed in the process.
So let’s read about the blessings Beth got from her prayer group.
About a year ago, God brought me together with several other women who wanted to see what God might do if we prayed together for our marriages on an ongoing basis. Every one of these women had challenges they were facing, so they came brimming with requests to add to our prayer lists. From the very start, I knew this would be an eye-opening and faith-building exercise.
Now that it’s been a little over a year ago, I look back and see many great things God did and continues to do through our devotion to pray for our spouses. Here are just a few of the blessings that have come from this experience and commitment …
1. Revealed how very much alike our lives and marriages were and are.
It always amazed me how many requests we had in common. This made it easier to open up more as we continued to meet together, knowing our sisters in the Lord related to our own issues and would not pass judgment on each other.
2. Strengthened our resolve to love our husbands with God’s love and grace.
Every time we met, it reminded and motivated us to persevere because we were doing this together! We also recognized and remarked about all the positive changes we were seeing in our spouses or in our own lives, which in turn encouraged us that God was at work through our corporate prayers.
3. Improved our perspective of our spouses.
I believe the love and understanding that the women had/have for their husband’s has grown as we’ve continued to pray. This has usually been in the form of feeling more empathy for our spouses, because God was revealing His truth and insight to us through our constant surrender of our marriages to Him.
4. Challenged us to look at ourselves, igniting and deepening personal growth.
In our prayers, we always focused more on what God might want us (as wives) to do or to yield to Him, than focusing on what our husband’s needed to change. This meant that God could be released to challenge our minds, not just our marriages. After all, that’s where it seemed most of the problem resided—in our own negative attitudes towards our mates and lack of faith in God.
5. Deepened our friendships with each other.
You can’t help but fall more in love with your spouse as you pray for him, but a nice side-benefit we experienced was the love God has grown between us, as praying wives. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before!
6. Constantly reminded us of Who is doing the work in our marriages.
It became abundantly clear as we prayed month after month for our spouses, that God was the One changing our hearts, our spouse’s hearts and our marriages. Every effort we tried to make to “fix” our marriage or our spouse, ended in failure. But every request we laid at His feet was blessed—redeeming the messes we’d made and continue to make.
If you’re not a part of a marriage prayer group, perhaps you should start one with your friends. Our group doesn’t spend much time on talking about the requests, but rather focuses on expressing our requests through prayer. After each meeting, one of us shares the list of wife requests, husband requests and praises for how we’ve seen God working. We update either monthly or periodically. We’ve met monthly but are now meeting quarterly with a private Facebook page that allows us to encourage one another at any time.
Don’t forget to require a high standard of confidentiality. No one should discuss other’s requests with their individual spouses or anyone for that matter! Also, require a positive focus as you pray. This should never be about bashing our husband’s or whining to each other about problematic behavior we’ve seen in them. This is about being “for” them.
How have you seen prayer positively impact your marriage, your spouse?
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20(ESV)