Monday, March 22, 2010

Marriage Mondays: PRAY! :)

If you haven't entered my Start Here Book Giveaway, it's not too late! Click here for more information! :)

Today I am thrilled to join my dear bloggy friend
Julie from Come Have A Peace for Marriage Mondays!

First, I should let you know ~ I am not a marriage expert. I am not a trained therapist or counselor. I've not written any profound marriage books. I am just a simple girl, passionately in love with Jesus and my man, trying to figure out how to enjoy marriage and celebrate life together. Thankfully, by God's grace, we will celebrate 10 years together this August! (Can I get a "woo hoo"?!)

I wish I could tell you it's been 9 1/2 years of pure bliss ~ but I'd be lying. I now look at my marriage sort of like a roller coaster ~ an adventure filled with its ups (and downs), twists and turns, excitement and fun, and unfortunately, sometimes, hang on tight, "why did I say yes to this thing?!" times as well.

Thankfully, John and I are enjoying a "Wow, this is fun" season ~ but that's not always been the case (more on that subject next week...)

For today, I want to share the number one thing I've learned to strengthen our marriage over the past almost-decade of marriage ~ the power of prayer!

Years ago, I read Stormie Omartian's book the The Power of a Praying Wife. (If you haven't read it before, please go here ~ you can read/download the first chapter!) Stormie does an awesome job of reminding us of the power and importance of lifting our husbands in prayer.

After a very difficult season of our marriage in (that we weren't sure we were going to make it through) ~ I made a promise that I would pray for John and our marriage every single day.

Unfortunately, at first, I struggled with how to make my promise a reality. You know how it goes ~ life gets busy, right? Kids take up our time, energy, affection. Family members get sick. Life keeps going. We get sidetracked with so many other things to do.

But what I've learned is this....I must make time to pray for John and our marriage. Even if it's while I'm brushing my teeth, washing the dishes, or sick on the couch ~ I've made the predetermined decision, regardless of my circumstances, I will pray for my husband and our marriage every single day.

Like Nike says, "Just do it" :)

If you feel like it or not....

If he was loving this morning or not...

If he's praying for you or not....


One thing that has really helped me make my promise a reality is my Prayer Guide (click here for my Prayer Guide recap).

Using my prayer guide, I can look at John as I pray, record my prayers, and have a list of specific things to pray for him. (See the yellow post-it notes in the pic? My little Sarah used to sit on my lap while I prayed for "Daddy" and write out her prayers too. Aren't her little notes sweet??)

(In the picture on the left is a download called 31 Days of Praying for Your Husband. You can print it off here)

Please know, I do not use my Prayer Guide everyday (I sure wish I did). There are some days that my prayer time is while I walk the dog, or sit at the bus stop waiting for the kids ~ but thankfully, I can see the FRUIT from committing to praying for our marriage and John every single day. Prayer has breathed new, fresh life into a marriage that was fading fast. Prayer works...of this I am sure!

What about for you?? What have you found has been helpful to strengthen your marriage?? I'd love to hear from you! Also, be sure to join Julie at Marriage Mondays for more great marriage tips!!

Many blessings to you this week!! Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*!

P.S. I was recently asked to share at an upcoming on-line Marriage Conference. I'll be sharing more about it in the next few days, but if you want a sneak peek, check it out here!! Woo Hoo! :)


Andrea said...

Praising GOD for the power of prayer,

Connie said...

I will have been married 42 years to my childhood sweetheart. (We were King and Queen of hearts in the 6th grade).
We have definitely rode that roller coaster holding on desperately so we wouldn't be thrown out. I agree, prayer is what kept us together. I caught myself praying..."God help me love him the way you do". You've heard be careful what you ask for, well, my journey began the day I prayed that prayer. I have been turned inside out as to what a wife is to be. Sometimes it was difficult but has been worth every word of correction I received..."be quiet..leave him alone..I know where he is". God answers prayer!!
I found that I needed to stop trying to make him be what I wanted him to be and let him be what God made him to be. :)


Let'sMakeADifference said...

Great post! Thank you! I just printed out the 31 prayers for my hubby! I love organized prayer lists like that!!

Beth Herring said...

I love this post today. I am so thankful that you began praying for your husband. It is amazing what happens when we begin to do that! Even after 25 years of marriage, I need to remember to pray from him daily.

In Him,

Julie@comehaveapeace said...

There is so much truth here, Cindy. I'm so glad you shared it for Marriage Mondays. Thanks for the info about the "one" marriage ministry, too. My hubby and I started a ministry to marriages about 4 years ago called "One Marriage" at our church; we are having our next "One Night" in April, a night to encourage and cheer on married couples in the miracle of two becoming one. So glad to see this online encouragement source.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

The power of prayer is fantastic and amazing. Thank you for this reminder.

Congrats on your up n coming 10th wedding anniversary too! I've been married 11 years last January to the most amazing man.

Michelle said...

Cindy, I can't wait to hear you at the One Marriage conference. My hubby and I too, are going to celebrate 10 years this November. Right now we are in a season of ups and downs and after last week, was convicted to take my prayer life more seriously. The last couple of days have been a roller coaster, but I know who I've put my faith in and who is leading us.

Anonymous said...

Cindy, thank you for your encouragement - you offer it in such a "real" and practical way. I always appreciate your gentle encouragement that never feels judgmental. You ALWAYS help me want to love and live for the Lord more, and I am so grateful for that. Love to you, Jenny C.

Christy Minnick said...

We have been doing a series with some friends called Love and Respect. It's a powerful book/dvd by Emerson Eggerich (I know funny name) but man this thing works! This is a great reminder to me today, Cindy, thanks for sharing.

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