Hello there again,
Let’s talk about the wonderful gift and opportunity that prayer can afford every facet of our life. Specifically how it can bless our familial and spousal relationships. This discussion will be based off of chapter 19 which is entitled “Sanctification and Cooperation: How prayer Helps Strengthen Relationships in Good Times and Heal Relationships in Bad Times”
Prayer is a magnificent blessing, we are given the ability to speak to our loving Heavenly Father and He eagerly responds and answers our pleas. Though the answers are not always visible or immediate they always come, we just need to learn how to better look for and recognize them.
The quote I like from the chapter comes from page 197:
“Prayer is the means by which individuals may invite God to play an active role in their relationship. Including God in a relationship as one of the “threefold cords” through praying for one’s partner should imbue the relationship with perceived sacredness. As individuals pray specifically for the well-being of their partner, they come to perceive their relationship with this person as being holy and sacred (Fincham et al., 2010).”
I think this quote points to the fact that the effects of prayer reach so far into our destiny and future that is before us, that we can hardly fathom the good it can do for us and our dear loved ones.
As I was courting my now husband, there were many difficult aspects that I was not sure of in regards to our relationship, yet I knew I loved my boyfriend. I poured my heart and soul in my closet while on my knees to my loving Father in Heaven. Though the trying moments lasted for months, praying gave me strength and insights that cemented my love and desire to see our relationship blossom into marriage. I know that as we give God all we have and as we express to Him our deepest and most sincere concerns He willingly will help us improve the situations we are in. My Dad always likes to say that saying “God helps them who help themselves” and I believe that is true too, if we want to improve our relationship with our spouse or another loved one, what good would praying for that to happen if we are not willing to change something that we are doing that may be causing some of the issues we wish were resolved?
I once heard someone say that we should not treat God like He is our butler. I had to think about that for a moment, and then it really made sense, you only ever call on a butler (if for some reason you actually had the luxury of having one) when you want or need something. Most people who have a wait staff don’t summon them just to thank them for all that they are doing to make their life better. We need to treat God as our Father and treat Him more as an invested partner in our plans for righteous success and less as our butler who comes to our rescue at our every whim.
One aspect of the quote I really respect and agree with is the word the author uses, ‘specifically’; I know from personal experience that if you want to see the answers to prayers more vividly you need to pray specifically, because as you pray with specificity you are more aware of what you are hoping for and thus when it happens or the answer comes your mind and heart are in a place to better recognize what God has done for you.
So you’re thinking, that is lovely, Julee, but what does that have to do with relationships exactly? Well everything, when you pray about someone you love and how you can help to better that relationship or simply when you pray for their needs, the answers that come are more visible and in my opinion turn your heart closer to God and that person.
I know that God loves us and He desires for our joy, so He has given us relationships to nourish, and as we nourish them or try to revitalize them, He will be there to answer our prayers and to make our efforts consecrated so we can find great joy.
Instead of answering a question for me this time, please consider a relationship you need or would like to see improved, think about what the issue(s) at the core are, and then pray, and see what your loving Father will do to help you grow closer to the ones you love.