Power in prayer
As I was praying about putting this week’s blog post together,
it seemed that God was directing me to share something about prayer in relationship to husbands and wives. My mind immediately went to three very specific prayer requests Yvonne (my wife) has offered over our years together.
The first one happened when I had been in the Air Force for two and a half years. I was doing great in the Air Force, but God had made it clear to us that He wanted me to pursue pastoral ministry. I was getting anxious to get out of the USAF and begin full-time ministry but I had a big obstacle—two more years in the Air Force. So, without telling me about it, Yvonne started praying that God would make a way for me to get out early. We got back from a missions trip to Canada and I received orders that would send me to an Air Force base in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. That didn’t seem to fit what we believed was God’s plan. All of a sudden God provided a way to get out with an honorable discharge one year ahead of time. One week, I was in the Air Force. The next week, I was on staff at our church. It wasn’t until later that Yvonne let me know that she had been praying for an early discharge for a while.
Her next very specific prayer focus was that our neighbors John and Carol would know Christ as their Savior. We had invited them to church but they had never accepted the invitation. Then they moved to New Hampshire for a few years. Once again, it seemed that her prayers were not going as she hoped. They eventually moved back and we started seeing their youngest son show up for youth events at church. Then John came and trusted Christ as Savior and a short time later, Carol trusted Christ as well. From the time we met John and Carol until they trusted Christ, Yvonne was faithfully praying for them.
There are many other times I could write about, but the third time that came to mind was when we were living in a house on the corner of Memorial Drive. When we first moved there our sons were young and very active, so the traffic noise didn’t seem to be a problem. But as time went on, the noise became more of an issue. Once again, without letting me know, Yvonne started praying that God would make a way for us to move to another house on a quiet street.
When she eventually told me what she was praying about, I was not for it. How could we afford a larger mortgage payment? And, because I am sentimental, I wasn’t sure I wanted to move from our house which held so many family memories. She finally talked me into “checking into it” and you know what? God made a way for us to move to a house on a cul-de-sac. Talk about quiet! It was like we were living in the countryside compared to our house on the corner of Memorial Drive.
So why this trip down the memory lane of my wife’s prayer life?
Well, in addition to being thankful for my wife who is faithful in prayer and believes that God can do anything, here are a few things I was reminded of:
First, God has called us to pray. It really needs to be a normal part of our daily life. We are told to “pray without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Second, there are times when we can enter our “prayer closet” (just us and God) and talk to God about things that are close to our heart. He loves us as our Father and cares about what concerns us. In 1 Peter 5:7 we read “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
Third, we read in 1 Peter 3:7 “husbands must give honor to your wives…she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” We need to treat our spouse with grace, kindness, and genuine care so that our prayers to God will be productive. Usually as husbands and wives we are praying about the same things, but sometimes we need our spouse to be praying personal prayers for us. Because, “the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16
We should pray to God together and you should pray to God alone—so keep on praying.
“We can do no more than pray until we have prayed