In a previous post, I passed on biblical encouragement and counsel from Larry McCall’s book Loving Your Wife as Christ Loves the Church. Today, I pass on another portion in which he gives to us four reasons we should persevere to pray regularly with our wives.
Prayer with our wives teaches us humility and opens our hearts to God’s grace. We desperately need God’s grace in our own lives as men and in our marriages, don’t we? Our attempts to make life work, to make our marriages work—on our own—are futile and foolish. So, what gets the attention of our grace-dispensing God? Humility. Both Peter (in 1 Peter 5:5) and James (in 4:6) echo Proverbs 3:34, when they write, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” The very act of praying does humble us. And humility draws the grace of God that we so greatly need.
Prayer with our wives can help us develop an increased intimacy with God. To be honest, I have often treated prayer as a means of presenting God with a grocery list of my needs and desires. But prayer should be—and can be—so much more. When I pray with my wife, I can pursue a deeper intimacy with the Lord myself while encouraging my wife to develop her own closeness with the Lord at the same time.
- As we devote time and attention to the Lord, our bond of affection with Him grows.
- As we reflect back to Him in prayer what we adore about Him—His attributes of greatness and grace—our hearts grow warmer.
- As we recall in His presence what we appreciate about him—the many acts of kindness and forgiveness He has shown us—our grateful affections increase.
Praying with my wife promotes an increased intimacy with the Lord who bought us. Let’s experience with our wives the benefit promised in James: “Come near to God and he will come near to you” (4:8). Prayer with our wives strengthens our marriage bond. As we pray with our wives, we hear their hearts, gaining insights into their desires, concerns, and fears in a way that might not be revealed as freely in any other venue. A husband can connect with his wife in a “soulish” way as he listens to her pour out her heart before the heavenly Father. The husband, in turn then, praying for her concerns, confirms his unity with her. He reminds her of his own confidence in God’s commitment to her welfare. Husband and wife develop an intimacy in prayer that cannot be matched in any other way. Praying together is not merely the uniting of two bodies; it is the uniting of two souls—true spiritual intimacy.
Prayer with our wives gives us the opportunity to seek the Lord’s help in our marriages, our families, and our daily lives. How often have we failed to find solutions to our problems and resorted to prayer only in desperation? Our Lord wants us to come to Him with the concerns of our hearts and the problems with our lives. He paid an inestimably high price—the precious blood of His much-loved Son—to give us this access to His throne room. Let’s faithfully commit to heed the call of Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
[My fuller review/summary of this book is posted at Books At a Glance.]