A Christmas Prayer for your Marriage

A Christmas Prayer for your Marriage

What are you getting your husband or wife for Christmas this year? TV commercials would suggest fuzzy pajamas, a new grill, a diamond ring, or a new car. But much more than physical gifts, your spouse needs you. And one of the best ways to give from your heart is to start with a prayer.

This Christmas prayer for your marriage will get your heart in the right place, and invite God’s presence where He is needed most.

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5 Things to Ask When God Seems Silent

5 Things to Ask When God Seems Silent

Sometimes you pray and God seems very close. Other times you feel as though you’re trying to talk to a brick wall. Your head believes God hears your prayers, but in real life it’s sometimes hard to hold on to that in your heart. What do you do when God seems silent?

You don’t say the same things or communicate exactly the same way each time with your spouse or best friend. Just so, communication with God is something that grows over time. Although God never changes, you and I change. How we experience prayer during different seasons of life and of our Christian experience is likely to change. God’s nature is always the same, but how He interacts with us is unique to our personality and circumstances. So expect to keep learning about prayer throughout your life on Earth.

There are some things we know about prayer that will help in your communication with God. When God seems silent, ask yourself these questions.

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Getting God from your Head to your Heart

Getting God from your Head to your Heart

Some of us (me included) tend to approach life first from the head. (If you naturally approach life first from the heart, reading this may help you understand your spouse or friends better.) We studied hard in school, and when a problem comes up now we try to figure things out. All of that is fine except when your relationship with God stays only in the head. It’s important to move beyond a spirituality that is only intellectual, to move God from your head to your heart.

Some branches of Christianity tend to emphasize the intellectual aspects of faith almost exclusively. Biblical truth is preached. Your journey of faith is characterized by learning propositional truth and how much you know the Bible. Children are taught Bible memorization. When you have a problem, the “Christian” thing to do is look for a Biblical truth to counteract a wrong belief. Your heart is not very much involved because as Jeremiah said, it’s wicked.

Other branches of Christianity tend to place much greater emphasis on the emotional aspects of faith. Services focus time on music, emotional worship, and ministry. Preaching, while Biblically based, is more about dealing with the issues of life. Children are taught to experience God through prayer and music. When you have a problem, the “Christian” thing to do is ask someone to pray for you. Your head is not very much involved because you can’t trust reason anyway, so “they” say.

This is not a critique on various branches of Christianity. There are dangers on both “sides.” But if your relationship with God has been limited to propositional truth, beliefs, and cognitive intellectual “work,” you’re still missing out on so much. God needs and wants you to move beyond a spirituality that is limited to your intellect.

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How to Pray With Your Spouse

How to Pray With Your Spouse

Praying together with your spouse can be one of the most intimate, healing, and meaningful aspects of your relationship. You know you “should,” but perhaps praying together feels awkward, even scary. If you struggle with knowing how to pray with your spouse daily, or if you wish praying together were more meaningful, this is for you.

Like communication between you and your spouse, communicating meaningfully with God in prayer develops over time. Communicating with your spouse is sometimes superficial, sometimes deep, sometimes frustrating, sometimes challenging, sometimes transforming. The more you and your spouse learn about each other the more meaningful your communication becomes. Investing in learning appropriate skills makes your communication together better.

So it is with God. Sometimes your prayer will be a quick cry, “God, help us!” Sometimes it will be about “little” things, and sometimes about overwhelmingly important things. And the more you as a couple get to know God better, the better your prayer life together with Him will be.

Some husbands, especially, feel intimidated by praying with their wife. Don’t let that stop you! Use these ideas to start where you are, and take the lead in bringing your marriage and family to God in prayer.

Here are some practical tools that will help you pray with your spouse regularly.

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Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

Sure, others wound us. But many of our wounds are self-inflicted. God created us for intimacy, but we too often end up looking for love in all the wrong places. And what can we possibly hope to do about it now?

It’s not your fault, really. At least it didn’t start as your fault. You never fully got the kind of love you needed growing up as an impressionable child. You didn’t see “learning to love well” modeled in a healthy way. Your early attempts at feeling important, making it, connecting with someone else, getting your needs met, giving something of yourself – most or all of them ended up leading to some kind of rejection, some lack, some wounds that wouldn’t go away. You learned early on that if you were ever to get what you needed, you’d have to claw and scrape and grasp and hold on for dear life.

Some of us seem more wounded than others. If you grew up with parents who loved each other well, stayed together, and loved you well, you got a foundation that was more solid than many others received. But even you have felt the sting of bullying, tragedy, disappointment, failure, or just plain old sin.

And so you go looking.

Where We Look for Love

It’s no wonder many look for love in places such as

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