How to Save Your Marriage With Prayer

How to Save Your Marriage With Prayer

The wake of the Ashley Madison scandal has left many marriages traumatized. Church members have discovered the indiscretions of their pastors. Wives and husbands have discovered the infidelity of their spouses. It’s not that we didn’t know even Christians often struggle to remain faithful to their marriage vows. But the sheer volume of data that was hacked and suddenly available publically has left many somewhat stunned.

There is no easy answer to the problem of marital infidelity. There is no guarantee that your spouse will not fall into some such sinful behavior, or that you yourself will not be sorely tempted. We are each fallen human beings. There is no hierarchy of sins with God. We are all in need of a Savior – today and every day until Jesus returns to take us home.

But that doesn’t mean you are helpless, or hopeless. You may wonder if your own marriage is destined for failure. While there are always many factors involved, I can point to some strong research showing you how to save your marriage with prayer.

Prayer provides a level of insulation against the common human vulnerabilities leading to marital infidelity. In a study of several hundred participants,

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5 Ways to Spend Time With God When You’re Busy

5 Ways to Spend Time With God When You’re Busy

Bible and Coffee in the MorningYour mind gets distracted. Life gets busy. Your thoughts become occupied with figuring out what to do next or solving a problem. Your heart becomes filled with frustration or anxiety or fear or bitterness or pressure. The urgency of life seems to overtake your decision to spend time with God.

Perhaps somewhere there’s someone who’s super spiritual and for whom spending long periods of time with God happens without effort. For me and most of the rest of us, finding ways to spend time with God only happens by being intentional.

As with any human relationship, our relationship with God has many dimensions. Different seasons of life and our unique personalities color how we experience our relationship with God at various times. But there are some common threads we can take advantage of at any time to improve how we spend time with God.

God built us to be part of a community of believers, and I hope you’re involved with others in growing your Christian faith. Worshiping together with others is a powerful way to connect with God. But here I want to focus on 5 ways you can spend time with God individually even when you’re busy.

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Keys to Overcoming Opposition In Your Mission

Keys to Overcoming Opposition In Your Mission

Push AwayThere’s a popular myth – perhaps unspoken – that says everything should be easy if you’re doing the right thing. But that’s just not true. Call it “the resistance,” spiritual warfare, or inertia, but the fact is that if you’re trying to do anything of significance you will face opposition. Coming to terms with and overcoming opposition will make the difference between success and failure in almost anything you do.

Change is usually painful, and almost always difficult. Every system wants to maintain the status quo. Your brain want to keep right on practicing the same bad habits, thinking the same negative thoughts, or enjoying the same addictions. Your family system wants to continue the same unhealthy or dysfunctional patterns of relating. Your church or business wants to remain at the same level, getting the same results as it is now, instead of growing.

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When What God Said Doesn’t Happen

When What God Said Doesn’t Happen

You’ve prayed, over and over again. Perhaps you’ve asked other people to pray for you also. You were hungry to hear from God, and you did. Your heart leaped when God’s voice spoke to your soul, telling you something you desperately needed to hear. Everything was going to be alright.

But things didn’t go as you had hoped. The thing you believed you heard from God didn’t come to pass. The cancer returned. The job didn’t come through. The marriage you thought was God’s idea turned into an unfaithful nightmare. The open ministry door turned out to be a blind alley. And you’re left wondering why. What do you do when what God said doesn’t happen?

When I was thirteen years old I prayed hard for something very specific. I can remember the time and the place when I believed I heard God tell me that the thing I was praying for would happen. It didn’t.

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If You Feel As Though God Has Left You

If You Feel As Though God Has Left You

Her pain seeped out through the words in her message: “Have you ever felt like you were totally left by God, like He suddenly just cut you off for no reason? What if you couldn’t feel love or encouragement from Him even after seeking/wanting it so long? Did you ever get upset that way? Was there ever really an answer or revelation for that? Mostly I feel hurt and confusion. Why? . . . I hope I didn’t go too far, or go too long from God being upset. I hope I don’t go to hell.”

Yes, Janice (not her real name), I’ve felt cut off from God. I’ve felt hurt and confused and upset. I’ve wondered why God didn’t make Himself known to me when I kept asking and asking and asking. I’ve worried that there was something terribly wrong with me that no one could help me with, not even God. I’ve felt as though the confusion would last forever, and that there was nothing I could do about it.

Thankfully it’s been many years since my own dark experience. I walked that journey for four years. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. But as a result, I can weep with those who weep. I’ve been there. You often hear people say “Just do the next right thing.” But if you’re like me in that darkness you have no clue what that next right thing is. And forget about holding on to hope for the future; you don’t even have enough light to take one more step.

If I could talk to the “me” sitting in the corner of my room, feeling like a puddle on the floor, here’s what I would say. And perhaps this will be helpful for you as well:

  1. Don’t quit. Sometimes the best you can do is to just keep on breathing. But that’s enough. As long as you’re breathing you’re still alive. And as long as you’re alive God can do something for you. If you can’t believe that for yourself, hold on to my belief in that for you. It’s not over yet.
  2. Choose the people you spend time with. When you’re in pain you’re especially sensitive to the words and actions of others. Choose to spend time around people who are faith-filled, encouraging, and who support and lift you up. Save difficult relationships for later.
  3. Cultivate quiet. God doesn’t often add His voice to a multitude of confusing noises in your head. If you work on one thing, work on putting the noise out of your mind. Healing music, nature, sleep – look for any way possible to experience calmness and quiet.
  4. Keep on showing up. You never know what God will use to break through your confusion and pain: a church service, a Bible verse, a Christian book, a TV program, a godly counselor, a special Christian event, or even a website such as this one. Don’t search frantically, but just keep showing up.
  5. Continue to pray. Yes, I know you’ve prayed, in tears, perhaps hundreds, thousands, or millions of times. Don’t stop praying. God’s shoulders are big enough to handle all the junk you throw at Him. It’s OK to cry, yell, plead, and fall apart in prayer. Then be quiet and listen.

I could wax eloquent with a lot of theological talk to prove to you that God is still there, and that He cares about you. But that may not mean much to you right now. It’s your heart that needs healing more than your head. I can offer you a hand of love and hope, and be there with you in the darkness. But in the end it’s God Himself who will heal you.

You may never have an intellectually satisfying answer to all of your questions. But I can promise you that He Himself will become the Answer. One day you’ll hear His voice. If you care enough to still be reading this, I can guarantee that He has not left you. He knows what it will take for you to hear Him, and He will make Himself known to you.

Just don’t quit. Please don’t quit! Light exists, and it is good. Very good! And you can find it.

No, God hasn’t left you! Just hold on! He’ll find you.

Your Turn: When things look dark and confusing, where do you find quietness? What helps calm your mind? Leave your comment below.

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