After years of counseling women, I’ve noticed that nearly every one carries some kind of relationship burden.
Their prayer requests and private conversations are loaded with relationship issues. The dominant prayer topics are for their children or spouse.
The marital relationship is the most crucial one in the heart of women.
Recently, after coming home from an event, I was contacted by two women desperate for help in their marriages. Neither attended that day’s event and they lived over 175 miles away from each other. Yet their cry seemed universal. ******
“My marriage is the pits.”
After encouraging these women, I had a bright idea.
In the past, I’d taken written prayer requests from women at church events. Why not dig them out of my files, sort them into categories and find the percentage breakdown? I found a correlation between their prayer and their relations.
Obviously, this is no official research such as Barna, but it is my findings concerning prayer for relationships.
The percentage of prayer requests concerning marriage was much higher than any other type of prayer need recorded.
- The marriage/spouse requests outpaced the rest at 45% of the group.
- The requests for their children and step-children came in at 33% of the group.
- The remaining 22% is a special case. I grouped them together. Many were for other families emphasizing trouble among its members.** Odds are pretty high that many of these requests include hidden prayer for marriages.**
Christians don’t often admit we’re having trouble with our kids and we surely don’t want others to know our marriage is horrible. We try to keep appearances of having it together, yet the divorce rate is just as high with believers as it is for non-believers.
A bad marriage makes us feel powerless and hopeless, like giving up. Yet, the reality is that we are much more vulnerable than helpless.
We have a 50% chance at minimum to make a bad marriage good, or a good one even better. We are half the answer. If we choose, we can work to change our relationship. And that’s not helpless. Vulnerable maybe, but not powerless.
We can Make a Difference
Change is hard. **One way to make the relationship better is for us to change for the better. **Here are some things we can do to initiate the desired change:
- Check our attitude. (Momma was right on this one.)
- Place a guard over our words.
- Understand our own imperfections which allows us to offer grace to others in their weaknesses.
- Trust God to love and keep us safe even if we can’t trust the person who hurt us.
Yes, we are quite vulnerable. But if we add complete faith in God, we are even more effective in changing.
God knows it all.
He already knows the circumstance you’re in and your thoughts about it. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight…” (Hb 4:13). In that case, we should want to discipline and clean our personal and spiritual lives.
Learning to pray conversationally is key to becoming spiritually fit.
Since God knows what we’re thinking, we can tattle to him about others. Venting with God slowly changes the way we think and act, because prayer changes us.
I wrote a training/mentoring book to teach others how to pray in this way. Come Awake has 21 days of exercises and takes the reader though the prayer process while reading the Gospel of John.
When we learn to pray and focus on God, obeying him in all things, our chances of change rises above 50%. In our obedience to God, we pray for the best things to come to the other person and we stop our selfish actions.
We need all the help we can get, because relationships are hard. **They are heavy weights in our emotional wellbeing.** The closer the relationship, the more weight it holds for possible joy and inevitable pain. I love the line from the movie, The Help. “Love and hate are two horns on the same goat…” And we have to have goats, those close relationships.
Please share what help you have to offer. What are your most pressing prayer requests? How could you change to create better relationships?
Here is a post to help women in make their marriage better: 3 Steps to a New Husband.
****Interested in** guest posting, check out the guidelines.**
*Picture by David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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