This is a guest post from marriage blogger and podcaster Stu Gray. Stu is also the intro voice of The Whole Donkey Podcast. Thanks for everything Stu!
I’ve never been what you would consider a ‘prayer warrior’.
Whenever I read books about prayer, it makes me want to be a better pray-er, but I get frustrated because I’m no George Muller.
That dude could pray. Look him up if you haven’t heard his story.
Sometimes I feel like there’s a ceiling for my prayers. No break through. No answer. My words are hitting some barrier and flopping lifeless back to earth.
Prayer and Marriage are Intertwined
Somewhere into about my 30th book on marriage that I had read after a horrible vacation with our extended family, I picked up Gary Thomas’ Sacred Marriage.
He suggested that I take 1 Peter 3:7 to heart. Here’s what it says:
…you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
I had read the verse, but had never thought about what it meant for my marriage, or my prayer life.
It seems that God has, for some reason, tied our marriages and prayer life together.
Every husband can have a better prayer life by working on their marriage
Prayer and marriage help us realize we don’t always have it all figured out. That we need someone else to bounce ideas off of – or to give us a good swift kick in the right direction.
Marriage is a journey of humility, or at least, a learning to be humble with another person who shares the same bed with you.
Working on your marriage takes the focus off of you. If you work on your marriage, it forces you to get out of isolation and actually talk to the person you are in a relationship with. You must engage in your marriage to actually make it work.
If you engage with your spouse, you tend to realize that you aren’t alone, and that you can’t always have it your way.
A good marriage takes good communication. Most wives don’t enjoy the silent treatment – and honestly, even if your day was boring, they still probably want to hear about it – because they want to connect with you.
Prayer is similar to Marriage
Prayer takes the focus off of yourself.
Prayer helps you remember that you aren’t alone.
Prayer takes engagement with our creator.
Prayer is good communication.
If there is blockage in your prayer life, there’s likely blockage in your marriage.
When I first got married, I put the relationship on the back burner and let it coast; but there is only one way things coast – downhill. I assumed all would be amazing after we stood at the altar. But it didn’t go down that way.
I let things coast until year five when we went on that vacation from hell I mentioned earlier.
I came to a cross roads. Things needed to change for the better, or I needed to get out.
I didn’t want out, so I decided I needed to change.
I asked myself – How do I make this thing – this marriage – better? I began reading all I could about what makes a good marriage – how to communicate – how to step up and be a good husband – how to love well.
It was a real difference in my life and marriage. I began to grow up, and focus more on this other person who I now shared life with. I had a long way to go (it still took a couple more years to kick the pornography habit – thats a post for another day).
I started actively working on my marriage. Not because someone else made me, or I was pressured into it.
I wanted to be a great husband and dad.
I felt like praying, and when I did, I began to notice things I prayed about… found answers.
Its interesting how God works sometimes.
How have you found that focusing on your marriage has helped your spiritual walk?
Stu Gray is an advocate for Stupendous Marriages and has a podcast called the Stupendous Marriage Show with his wife Lisa.
He’s the night guy on the WayFM Network, and is a volunteer youth pastor at his church. Catch him on twitter @stugray