Marriage in God's Hands

How to Pray for Your Marriage, Part 1

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Mike and Gayle Tucker


Series Code: MGH

Program Code: MGH000090A

00:19 Hello, and welcome to Marriage in God's Hands.
00:21 I'm Mike Tucker, this is Gayle Tucker,
00:23 We're with Faith for Today Television.
00:26 Host of LifeStyle Magazine, and Mad about Marriage.
00:29 And we're honored to be here today,
00:31 talking to you about your marriage
00:33 and marriage in general.
00:35 And one of the best things you can do for marriage,
00:37 is to pray for it, is that right?
00:39 Yeah, yes,
00:40 you know we have the power of God at our disposal.
00:42 Yes.
00:44 How could we possibly pass up this opportunity
00:46 to have the God of the universe step right into our own homes
00:50 and say, I care about you individually,
00:53 I will guide you and lead you.
00:55 Man, that's a great promise.
00:56 You know, for centuries, pastors have talk about
01:00 the power of prayer in the home,
01:01 and we've said the family that prays together,
01:03 stays together.
01:05 Do you know there is actually research
01:06 that supports that now?
01:08 Really.
01:09 The National Marriage Project did a study,
01:11 and they said that in families where husband and wife
01:14 has shared religious values,
01:17 they practice those religious values,
01:19 and there is a faith based, grace based religion,
01:23 they practice regularly.
01:25 In those marriages where husband and wife will pray with
01:29 and for each other for five minutes a day,
01:33 with and for each other for five minutes a day.
01:36 Only one in 1152 ever got divorced.
01:42 That seems like an impossible statistic, doesn't it?
01:44 It does, it does.
01:46 One in 1100...
01:48 152...
01:49 Wow.
01:51 And that again is
01:52 in where they share a religious belief system,
01:56 grace based, they participate
01:57 and then they pray with and for each other,
02:00 five minutes every day, seven days a week.
02:02 That seems very little sacrifice, doesn't it?
02:05 It does. Five minutes a day.
02:06 Yeah. Yeah. And yet look at the results.
02:09 That seems impossible
02:10 when you consider what the divorce rate is.
02:12 You know the divorce rate may be around 14 percent.
02:15 Yeah.
02:16 And yet, I mean what's the ratio there,
02:20 I mean all the statistics there--
02:21 Oh, it's ridiculous, it is.
02:23 So it does tell us that faith in God
02:25 and a practice with that faith in prayer,
02:27 all come together to help form stronger families.
02:31 There is also been studies done on a marital satisfaction
02:34 for people who have spirituality
02:37 or grace based faith.
02:39 They find the highest levels of marital satisfaction occur
02:42 when husband and wife share a faith
02:45 and practice it together, that's the highest level.
02:48 The second highest level is if only one can have a faith
02:52 that's where the dad has a faith,
02:55 so if mom doesn't have--
02:56 If one of the two are not gonna have faith,
02:58 have the spirituality.
03:00 It's best if the man has it,
03:01 because that's the second highest level of satisfaction.
03:03 It's better if both of them have it,
03:05 but the second best is when he has faith.
03:08 The third best is when she has it,
03:10 and the worst is when neither of them has it.
03:12 There is something about that father's influence
03:15 on home, isn't there?
03:16 When He leads and guides in a spiritual way,
03:20 everybody is happier.
03:22 You know there is a saying that says.
03:25 "If mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy."
03:26 Yeah.
03:29 There is a great deal of truth to that,
03:31 but I think even above that
03:32 is dad is leading in the atmosphere of that home,
03:36 and when he is a spiritual leader,
03:39 it makes a huge difference
03:40 in the satisfaction reported by both wife and children.
03:44 And children, that's marital satisfaction,
03:47 but it's familiar satisfaction not just marital actually.
03:50 Because it's both husband, wife and children,
03:53 all report higher levels of satisfaction
03:56 with the relationship and with the family.
03:58 You know, I think that sometimes
04:00 people get the idea though
04:02 that prayer is their way of changing the spouse.
04:04 Yeah, if I will just pray over this problem,
04:07 my spouse will eventually change.
04:10 Oh, Lord, please change my spouse, please.
04:12 I think it's the wrong prayer most of the time.
04:14 What it should it be?
04:15 I think the prayer should be, "Lord bless my spouse.
04:19 Bless my spouse with everything they need.
04:23 Do whatever is necessary to bring fullness, happiness,
04:26 completeness, wholeness to my spouse."
04:28 And salvation.
04:30 And salvation, and oh, by the way Lord change me.
04:34 And, you know, the change in yourself is the one thing
04:36 that you can really participate in.
04:38 You can't really participate when your spouse is change.
04:41 You can pray for him to be blessed
04:43 or her to be blessed,
04:44 but I think that's the more proper prayer quite frankly.
04:46 Well, I think the thing is
04:48 when you are praying for them to be blessed,
04:50 you are praying for everything that they need,
04:53 for any changes that might need to be made.
04:55 And God knows what those are better than you do.
04:57 Better than you do.
04:59 And He is giving fullness to that person,
05:01 He is giving His grace,
05:03 He is giving His best to that person.
05:05 Rather than being instructive in our prayers,
05:08 we are facilitating God to do what God does best.
05:12 Glory to God in my spouse's life.
05:15 And then open me up to any change
05:17 that I need to make that will help,
05:19 not only my spouse, but will help me,
05:21 bring me closer to you.
05:22 That's right.
05:24 Along those lines, I think that some families feel like
05:26 they don't know how to pray for each other
05:28 or with each other.
05:31 You know, you have strange words,
05:33 I don't know exactly is there a magical pattern to follow.
05:37 And I think that it's important that we understand
05:39 that there is no magic pattern,
05:41 but there are good examples of prayer in scripture.
05:43 There are.
05:45 I think that's one reason why people don't pray
05:47 especially together,
05:48 is it they feel like they don't know the words.
05:51 I don't have the right words, I don't have the right pattern.
05:53 So I'm just gonna avoid that,
05:56 but there are some wonderful patterns for how we can pray.
06:00 First of all I think to remember
06:01 that the only wrong way to pray is not to pray.
06:04 Yeah.
06:05 If you are not praying,
06:06 you are missing something that's huge
06:08 as a blessing for your family.
06:09 You certainly are.
06:11 And then to realize
06:12 that there are many different ways to pray.
06:13 You can pray in very informal ways as well.
06:16 Just while you are walking together you can pray.
06:19 I remember growing up the...
06:20 I was instructed
06:22 that there should be three parts to the prayer,
06:23 three equal parts.
06:25 And one is praise, another is thanksgiving,
06:29 and another is request.
06:30 But, you know, as I look at scripture,
06:32 I don't find that pattern.
06:34 Not necessarily. No, not necessarily there.
06:36 In fact what I do find is that some of the prayers
06:37 are nothing more than a series of petitions,
06:40 nothing more than asking.
06:41 Just a groan before God, right?
06:43 Yeah, in fact someone who has written
06:45 that the best prayers often have more groans than words.
06:48 And I think that's truth,
06:50 just an opening of the heart and your pain to the Lord.
06:52 So it's all right
06:53 if your prayer has a lot of request in it.
06:57 Don't be afraid of that.
06:58 In fact what we'd like to do right now
06:59 is maybe open our Bibles
07:01 and pray through a passage of scripture,
07:04 a prayer of scripture.
07:05 And learn how to do this as a family,
07:07 maybe as a couple together,
07:08 learn how this really implies to our lives
07:10 together as a family, what do you think?
07:11 How can we pray for our marriage?
07:13 How can we pray for each other?
07:14 That's right. By following scripture.
07:15 By following scripture. That's right.
07:17 And one place to do this is in the Psalms,
07:19 because the Psalms are songs, they were written for worship,
07:23 they are poems, but they are also prayers.
07:25 And if you want to learn how to pray, pray the psalms.
07:28 Just change the personal pronouns
07:30 and you will find
07:32 that they are applicable to life today, absolutely.
07:34 Yeah, absolutely.
07:35 And we're gonna go with an oldie
07:37 but a goodie, our favorite.
07:38 I think America's favorite psalm,
07:39 and that is Psalms 23, the shepherd psalm.
07:42 And people think ah--
07:43 I have heard that so many times,
07:45 I know everything there is to know about it.
07:46 May be not.
07:47 There is always something new every time I read it,
07:50 every time I read any psalm.
07:51 I find just such an amazing wealth there.
07:54 I believe that the shepherd psalm
07:56 has seven petitions,
07:58 it is a prayer with seven requests before God.
08:01 Okay. All right.
08:02 Request number one is simply be my guard,
08:05 I need a guard, be my guard.
08:06 So verse 1 says,
08:08 Psalm of David, Yahweh is my shepherd,
08:12 I will not lack anything.
08:14 And most people are familiar with that being
08:16 "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."
08:18 I shall not want.
08:19 But it's basically a more modern way
08:20 of saying the same thing,
08:22 Yahweh, the name for God is my shepherd,
08:25 I shall not lack for anything. I will not lack for anything.
08:29 So if He is going to be my God,
08:31 He is going to provide every single thing I need.
08:34 So we could say, you know, be our shepherd.
08:37 Please, Lord, I need a shepherd.
08:38 You know we are described as the sheep of His pasture,
08:41 His lambs.
08:42 That's a beautiful picture, isn't it,
08:44 when you see the sheep dotting the hillside.
08:46 And the shepherd is watching over you.
08:48 However, you know, I am a city boy
08:50 but I've traveled
08:52 and I've talked to shepherds in the United States,
08:54 shepherds in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia
08:59 and they tell me
09:00 that even though they love their sheep
09:01 that they are the dumbest animals
09:03 on the face of the planet.
09:04 And that they need constant care and attention
09:07 or they will perish.
09:08 So when the Lord calls you His sheep,
09:10 it may not be really a compliment.
09:15 I don't really want to be known as a sheep.
09:17 Yeah. Yeah.
09:18 But then again it is true.
09:20 I am in constant need of God or I perish.
09:24 That's right.
09:25 I cannot save myself, I cannot feed myself,
09:28 I cannot do anything for myself,
09:30 I need a shepherd.
09:31 I need a shepherd.
09:33 And the beauty is this says the Lord is my shepherd.
09:36 Yes.
09:37 I will not want, I will not need anything.
09:40 Not gonna lack for anything good in my life,
09:42 He is gonna provide it all.
09:43 Even though, I may be a total mess,
09:45 I don't know where I am going, I don't know what I am doing,
09:48 He still loves me and holds me close as His sheep.
09:53 How wonderful is that?
09:55 So that's the first prayer to pray for ourselves
09:56 and may be for my spouse would be my spouse's shepherd,
09:59 be Gayle's God, be her shepherd,
10:03 be close to her today.
10:04 You know, I think that's a beautiful thing to pray
10:06 on your own for your spouse.
10:08 You know to say,
10:09 they don't even know I'm praying this Lord.
10:11 He needs a shepherd today.
10:12 The second petition is found in verse 2 and it says,
10:15 "He makes me lie down in green pastures,
10:17 he leads me beside quiet waters."
10:20 Basically this is a prayer for rest.
10:23 To lie down in green pastures.
10:25 Sheep will not lie down
10:27 if there are four things in their lives.
10:30 These four things have to all be absent
10:31 for them to lie down.
10:33 The first is fear.
10:34 If they are fearful, they will not lie down.
10:37 if they're afraid that there is an enemy close by,
10:40 a predator, they will not lie down.
10:42 How true is that of us in life? Yeah.
10:44 You know, when you are fearful, you can't sleep at night.
10:48 There are thing that are running through your mind,
10:50 there are worries.
10:52 So I might pray for you, Lord, give him rest.
10:56 Let him lie down, don't let him be afraid.
10:57 Don't let him worry about finance system,
10:59 don't let him worry about the next appointment
11:02 coming up with the travel or anything else, let him rest.
11:04 Give my spouse rest, and flies must be absent.
11:07 I used to preach this as flees but shepherds tell me
11:10 that, that sheep do not get flees
11:11 but flies bug them like crazy.
11:15 That's a pesky thing that just won't go away.
11:17 Right, right.
11:18 So, Lord, rid my spouse off those little irritations
11:22 that are driving him or her crazy, get rid of that.
11:25 Another is friction.
11:27 If indeed your aren't...
11:29 sheep are not getting along with each other,
11:30 they wont lie down.
11:31 I didn't know sheep didn't get along,
11:33 but they don't,
11:34 they don't always get along, yeah.
11:35 You know, we don't always get along either.
11:37 No, we don't.
11:38 So if I were to pray for you, I mean pray, Lord,
11:41 take away any problems in relationships,
11:45 whether it's our relationship
11:46 or relationship outside of ours.
11:48 Things that might be keep Mike from resting,
11:52 help him to rest,
11:53 help his relationships to be in good shape,
11:55 help him to have peace in that area.
11:57 And the last thing that has to be absent is famine.
12:00 If sheep are hungry, they don't lie down.
12:03 So I guess the question is,
12:04 is there a famine of God's word in your life.
12:07 Are you hungry for God's word and if you are,
12:10 there is no real rest.
12:12 And of course there is no rest
12:13 if there is physical hunger either.
12:15 And so we pray for an absence of hunger
12:17 in the life of our spouse.
12:18 And that might mean that you know
12:20 that we have enough work,
12:22 so that we have enough money to maintain our family.
12:27 You know that we just have everything
12:28 that we need to feel satisfied,
12:31 so that we are content in our life,
12:33 and are able to move forward.
12:34 Now we just hit the first two verses
12:36 but already we got two major petitions,
12:40 two major requests of God that we make for our spouse.
12:42 Be my spouse's guard, be my spouse's shepherd,
12:46 so that they want for nothing, and give my spouse rest.
12:51 It's nice that God starts every day with rest.
12:54 The evening and the morning were the first day
12:56 it begins with rest.
12:57 He understands our need for that as well, doesn't He?
12:59 Oh, and how much we need rest.
13:01 This world just keeps us in chaos all the time
13:03 but to think that we can rest.
13:06 We gonna pause our prayer right now.
13:08 We'll complete it when we come back.
13:09 We'll be back in just a moment.


Revised 2016-06-09