June 29

When Prayer Listens

Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; and give heed to the voice of my supplications! PSALM 86:6

I heard a wife talking about how prayer had enhanced her relationship with her husband. "When we pray together," she said, "we are communicating with God, but we are also communicating with each other and sharing our common love for our Savior."

I hope this doesn't sound either irreverent or intrusive to you. I hope it doesn't make you feel threatened or bashful to know that part of what is happening when you're praying together is this: Your spouse is listening to you and gaining a deeper understanding for what's going on in your heart.

The truth is, when you actively listen to each other in prayer, you are able to empathize at the deepest, most honest level. You are putting yourself in your spouse's shoes. Prayer becomes a much more significant experience when you are listening carefully to the burdens your spouse is repeatedly bringing to the Lord so that you can join him or her in praying for those same things, as well.

This can only happen, of course, when each of you is willing to honestly verbalize what's on your heart, when prayer is not a routine exercise devoid of real-life substance and content, when prayer becomes your heart's genuine cry before the Father. Only then can you go to the Lord God almighty together—with both humility and confidence—asking the Lord to encourage your wife when she feels like a failure as a mom or asking God to grant your husband increased wisdom when he struggles to be the leader of your family.

From our own experience, Barbara and I can assure you that your times of prayer together will be greatly enriched and more productive if you communicate openly and listen attentively.

DISCUSS

Talk about how praying together enriches your relationship. Share what you are facing today that could use your spouse's prayers.

PRAY

Turn your prayer today to the needs of your spouse, interceding for him or her with the understanding gained from knowing each other so well.

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