God's Marital Lifeline
- Barry R. Leventhal, Ph.D. Two Becoming One
- 2003 26 Jun
A lifeline is a line or rope that is used to keep contact with someone in a potentially dangerous situation. It is a vital link that is indispensable for the maintaining or protection of life. God has graciously given us such a marital lifeline – prayer. Prayer is God’s open invitation into what some have called The Sacred Romance. He is always pursuing us, His most beloved children. As we continue on our journey into the wonders and challenges of marriage, prayer becomes more and more vital.
A marriage without regular prayer is like a car without fuel. It just won’t work. It may sputter along for a while, gasping and wheezing on the final fumes. But eventually it will run out of gas and come to a halt along the side of the road. But God has not left us alone, stalled on the side of the road. He has given us specific biblical revelation on prayer. How does this divine lifeline work?
The Bible and Prayer
The Bible itself is a wonderful textbook on prayer. Exclusive of the Book of Psalms, which is a prayer book on its own, the Bible records no fewer than 650 definite prayers, of which no less than 450 have recorded answers. By studying and praying these prayers back to God in our own words, a married couple can grow into a real prayer team. Two books that cover this great span of prayers in the Bible are: Herbert Lockyer, “All the Prayers of the Bible” (Zondervan Publishing House), and Larry Richards, “Every Prayer and Petition in the Bible” (Thomas Nelson Publishers). These two resources will get any sincere married couple off on the journey of marital prayer.
Prayer and Marriage
Beyond the Bible’s own resource of prayers, there are two specific passages in the New Testament that directly relate prayer to marriage. The first is 1 Peter 3:7:
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the [physically] weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Husbands need to remember that the way they treat their wives will determine whether their prayers break through the ceiling or just fall to the floor. A committed, loving, and sensitive husband enhances the journey of prayer in any marriage. Now that is something to pray about!
A second New Testament passage that relates directly to marriage and prayer is 1 Corinthians 7:2-5:
But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
God calls married couples to a healthy and regular marital intimacy. That was His plan from His original creation (see Genesis 2:24-25). It is still true today. Marital intimacy should be creative and regular except on the basis of three conditions: (1) by mutual consent, (2) for a short period, and (3) for a specific purpose – prayer! Prayer not only fortifies marital intimacy, it also prevents marital infidelity.
In light of God’s gracious invitation into His lifeline of prayer, prayerfully consider the following suggestions for your marriage:
Husbands, ask God to make you into the kind of prayer warrior that your wife has always been hoping for.
Wives, pray that God will bind your husband to Himself and to you in prayer.
Married couples, pray together that God will draw you ever deeper into His Sacred Romance and that it will spill over into your own marital intimacy.
Remember: Prayer is God’s lifeline in your marriage. You can’t afford to neglect such a divine and infinite resource.