Lately God has been challenging my husband and I on the importance of spiritual stamina. He has been prompting our hearts to ask questions like, “Can we go longer at church?” and “Should we be praying longer?” Not that it is a set amount of time that matters, but rather where are our hearts at with pursuing godly things. Are we quick to get it done or do we enjoy it so much that time passes us by?
We explore spiritual stamina in this episode but we also take time at the end of the episode to pray for you and pray with you! I have been wanting to do this for awhile now so I am super excited to this episode to bless you!
– [Aaron] Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage after God. – [Jennifer] Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage. – [Aaron] And today we’re gonna talk about Spiritual Stamina and Prayer. Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast, where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after. – [Jennifer] I’m Jennifer, also known as Unveiled Wife. – [Aaron] And I’m Aaron, also known as Husband Revolution. – [Jennifer] We have been married for over a decade. – [Aaron] And so far, we have four young children. – [Jennifer] We have been doing marriage ministry online for over seven years through blogging and social media. – [Aaron] With the desire to inspire couples to keep God at the center of their marriage, encouraging them to walk in faith every day. – [Jennifer] We believe the Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one, full of life, – Love, – [Jennifer] And power. – [Aaron] That can only be found by chasing after God. – [Jennifer] Together. – [Aaron] Thank you for joining us in this journey as we chase boldly after God’s will for our life together. – [Jennifer] This is Marriage After God. – [Aaron] Okay, before we get started on this week’s episode, I just wanna invite any of you that have been subscribed to our channel and enjoying this content, if you would just take a moment and leave us a star rating and a review. If you don’t have time for a text review, you can just leave a star rating also, but when those reviews get left, they actually help our podcast get seen by a lot more people so we’d really appreciate it, if you have a moment to leave a review, that would be awesome. – [Jennifer] Also, Aaron and I would like to invite you to support this podcast by shopping through our store. So if you go to marriageaftergod.com/challenge, you can check out our resources on prayer and take the 31-day challenge, pray with your spouse through those resources and that, shopping through our store helps support this podcast. – [Aaron] So let’s just get into the content now. You know, we’re gonna be talking about spiritual stamina, which is a term that I brought up this last Sunday and we’ll talk about where it came from but I believe it’s something that God’s walking us through right now. There are several things that we’re gonna talk about today that was brought up recently, over the last few days, and we’re just thinking, “Man, we should talk about this.” – [Jennifer] Yeah. – [Aaron] For this week’s podcast. – [Jennifer] Yeah, I feel like it’s a necessary message, not just for our hearts and the things that we’re walking through but hopefully it’ll inspire everyone listening. – [Aaron] Yeah, and then our heart for this podcast is always to inspire and encourage marriages out there who love God and who wanna know His will for their life and marriage to move forward and that’s what He’s doing with us, it’s our journey, it’s their journey, but this word ‘stamina’, it’s something that I think about often when it comes to my workout in the mornings at the gym, which this morning’s was super hard and I had almost no stamina. I could not keep going, I almost quit halfway through the workout. – [Jennifer] I’ve been there before, pretty much any workout I’ve ever done. – [Aaron] And the idea is that we, as we work out, or as we exercise or we build muscle, our muscle in our body and our system gets better at doing that and it means we can handle more. And this week, on Sunday at church actually, I was thinking about it. Actually, church service was awesome, I walked away feeling so blessed and that just, the Lord was speaking to our hearts, but a thought I had was, “Man, I wonder if we could handle more as a church body?” – [Jennifer] Like go longer? – [Aaron] Yeah, go longer. Like, it was actually a really good service and several people spoke and talked and we sang a lot of awesome worship songs and just, it was a really good morning. There was tons of prayer, but then I just had this thought of I wonder if we could handle more. Could we go longer, or is it, we just cap it a certain amount or time and this was, I don’t believe anyone was, I actually didn’t tell anyone this, there was no problem, it was just, I was just thinking, like, I wonder what it would take if we could do more, if God wanted us to go further, if we could, would we be okay with that. Have you ever thought about that before, Babe? – [Jennifer] When I think of stamina, I think of my time spent with the kids and kind of just doing our daily routine and the kind of stamina that a parent needs, to be able to do that, to last the whole day. – That’s a good illustration. – Fulfilling their needs and being their encouragement and their comfort and just be that person in their life to guide them and it requires a lot, and so when I think of the word ‘stamina’, that’s what I think of. – [Aaron] Well, that’s a good illustration, actually. So your stamina from one child to your stamina to two children– – [Jennifer] It grows exponentially. I feel like each time, every time we have another child, I do feel like, kind of like you were talking about, growing and as you exercise and building that muscle, I feel like I’m building that muscle as a parent. – [Aaron] Right, in every aspect, not just playing with our kids but in discipline– – [Jennifer] And teaching. – [Aaron] In teaching, discipleship, all these areas. So another area that stamina came up was in prayer, recently, and we’re gonna talk about that and actually at the end of this episode, are we gonna pray for the marriages that listen? – [Jennifer] Yeah, when we were talking about what we would share today, I’ve actually been asking you for a couple weeks now, hey, we need to an episode just on praying and pray for the couples who are listening because we know how powerful prayer is and our heart is to pray for you guys, and so we thought we could just enter into a time of praying and I’m really excited to do that today. – [Aaron] Yeah, and we’ll do that towards the end so stay tuned. I did a live video today on Instagram and got people’s prayer requests so we’re gonna go through some of those, Babe. – Oh awesome. – [Aaron] But we’re just gonna pray generally for marriages who listen to this, marriages and the church and so that’s gonna be awesome, but prayer was a part of the spiritual stamina we were talking about. Jennifer and I have made prayer a main theme in our marriage since the beginning. It’s been the main theme in our ministry online, it’s been probably the most popular books that we’ve had, is our prayer books. – [Jennifer] And I would say that it’s not because we’re good at it, it’s because God’s constantly calling us to do it and I feel like that’s been an area of our life that we constantly come back to and need to be reminded of and so I think that’s why it’s such a big part of our ministry online, is because we know that if it’s hard for us, it’s probably hard for other people. So, just wanted to– – And I feel like recently– – Share that. – [Aaron] We’ve talked about this a bit, Babe is that God’s actually asking us for more. It feels like He’s saying, “Hey, I want you to pray more.” That there’s more to be prayed about, that I want more energy put into prayer and so that goes back to the stamina of well, what can we handle? And you actually, you just asked God recently, you said, “Okay Lord, what’s next?” And I feel like what’s next in our life is more prayer, more of the word of God, more spiritual growth, more fellowship, all of these things that God, that we experience God in and how we know Him and I think that’s what He’s calling us to. – [Jennifer] So, real quick, you had mentioned that on Sunday specifically, you were kind of wrestling with the question, can we handle more, and I know that the night before, you had started a new book and so do you wanna share a little bit from that? – [Aaron] Yeah, so not only was this idea on Sunday of like, can we handle more? Can we pray more? Can we read more? What could our church handle? Could our spiritual stamina be built and grow as a church as a whole but also as individuals in our marriage and then the conversation continued and then that night, I read this book at night. It’s by Francis Chan, it’s called Letters to the Church, I just got it and he talks about prayer in it and it was pretty powerful, I just wanna read a little bit of what he said. This is on page 67 and he’s talking about prayer and the church and he says, “Years ago, my friend from India “drove me to a speaking engagement in Dallas. “When he heard the music and saw the lights, “he said, ‘You Americans are funny. “‘You won’t show up unless “‘there’s a good speaker or a band. “‘In India, people get excited just to pray.’ “He proceeded to tell how “believers back home loved communion, “and how they flocked to simple prayer gatherings.” First of all, this story itself shocked me and I was like, oh! Like, I’ve never thought of that and do we do that? Would we flock to a prayer meeting? Do we crave prayer? The Bible is just so adamant about prayer, God’s so adamant about our prayer life. Jesus dying on the cross tore the veil from top to bottom so that we can actually have a direct line of contact with the Father Himself. That we no longer need an earthly priest, we have a high priest, Jesus Himself, who intercedes for us and gives us direct access. – [Jennifer] Which is incredible, do we take advantage of that? – Yeah. – We should be. – [Aaron] And I think this started a really long conversation, actually, right before bed, but later on in the chapter he says, “It is His desire for all His children “to experience the fullness of Him through the church “and has given us His word to show us how. “Let’s dream of trembling believers on their knees, “speechless because they grabbed the weight “of speaking to Yahweh. “Let’s picture small groups and large crowds “coming with eager expectation just to pray. “This is possible.” And so, this book, I’m really liking the book. There are a few things that I’ve wrestled with but this prayer stuff, we talked for probably an hour, just about our spiritual stamina, our prayer. Like, are we even giving prayer the time of day that it deserves in our life? So, Babe, when I read that because I read it out loud to us in bed, and just how he was dreaming of believers on their knees praying and speechless and eager expectation just to pray. How does that make you feel? – [Jennifer] I think it draws out of my heart just this eagerness to do it more. Sometimes we have these emotions and feelings in our hearts and we can’t even put words to them until you read someone else’s writing and then it’s like, “Oh, that’s what it is.” And I’ve been feeling this way for a while and I feel like that was, his words, like, just hearing you read them out loud, was like, “Yes, that’s it.” Like, we need more of that and earlier you had mentioned that we had been praying for what’s next and that specifically came from when I had gotten away for a couple days for a women’s retreat and there was 15 of us and we each took turns sitting in what we called the hot seat and it was just a chair in the middle of the room but each one of the women there basically just shared a prayer request and then we all prayed specifically for that woman– – One by one. – One by one. – Every single woman. – It took us, like, three hours or so to get through and when it was my turn, I remember just thinking like, I feel ready for what God has for, for whatever’s next for me and for us and so that’s kind of where that came from and I’ll tell you what, the experience of that prayer time was so powerful, not just in my life, but in all the women’s lives there and it made me, when I got home, it made me think of how when you’re gone at a retreat or you’re gone at a conference, there’s this spiritual high. That you walk away feeling like you’re just so close to God and you really experienced something truly miraculous and what I felt like God was sharing with me about that specifically is that it was because we devoted time to Him. We sat for three and a half hours and prayed over each individual person, in prayer talking to God, like, petitioning for these prayer requests and then we expect in our daily life to just go through whatever we have, whatever requirements that we have on our day to day agendas and we think that we’re gonna experience God the same way without going to our prayer closet, without being on our knees, without lifting up those requests to Him, without being thankful for things and just talking to Him and sharing our heart with Him, we expect the same spiritual high. – [Aaron] Yeah and God doesn’t want us to have spiritual highs and lows, He wants us to be consistent with Him. What’s funny is you said, so you planned that whole retreat and all the women just raved about it and you were telling me, though, you were like, “I planned all these great things “and they were all fun, like these games “and these conversations and they were great, “but the most powerful thing we did was the prayer.” – [Jennifer] Yeah. – [Aaron] And it was that you said, “It felt miraculous, “it felt like we were in the presence of God “as women coming together for the purpose “of praying for each other,” and as we talk about this, I feel like the thing we’ve been feeling is that we’re missing something. Like you said, we expect to experience God in the same way in those dedicated, devoted times as we do in our everyday life when we don’t dedicate or devote time. And so, the stamina side of that is we need to devote time to practicing and walking in those things. You know, at bedtime. One thing that we’ve realized is we could be spending more time in prayer. Are we cultivating an environment where we get to bed early enough and even if not, early enough, and prayer is a priority at bedtime, together? – [Jennifer] Yeah. – [Aaron] Praying for our kids, praying for our family members, praying for our church, and I feel like that’s where the stamina comes from, is the devotion and the time that we set aside for it. – [Jennifer] And I feel like, as we practice it and we stretch that spiritual muscle, we’ll get even better at it. – [Aaron] And that’s the goal, right? That we get better which means we’re closer to God, we’re closer to Jesus, we become more like Him, more transformed into His image and so that’s what we’re talking about today and what’s funny is, it’s not like we have done this yet, right? Our heart is that we’re gonna start walking in this ourselves and start examining areas of our life where we need more spiritual stamina. – [Jennifer] Yeah. – [Aaron] You actually challenged us this morning– – [Jennifer] Well, because this has been a conversation with us. You do Bible time every morning with the kids, which I absolutely love. I love seeing you lead in that way and you read through a chapter and you put it away and we went to go pray and I’m like actually, I think we can handle more. And you said– – [Aaron] Yeah, going back to our Sunday conversation. – [Jennifer] Yeah, and so you said, “You’re right,” and so you pulled it back out and you just told the kids, “Hey, we’re gonna read a little bit more today,” and you read a-whole-nother chapter. – [Aaron] Yeah and I will say it was in Luke chapter 21, was the first chapter we read and then chapter 22 was significantly longer, but we did it and the kids totally handled it. Yeah, they got a little squirmy and even in my own flesh, I could feel myself feeling like, okay, this is just going long, but that’s the only way we’re gonna do it. Didn’t we, when I started doing Bible time, wasn’t it just a verse? – [Jennifer] It was a couple of verses, it was so brief, yeah. I feel like it was five minutes, max. Maybe if that. – [Aaron] Probably a couple minutes and now we’re at a full chapter, so just for those that are listening or wondering about family Bible time, start small and build up the stamina. Build up your ability and your kids’ ability to listen and hear more and handle more time in the word of God. – [Jennifer] And I just wanna add something specifically for kids, because when we build our spiritual stamina, they’re seeing our example and the way that we lead in that way. – Oh, that’s good. – And that’s gonna help them as adults and so I just wanna encourage those listening with kids that it’s our job, it’s our privilege, it’s our obligation as Christians to lead our children in this way and I’ll be honest, sometimes I lean heavily on my husband to lead in this way and it’s like I think, we already did Bible time and so therefore when I’m doing school with them and Aaron’s off to work that I don’t need to pray with them, or at least I think like, check off the box, that’s already been done, but if I wanna build their spiritual stamina, I’m going to go into prayer or read the Word or teach whatever I need to teach of God’s ways at any time throughout the day and that’s kind of been the blessing of being at home to homeschool them but today, specifically, as this theme has been playing out in our lives and we’ve been thinking about spiritual stamina, I, during school, stopped and made the kids sit on the floor and we all held hands and I said, “We’re gonna pray. “We’re gonna pray specifically for some friends “that are going through a hard time right now,” and each one of the kids prayed and it was really incredible. – [Aaron] And that’s good and that’s building our stamina and how could we ever expect our children to fall in love with the word of God, grow spiritually, love God if they don’t see us walking in those ways? We can’t expect something different from them that we wouldn’t expect of ourselves. And so the desire that we have to grow spiritually, to get better at being in the word of God and to get better at prayer. Not that these things commend us to God but they make us more like Him and because our heart is like, “Man, Lord, we wanna be like You, we wanna walk with You, we wanna know You,” that’s where this desire is coming from. This craving of getting stronger and more fit in the word of God, activating the things that we’re learning, walking in the ways that we’re reading in the word of God. – [Jennifer] So we were dong family Bible time this morning and you wanna share about what we read? – [Aaron] Yeah, ’cause again, there’s this theme. There was Sunday morning, there was Sunday night in the book I was reading and then this morning, Monday morning, we’re reading in Luke and it’s Luke chapter 22 and it’s just, this is about Jesus praying. He’s about to go to the cross and I just wanna read the scripture verbatim and then we’ll talk about it. It’s in Luke chapter 22, verse 39, “And He came out and went, as was His custom, “to the Mount of Olives and the disciples followed Him. “And when He came to the place, He said to them, “‘Pray that you may not enter into temptation.'” I just wanna stop right there for a second because you actually pointed this out this morning, you’re like, “He asked them to pray “not to enter into temptation?” Jesus loved his disciples and He asked them, He said, “Guys, pray that you don’t enter into temptation.” Especially knowing that Peter was about to be tempted to deny Him. He knew he was gonna deny Him, three times, and Jesus was like, “Hey guys, “pray so that you won’t enter into temptation.” He’s like, it’s not just a warning, it’s like a hey, this is what you can do, this is what you should do so that you won’t do the other thing. – [Jennifer] And this is the same, this is true for us. – Yeah. – Right? – [Aaron] And then he says in verse 41, “And He withdrew from them, about a stone’s throw “and knelt down and prayed, saying, “‘Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. “‘Nevertheless, not My will but Yours be done.’ “And there appeared to Him “an angel from Heaven, strengthening Him, “and being in agony, He prayed more earnestly “and His sweat became like great drops of blood “falling down to the ground. “And when He rose from prayer, “He came to the disciples “and found them sleeping for sorrow. “And He said to them, ‘Why are you sleeping? “‘Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.'” – [Jennifer] Okay, so hold on. So, Jesus was in agony and He kept praying. – [Aaron] He prayed more. – [Jennifer] He prayed more, more earnestly. So, that shows some stamina and I think that this moves my heart so much because I think of everybody going through hard times, everybody goes through, in their own way, they have to face circumstances, conflict, whatever it is. How can we have the stamina to face those things earnestly through prayer, if we’re not doing it when times are easy? – [Aaron] Yeah, and it would be easy to say, “Well, like, he’s Jesus,” but the Bible tells us that Jesus was like us. He was tempted in the same way, He had physical limitations and weaknesses in the flesh but without sin and so it says that he was in agony, sweating as it were drops of blood, that’s how much agony He was in, knowing what He was about to face on the cross. But yet, He prayed and said, “Not My will be done but Yours.” And so the template we get here is that we pray God’s will for our life, that we do it even when we’re in agony and more earnestly and I just as He says, He says, “Why are you sleeping?” And I feel like us, it’s almost as if we’ve been sleeping and God’s looking at us saying, “Wake up. “Wake up, the time is drawing near, “get on your face and pray.” do you feel like that, Babe? – Yeah. – Do you feel like He’s telling us to wake up? – [Jennifer] Yeah, I do. I mean, I feel like, in a lot of ways, we do fulfill these scriptures and we do try and walk in righteousness and walk in the ways that He’s called every Christian to, through His word but yet so often, we neglect it or we forget or we think we’re doing fine until we read things like this and it hits us head-on that Jesus Himself was in agony and He continues to pray earnestly, and that’s our example. And are we doing that? – [Aaron] Yeah, and I think about, He says, “Rise up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” I think of the normal temptations to sin, but how often are we tempted to just not pray? To not be in the word of God? – [Jennifer] To do something else, to go on social media? – [Aaron] Gosh, that’s like, my story. – It’s everyone’s story. – I go to bed and I’m like, “Oh, I’m gonna read the Bible,” and then, boom, I’m on my phone. – [Jennifer] It’s everyone’s story right now. – [Aaron] Yeah, so let’s wake up, Christians. We’re gonna do this with you. Let’s wake up from our spiritual slumber and our lack of fervor for spiritual things. The Bible tells us to desire that which is from above, Heavenly things, and I want that. I wanna pray more. I wanna be in the word of God more. I wanna be in close unity and fellowship with other believers more. If in prayer, and in the word of God, I’m thinking about this Sunday in teaching on this idea and practicing it and just reading through several chapters in the word of God, just to get our stamina for the word of God. – [Jennifer] I think it’s important, I think we need it. – [Aaron] Yeah, and so we should try that. Remind me to do that this weekend, I’ll prepare something. So that was the scriptures that we read this morning to our kids, again about prayer and just seeing Jesus’s example in that. And then I just wanna, really quick, this is to emphasize that I believe God’s just hammering home in our marriage currently, this idea that God wants us praying. So last night, I could not sleep. I don’t know if you know this or not but I literally was dreaming all night and when I dream, I don’t feel like I’ve slept at all. I remember waking up at 12:00 and then 1:30 and then 3:30 and then at 4:30, finally, I woke up, and I started praying for the person I was dreaming about. I was like, “Okay Lord, I had this dream “about a friend of mine and I had the dream all night “and it was really distressing to me,” and I finally just woke up and I just prayed for him. I don’t think the dream is true but I believe that he needed prayer, and so I just started praying for him. And then I had another person, another friend of mine that moved away, and I haven’t thought about him in a little while, and so this morning, after I got back from the gym, I just started praying for him. And what’s awesome is, he sends me a message, or he actually posted about me today, just saying he wanted to like go do a run with me, or something like that, and I went and I just messaged him and I said, “Hey, how are you doing? I’m praying for you.” And he lets me know that stuff’s going on in his life, that I didn’t know about and I was like, “Man! Well, I’m praying for you, “I’m here for you, let me know what’s going on.” And I was like, “Okay, Lord.” – [Jennifer] That’s really cool. – [Aaron] Like, you want me to pray? Like, I’m gonna pray. And it’s not for my sake, it’s for others’ sake and it’s also for just hearing God’s voice, which I think is awesome. – [Jennifer] Yeah, well I think that when our hearts are yielded in that way and submissive to God in that way, we hear Him and He can speak to us and He can lead us and He can show us things or present opportunities like, with your friend, texting back and forth, would you have even had that opportunity if your heart wasn’t tender enough to be praying for him? – [Aaron] Probably not. I wouldn’t have been thinking about him, I wouldn’t have been ready. I might have, like, if I talked to him later, said, “Oh, I’ll pray for you,” but it encouraged me to know that God had already had me working in the spirit on his behalf. Which I think is a really awesome thing. And think about the body, the entire body of Christ, the church, what it would look like if we were praying like this for each other? Just always in prayer for each other. – It’d be powerful. – [Aaron] Now, what would it look like in our marriages? What would it look like if I was praying for you every morning? Which I do, I pray for you, but I don’t pray for you the way I could be. Do you feel like you feel pray for me like that, and if you don’t, what would you think would happen if you were praying for me, just fervently and daily and hourly, sometimes? – [Jennifer] Well, there has been seasons of our marriage where I know for a fact that you’re wrestling with something or you need help with something or you’re down and like, I can sense that, or we’ve talked about something specific and those are the times that I feel like I really go to God in prayer for you, on your behalf, and then there’s other times where I feel like we’re good and I’m not in that same heart of prayer. – [Aaron] Right, we’re good, we don’t need it. – [Jennifer] Not that we don’t need it, but like, I know if someone says, “Prayer is amazing, “you need to be praying,” I’m like, “I know.” But am I walking in that faithfully, with fervor, with my knees on the ground for you? I don’t fight for you like that, like I should be, every single day. – [Aaron] Right, and we get reminded in the word of God that the battles that we face are not battles against flesh and blood, but they’re spiritual battles, against the powers in the air and the spiritual forces and we get to battle, as our Pastor Matt always says, he says that prayer isn’t the preparation for the battle, prayer is the battle. We could be battling for each other. I could be battling for you that God’s walking with you and helping you and encouraging you in your faith, in your abilities as a mother, in your strength as a wife and you could be praying for me for being protected from temptation and walking in leadership and getting wiser and all these things that we could be praying for on a constant basis. – [Jennifer] What I found to be so impactful about marriage is that when we are yielded in this way, to be praying, especially for our spouse, when I’m praying for you, my heart’s not focused on myself, it’s not about me, it’s about you and if my heart’s in that position, then what’s gonna happen in my actions as we interact with each other throughout the rest of the day? I’m gonna be mindful of you, I’m gonna be thoughtful of you, I’m gonna be thinking about your needs and thinking about how I can serve you, love you, help you versus the other way around which is me, me, me. – [Aaron] Right, and that goes to that scripture, I believe it’s First Thessalonians that says, “Pray without ceasing.” It’s not that we are literally on our knees praying 24/7, it’s that we are in constant communion with the Father, who, when we do that, changes us, speaks to us, walks with us, guides us, puts our eyes on the things that He wants our eyes on, puts words in our mouths that He wants us to speak, has us hear things He wants us to hear, and so prayer does that. It turns our hearts to God, which then turns our hearts to what He wants. So I love this. I think that as marriages, we should just pray and we’re gonna be doing this, pray that God would give us a heart for prayer. That he would grow our spiritual stamina for the word of God, for prayer and that we would see fruit from it, good fruit. And so I think we should go into a time of prayer. What do you think about that, Babe? – [Jennifer] I feel good. I feel like it’s necessary and needed and I think that we need to be praying specifically for the body of Christ even more. I feel like we’re entering into a season where the body needs it more than ever. – [Aaron] Right, so we’re gonna go into a time of prayer and I’m gonna pray for some of the things that the community, you guys, gave me to pray for and we’ll pray for some other things and then we’ll close it out. – [Jennifer] We wanna invite you guys to pray along with us and if anything comes up in your heart that you need prayer for or that your spouse needs prayer for, just take a minute and just pray for them. – [Aaron] Father God, I just wanna come before You and I wanna lift up marriages all over the world, marriages who love You, marriages who desire to see Your will done in their life. Father, I pray that You would reveal Yourself to them, that You would draw them so close to You, God, that they would know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they’re Yours and that You desire to use them in mighty ways. Father, I specifically wanna pray for those marriages who are struggling with illness. I know many marriages have real illnesses, real bad things that they’re dealing with, hard things, things that they’ve been dealing with for years, even. I pray, Father, for complete healing. I pray that even if they aren’t healed, Father God, that their hearts would be yielded to You, that they would trust You and know that You are doing good things in their life. I pray, Father, that they would lean on You in their weakness because, Father, You tell us in Your word that in our weakness, Your strength is made perfect, and so I pray that in their lives, Your strength would be made perfect and they would know it. I pray that they would rejoice in their afflictions, in their sickness, that people that are watching them and that are wanting to them to be better, Father God, would see their joy, would see their resolve and would know, God, that they are walking with You and that they would be a testimony to people that are watching them. I also wanna pray for marriages that are dealing with infidelity, Father God, and unfaithfulness. I pray Lord that you would convict the hearts of those who are not walking in faithfulness with their spouse; that Lord, You would change them and transform them and rebuke them, if necessary, and that You would bring other Christians alongside them to rebuke them as well; and that they would turn their hearts to You, that they would repent and that they would change their ways and that You would redeem those marriages, Father God. We just, we pray in Your mighty name, in the name that is above all names, Jesus Christ, and we ask, Lord, that you would change those marriages and that they would be a testimony for you; that anyone who would see and hear their story would know that there is a God in Heaven; that they would know that You are the one true God, because they see that Your hand was in their marriage and that You redeem them and save them. – [Jennifer] God, I just thank You so much for these marriages, I thank You for these husbands and wives and the purposes that You have for each one of us and I just pray, Lord, that as we draw closer to You, that Your holy Spirit would just continue to guide us and continue to lead us, continue to give us stamina, Lord, for Your word, give us stamina for our prayer life and for talking to You and just coming before You with our requests and our thankfulness and everything that’s going on in our lives, Lord, and I just pray that we would have stamina in our family lives, that we would be present. I pray, Lord, that each one of us would know the roles that we have with our children and other people’s children, that you would just reveal to us, just how influential each one of us are in their lives and I pray, Lord, that we would have stamina with them, that we would be patient and kind and compassionate and caring as we disciple them and draw them closer to you. God, I thank You so much that these marriages desire to draw closer to You and I just pray that we would all experience more intimacy with You. I pray that we would experience more intimacy in our marriages. God, I pray that every marriage after God would build their foundation and establish it according to Your word, that we wouldn’t let a day go by without reading your word. God, please remind us every day that we are lights of Your testimony, especially for this world, this dark world, Lord. I just pray that we would know what purposes we have to fulfill in this life and I pray that we would walk in the ways that You’ve already established for us to walk. God, I pray against the enemy. I pray against his flaming arrows and the ways that he tries to attack us and I pray that he would not get in the way of what You’re trying to do on our lives. I also pray against our flesh and the temptations that come to draw us away from You and I just pray, Lord, that we would be stronger than that, that we would be able to walk righteously and pure and God, I just pray that Your Holy Spirit would help us in this way. God, I specifically wanna lift up some requests that came from the community and that was around job and work and I just pray, Lord, that as people transition in and out of jobs, with changes, I pray that for those who don’t have a job right now, I just pray for all of it, Lord. That You would just continue to guide each one of us as we pursue the work that You have for us, and regardless of the circumstances, whether we’re in work, in job changes or out of work, that we would continue to be a light for Your namesake, that we would be a testimony to those around us, of faithfulness and perseverance and hope. I pray, Lord, that whatever work that we do, that we would do it unto You. I also wanna lift up finances too, Lord, and I just pray that each one of us would steward well all that You have given to us. If there are couples in debt, Lord, I just pray that You would inspire them to change their ways, that they would do everything that they can to get out of that debt and that they would lead their families well in the area of finances. I pray that we would be a generous people, people who don’t cling to what they have but that they’re holding it open handed so that You can guide and direct wherever You need those resources to go. God, I pray that You would be able to trust every marriage with the finances that You have placed in their lives and that we would just steward them well, Lord. God, I just thank You so much for our marriages and I just continually ask that Your Holy Spirit would lead us and guide us and draw us closer to You each and every day. – [Aaron] Father, we love You and we thank You for the things You give us in our life. The blessings, the hard things even, we thank You for all of it, Lord. You love us, You desire for us to mature and to grow and to become the men and women You’ve called us to be. You desire that our marriages would be used to grow Your kingdom, to spread Your gospel and Father, we just wanna give You all the glory and all the honor, You deserve it all. You are so good to us, Father, and we thank You for it all and we just pray these things in Your Holy Son’s name, Amen. So we thank you for joining us today, I know this was a little bit of a unique episode and we just pray that all of us, that me and my wife, that you and your spouse would begin to grow in our spiritual stamina, that we would fall in love with prayer, fall in love with the word of God and that we would crave more and more of it every day so that God would use it to change us, to transform us, to make us more like his Son, Jesus. And the reason for it all is that He would use us, that we’d be used to point people to Him. We thank you for joining us and we look forward to having you next week. Did you enjoy today’s show? Find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriageaftergod.com and let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.