Priority in Prayer

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Photo of our sweet son taken by my darling hubby!

I don’t believe in New Years resolutions. Study after study concludes that they are an ineffective way to set achievable goals and they often work against us, giving us a benchmark for the date of our repeated failures. So when the ball dropped on 2013, my husband and I had no goals set above what we already work towards on a daily basis.

A few days after we welcomed (or perhaps slept through) the New Year I was fortunate enough to go on a date with the man I have been blessed to share my life with. If you don’t know me personally, you just have to believe me when I say I have the most incredible husband!

We do not ‘date’ nearly as often as we want to or should. We are fortunate to have willing babysitters in the form of beloved grandparents but we seem to use those opportunities to serve together in ministry or participate together in something church related instead of pouring into each other. Now I am not saying it isn’t important to serve side by side but I think the date we had prior to our January encounter was early September – like I have said before, we are far from perfect.

While we were at dinner, ironically the same table at the same restaurant as our September rendezvous, we had a wonderful discussion about how we could spur each other on spiritually, what things we wanted to change in our home to make it more Christ-centered and how we could pray for each other better. The night before our date my husband was at work late and I sent him a link to an article I had read for husbands on how best to pray for their wives. As we discussed it over dinner I realized in a lightening bolt moment that this list was intended not for my husband, but for me.

Everything on the list was something I needed to be praying for myself. Of course I know these things are something I should be asking of my Lord, and my husband should be praying as well, but I do not often come with such boldness, such arrow-focused intensity.

Here is the list as found on Desiring God:

  1. God, be her God — her all-satisfying treasure and all. Make her jealous for your exclusive supremacy over all her affections (Psalm 73:24–25).
  2. Increase her faith — give her a rock-solid confidence that your incomparable power is only always wielded for her absolute good in Christ (Romans 8:28–30).
  3. Intensify her joy — a joy in you that abandons all to the riches of your grace in Jesus and that says firmly, clearly, gladly: “I’ll go anywhere and do anything if you are there” (Exodus 33:14–15).
  4. Soften her heart — rescue her from cynicism and make her tender to your presence in the most complicated details of dirty diapers and a multitude of other needs you’ve called her to meet (Hebrews 1:3).
  5. Make her cherish your church — build relationships into her life that challenge and encourage her to walk in step with the truth of the gospel, and cause her to love corporate gatherings, the Lord’s Table, and the everyday life of the body (Mark 3:35).
  6. Give her wisdom — make her see dimensions of reality that I would overlook and accompany her vision with a gentle, quiet spirit that feels safe and celebrated (1 Peter 3:4).
  7. Sustain her health — continue to speak your gift of health and keep us from presumption; it is by blood-bought grace (Psalm 139:14).
  8. Multiply her influence — encourage and deepen the impact she has on our children. Give her sweet glimpses of it. Pour her out in love for our neighbors and spark creative ways to engage them for Jesus’ sake (John 12:24).
  9. Make her hear your voice — to read the Bible and accept it as it really is, your word… your very word to her where she lives, full of grace and power and everything she needs pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
  10. Overcome her with Jesus — that she is united to him, that she is a new creature in him, that she is your daughter in him. . . No longer in Adam and dead to sin; now in Christ and alive to you, forever (Romans 6:11).

By changing the personal pronoun on this list from which it was originally intended I saw hollowness in my current relationship with Christ that I longed to change. I am not saying this has been resolution. But it is a reminder and one that I have kept in my mind since the year began. In fact it was a tool of conviction that my prayer life had been more mundane and self focused instead of passionately Christ focused.

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