Can We Live Without Prayer: How To Pray For Your Marriage Lessons And Principles From Jesus


In Matthew 6:11, Jesus teaches us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Like bread, God’s Word and prayer are meant to be our spiritual nourishment each day for thriving marriages.

Jesus says, “I am the bread of life” John 6:35. Through His Word and prayer, we get our nourishment through Him, allowing His life to fill and strengthen us. Just as food is essential for our physical bodies, regularly spending time with God in prayer is vital for marriages centered on Christ. 

There’s so many people in the world that are hungry, not just for spiritual things, but for actual food. Bread and food are so important to human life. Jesus is encouraging his disciples, encouraging his church, encouraging those who love God to ask him, say, Lord, provide for me today. Feed us today, not just physically, but spiritually. When we are lacking this nourishment, we begin to feel it, even if we don’t realize it right away: we are hungry for the Word, for truth, for fellowship with other believers.

We need to be running to God daily to get our sustenance from him. We need to be running to God in prayer and saying, “Okay, Lord, I need you.”

God’s Word in particular serves as powerful nourishment. As Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” John 17:17. Immersing ourselves in Scripture renews our minds and transforms us to be more like Christ. It equips us with wisdom for every situation. No marriage can flourish without regularly going to the Word together for biblical truth.

Yet merely reading the Word is not enough. We must also be in prayer and relationship with the Lord, praying and asking for grace to walk obediently. Through prayer, we also gain strength by depending wholly on God, rather than ourselves.

That’s why Jesus ties prayer for daily bread with seeking first God’s kingdom in Matthew 6:33. We thrive when focused on trusting and glorifying Him. Prayer keeps our hearts in a humble posture, dependent on the Lord. Make time with God through His Word and prayer non-negotiable daily habits in your marriage. Set aside a consistent time and place. Pray together. Let His Word richly dwell in you. One of the most important and basic necessities in marriage is submitting our relationship to the one who designed and purposed it. It’s going to Him together to read His word and pray. As you regularly partake in time spent with Christ, your marriage will grow in intimacy with Him.

Can we live without prayer? Yes, we can. But can we thrive, can we grow as believers? No. We need the bread of life. We need God to feed us our daily bread. We need it as believers. So go to Him in prayer together, and watch your marriage thrive.


Aaron Smith (00:04):
To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. Martin Luther King Jr.
Jennifer Smith (00:11):
Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith, your host of the Marriage After God podcast. Today, we wanted to share with you a review left by Breely, and the title of this review says Consistently Humble. I’ve listened to these two for many years now, and I’m so impressed how unwavering, humble, and faithful they are. I’ve tried to listen to other marriage podcasts and no one compares in humility and gentleness towards one another and others. It’s so refreshing.
Aaron Smith (00:37):
Love that review. It’s hard because she’s excited that or she’s praising us for our humility, but I want to be like, well, thank you for,
Jennifer Smith (00:45):
I think what’s
Aaron Smith (00:46):
Hard for me liking our podcast,
Jennifer Smith (00:47):
I think what’s hard for me about is comparing us to other marriage podcasts, which we know
Aaron Smith (00:51):
Lots of
Jennifer Smith (00:52):
Them who are podcasting and we appreciate them and I know that she does too, but this is really cool. It feels good to be up on her list,
Aaron Smith (01:00):
Jennifer Smith (01:01):
To speak.
Aaron Smith (01:01):
So thank you, Brie. Thank you, Bri. We appreciate that. If you haven’t left a review, we want to encourage you to do so that we love them, we love reading them. We’ve been starting to read them live on our show, and so if you leave a review, you might get yours read out loud as well. But these reviews help other people find our podcast. These reviews are super important. It’s one of the main ways Apple and all the other places that syndicate our podcast decide how to show and rank our show.
Jennifer Smith (01:30):
They’re also super encouraging to us because we’re just in our room sharing with you guys, but we see each other, but in a way, when you leave a review, we get to see you. Yeah,
Aaron Smith (01:40):
It makes it more personal.
Jennifer Smith (01:41):
Yeah, we appreciate that.
Aaron Smith (01:42):
So we love them. So if you haven’t done that, go leave us a star rating and a review. Thank you.
Jennifer Smith (01:46):
Okay. We are into part six of our eight part series. We are getting close to the end here. We hope that you guys have been following along and have been blessed by this series.
Aaron Smith (01:58):
Yeah. If you have been, by the way, again, going back to that, we only get to see each other. We’re literally sitting in our bedroom. I love that you’ve mentioned that because this is where we record. But if you have been loving this eight part series, I know we’re only on part six, we’re almost done, but would you share about it on social media post like your favorite episode from the series and tag at Marriage after God? That way we could see who it is, it’s listening, and then we can also reshare your post on our own feed if we can use it. And so if you like this series, let us know.
Jennifer Smith (02:29):
So we’re continuing on. We’re focusing on the Lord’s Prayer. One of the reasons we chose to focus this particular series on prayer is because we just launched our newest book, the Marriage Gift, which is a compilation of 365 prayers for your marriage, which we’re really excited about and it’s available now.
Aaron Smith (02:48):
And all of you listeners that have picked up copies already and have already received them, we’re so excited that you have them and you have made this new book be a number one new release now since it’s been launched, essentially.
Jennifer Smith (03:01):
Thank you guys. So which is awesome. So much. We really appreciate that. So yeah, this series kind of was birthed out of that kind of just
Aaron Smith (03:09):
Jennifer Smith (03:10):
Of launching that book and getting it out into your guys’ hands. And even though the Lord’s Prayer is pretty brief and beautiful, we’ve been able to expand it a little bit and dive into it and draw out of it, draw out it teaching for you guys and for us, an encouragement on how to pray and why we should pray. And today we’re answering the question, can we even live with without praying? So here we go.
Aaron Smith (03:37):
Do you desire to pray more for your spouse? Do you desire to pray more with your spouse? We understand that you may not know where to start or maybe you feel uncomfortable praying or maybe you don’t know what to pray, or maybe you simply want to add something more to your current prayer life. This is why we wrote the Marriage Gift 365 prayers for Our Marriage. We desire that it would be used as a daily reminder and catalyst for you and your spouse to grow a dynamic and consistent prayer life together. This book is a compilation of 365 unique and powerful prayers that cover a range of diverse topics that every marriage deals with. You can read it alone or ideally you read it with your spouse. Also, we hope that the topics that are brought up in these prayers would become a starting point for deeper and more intimate conversations with your spouse and a desire to seek God on these matters together. Visit the marriage today and order your copy and give your marriage the greatest gift, powerful and meaningful prayer. Visit the marriage today. So we’re in Matthew chapter six going through the Lord’s Prayer, and we’re in verse 11. And this part of the prayer, Jesus says, give us this day our daily bread. And this is such a simple thing to be asking the Lord for, but I just want to make note. There’s so many people in the world that are hungry, not just for spiritual things, but for actual food.
Bread and food is so important to the human life. And we may not think about this often because especially here in the United States, we’re so blessed. We have so much at our fingertips all the time. We often don’t realize what it feels like to even be hungry. And so in Jesus’s day and in many parts of the country still to this day, hunger is a very real thing.
And so this prayer, Jesus is encouraging his disciples, encouraging his church, encouraging those who love God to ask him, say, Lord, provide for me today. Feed me today, not just my physically is what he’s talking about, but also we’re going to draw out of this the whole spiritual aspect of it. But something really interesting about food and being humans, we can only live as humans for about eight to 21 days without food now, unless of course you’re Jesus or Moses, where miraculously you were able to go 40 days without eating, then you’re probably just like me and my wife who we need to eat pretty much daily. And so just because you might be able to go as a human six days, eight days, 21 days without eating as some might do fasts in reality, the healthiest way we should, we can be just in general is when we eat daily.
Jennifer Smith (06:16):
Because really what we’re talking about is thriving as humans. Are we actually thriving? Because if you’re only taking in a few calories a day because you’re fasting or you think you’re getting enough, but really you’re not, there’s a difference
Aaron Smith (06:28):
Between your body needs nutrients.
Jennifer Smith (06:29):
And there’s a difference between, yes, I’m eating and yes, I’m getting everything that I actually need.
Aaron Smith (06:35):
And we’re not talking today about eating food, but we’re pulling out this analogy of our daily bread, not just that God takes care of our physical needs, but that we actually need our spiritual needs met
Jennifer Smith (06:49):
Aaron Smith (06:50):
Single day. And so that’s kind of what we’re going to be drawing out today,
Jennifer Smith (06:54):
If I’m being honest, just because it ends on that word bread. So for anyone else has,
Aaron Smith (07:02):
You’re like, yeah, bread.
Jennifer Smith (07:03):
Yeah, I know we’re all a little bit sensitive to this episode. No, but I do think about that because what a whi when it’s become in the last decade or so with just everything seems to be marketed as gluten-free, and there’s
Aaron Smith (07:18):
A lot of negatives around bread,
Jennifer Smith (07:20):
These things.
Aaron Smith (07:21):
Jennifer Smith (07:21):
Yeah. It’s like we can’t just have a fresh loaf. Anyways, side tangent. But there is something to be said about autoimmune disorders and inflammation of the body and just how for some people, they don’t get to eat bread daily. I just wanted to recognize that because one of them,
Aaron Smith (07:36):
But the awesome thing is we don’t need to, this episode’s not, again, it’s not about eating, but it’s showing that as humans, the fact that we need physical things every day. We need to breathe oxygen,
Jennifer Smith (07:51):
Aaron Smith (07:51):
Need water, we need food. Our daily bread is that daily sustenance, that daily nutrients that our body needs to function, our brain needs and our muscles needed, our lungs needed. Everything is predicated around getting what we need.
Jennifer Smith (08:04):
Well, and you already mentioned this, how some people do struggle with starvation and don’t have as much as others who probably I’d say the majority of people probably have. And so just recognizing or mentioning the desperation of some who have to rely on the Lord for this provision, they don’t know where it’s going to come from. And to me, when people are fed and people are taken care of, that’s a miracle
Aaron Smith (08:31):
Jennifer Smith (08:31):
That’s a simple miracle of just being nourished and taken care of with a little bit of food.
Aaron Smith (08:39):
There was something I was just listening to. I was bring up Jordan Pearson. I listen to his podcast a lot and I listen to a lot of things and he actually gets on other people’s podcasts, but he was just talking about his, there’s one global mentality currently about how to heal the planet or how to take care of the world or whatever it is. And they’re doing it one way. But his idea is he’s like, if we can lower the cost of energy, if we can lower the cost of food, if we can lower the cost of all these things in life that we need, then when someone in any place in the world has all of those basic needs taken care of, this is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. If they’re fed well, if they can afford gas, if they can afford the basic necessities of life, then they’re going to think in much longer terms of life. They’re not going to think in such the short term of I just need to eat today,
Jennifer Smith (09:27):
Just getting by
Aaron Smith (09:28):
Today. So if you can in a major way affect the basic necessities of life and make those affordable for everyone, then they will begin to look longer term. And this is true, you were just saying, when we have our basic needs met, now we can think about other people, we can think about our kids, we can think about our business, we can think about five years down the road, we’re not concerned so much about what’s right here in front of us.
Jennifer Smith (09:53):
I mean, just take kids for an example of this. It’s like they wake up in the morning and it’s like, what’s for breakfast? I need to eat right now. I can’t think of anything. The moment that’s satiated, they can move on with their day. They’re playful, they’re energetic, they’re fine. So why
Aaron Smith (10:07):
It’s true in much of the world in third world countries and places where there’s less these children, they never get past that point of they’re just trying to find out how to feed themselves. They’re just trying to find out how to survive to the next day. And so as Christians, are we doing the same thing? Are we doing the same thing in our spiritual life just at this place always of can we just survive until the next day rather than actually thriving and having everything we need right here and right now? I mean, we all suffer from this because we don’t think about it. And I think, man, I haven’t been in the word recently. I don’t pray is deeper as much as I used to
Jennifer Smith (10:45):
Acknowledging where the spiritual substance comes from,
Aaron Smith (10:47):
I haven’t been in real Christian fellowship in a long time. These things are how we thrive as believers when we don’t do those things, when we’re avoiding those things, when we just let everything else in our life kind of dictate our time, which again, we get in those modes, it just happens. We don’t realize how hungry we’re becoming, how starved we’re becoming, how emaciated spiritually we’re becoming,
Jennifer Smith (11:10):
And how that affects other parts of our lives because we don’t have the energy to put forth into other areas of our life when we’re struggling like that.
Aaron Smith (11:18):
Well, and it also, it plays out in our marriage when we become short with each other, when the selfishness has won, I’m just looking for my basic needs to be met. And then instead of looking to the author of life, instead of looking to the creator, instead of going to him in prayer to sustain us, we’re looking to our spouse now to fulfill those things because we’re hungry, we’re starving, and we’ve had our eyes in the wrong place. We haven’t gone to God and said, Lord, give me my daily bread.
Jennifer Smith (11:49):
And if our spouse is in the same exact place where they been drawing and consuming from the Lord, we’re in trouble.
Aaron Smith (11:57):
And everyone that’s listening, you know what this feels like. You’ve been there, you’ve been in those modes. And when you take a step back from the strife, from the frustration, from the wise, things seem so off and you say, man, we’ve done this before. I’m like, babe, when’s the last time you’ve been in the word or you look at me, Aaron, how’s your walk with God? I’m like
Jennifer Smith (12:16):
Checking in.
Aaron Smith (12:18):
And we realize that we haven’t been fed,
Jennifer Smith (12:22):
Aaron Smith (12:22):
Haven’t been going to the provider to the one who feeds us, the heavenly man of the bread from heaven, the word of God, and we’re not coming to me and praying. That’s why Jesus is teaching us to pray. God, give me my daily bread today. Feed me today. Yes, feed me my physical. I need food. I need these things in my life. And Jesus even says in another place, he’s like, he already knows what you need before you ask it. So I guess our encouragement is this recognizing, especially in this prayer of understanding that we need to be running to God regularly and daily to get our sustenance from him.
Jennifer Smith (12:58):
Yeah. It’s kind of like you guys are familiar with the Lord’s Prayer, and you probably even have it memorized to the point where when we say a portion of it, you could finish it. So this is just our big full stop right here. After we’re praying and asking the Lord to provide daily bread, let’s just stop and think about what that means.
Aaron Smith (13:19):
Jennifer Smith (13:19):
What today’s episode’s about. I’ve mentioned briefly in another episode about it was on YouTube and it was a sermon John Piper was sharing about the Lord’s Prayer, and he was talking about how the first three petitions in the Lord’s Prayer are in relation to who God is. So hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done. And then the second set of petitions are about our needs. So give us this daily bread, forgive us our debts and deliver us.
Aaron Smith (13:47):
Oh, I love
Jennifer Smith (13:47):
That. I know. I really liked how he categorize those and kind of set them apart a little bit. And I just wanted to bring it back up because now we’re on the second half and give us today our daily bread is that first petition for recognizing our need and who it is that we go to for our needs.
Aaron Smith (14:05):
When you shared this the first time with me, first of all, I was like, wow, that’s awesome. I didn’t recognize that. But it immediately reminded me of the 10 Commandments, how the first four
Jennifer Smith (14:14):
Commandments, I think you shared
Aaron Smith (14:15):
That too in episode the first four commandments are our relationship with God, and then the last six commandments are our relationship with other people
Jennifer Smith (14:22):
Each other. Yeah.
Aaron Smith (14:23):
And it’s interesting how God does that in the spiritual way first recognizing God second recognizing us.
Jennifer Smith (14:29):
Yeah, that’s good. So if you wanted to search that again, it’s John Piper on YouTube, and I think the title has to do with hallow would be Thy name.
Aaron Smith (14:38):
Jennifer Smith (14:38):
Yep. Okay. So back to today’s topic. We are focusing on more so the spiritual aspect of daily bread. So we kind of got the physical out of the way. Now we’re going to jump into the spiritual.
Aaron Smith (14:50):
So let’s, in John chapter six, verse 35, Jesus says this about himself. He says, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. And in John one, Jesus is called the Word. And so he’s the bread, he’s the word. And he says that whoever comes to me
Jennifer Smith (15:12):
Aaron Smith (15:12):
Not hunger. And I also think of that woman at the well when he goes to her and he says, if you would ask, I would give you water that you would never thirst again, going to this, we have this daily heavy pursuit of getting water, daily pursuit of getting bread, things for our physical body. And Jesus is saying, I am the fulfillment and the sustenance for your spirit. I will fulfill you and feed you and give you everything you need forever. But he says, come to me. And that’s what we’re talking about in this idea of prayer, especially in our marriage where we were just talking about the strife that comes when we aren’t feeding ourselves, when we’re not coming to the feeder, coming to the one who is the bread, the one who takes away our thirst and takes away our hunger and sustains us how immediately there’s a breakdown in relationship. There’s a breakdown in trust and in love and unity, but that is where we need to be. We need to be running to God in prayer and saying, okay, Lord, I need you. That’s what he means when he says, come to me.
How do we come to God in prayer? In his word, he says, I’m the bread of life. I’m the water, and he’s the word. So I just wanted to connect all those things together for us.
Jennifer Smith (16:30):
When you brought up the woman at the well, I remember when we were watching the chosen series, that part made me weep so hard when you could just see, because it’s one thing when you were reading the scriptures, but then seeing what’s it being played out and just how immediately the Philip is of her understanding who Jesus was and that he was her substenance. That was such a beautiful picture. And her running away ready to go tell the town. Do you remember that? Yeah,
Aaron Smith (16:58):
I do. And it’s much more dramatic when you see it dramatized. I mean, that’s why they do it, but the power of that recognition of, oh my gosh, you are the one. And we need to be recognizing that daily. And again, I mentioned that we kind of go through seasons where we forget. It’s hard to forget in the flesh because our flesh, there’s these triggers in our flesh, like your stomach grumbles, you get irritable. You’re like, man, I’m hungry. I’m craving food. I need protein, I need carbs. I need all these things. And so your body’s triggering it.
Jennifer Smith (17:36):
What are some of those spiritual triggers that maybe we’re not recognizing?
Aaron Smith (17:40):
Well, I think one of them is when there’s strife.
When you’re like, why am I irritable? I think that’s we get irritable when we’re hungry. When we’re irritable, we’re talking about walking in the spirit and the fruits of the spirit is love’s patient and kind. When we are not seeing that fruit, it’s probably because we don’t have the nutrients we need to be walking in that fruit. We’re not in God’s word. We’re not in prayer. We’re not coming to the Lord for those things. And so we’re not being filled up with it, and it’s hard for it to come out of us when it’s not there. That’s my thought on that idea of what are those triggers in our spirit?
Jennifer Smith (18:17):
Yeah. I think another one is just when you recognize that your eyes have been on yourself for a while, just focus so heavily on what you’re currently walking through or the struggles that you have or the things that you’re living without and your prayers even reflect. If you are praying to God, your prayers will reflect whether your eyes are on yourself or on him or on others, or a combination of all of those things. And I’m not saying it’s bad to put your eyes on yourself. There are times that we need to pray. We should always be praying for ourselves. But do you know what I mean when so self-focused that you actually have been forgetting to lift up others or your capacity
Aaron Smith (18:54):
Or willing to,
Jennifer Smith (18:55):
Yeah. Or your capacity has not been able to.
Aaron Smith (18:58):
I think we’ve all been in those moments of I don’t have anything to give to you right now. Right. That, no, I need something. And just like in the physical, a starving person has a very difficult time having any desire to help or serve anyone else when they’re literally dying from starvation. Their only idea is how do I live and how do I fill myself? And I think that same thing plays out spiritually with us is the less we’re filled, the less we’re fed, the less we’re going to God in prayer, the less we’re feeding ourselves on Christ in him, the more we’re, we’re selfish because we’re trying to feed ourselves in other ways, whether it’s shopping or
Jennifer Smith (19:44):
Aaron Smith (19:45):
Jennifer Smith (19:45):
It’s like when you’re really hungry and you get caught in candy and you’re like, man, it tastes good for a split second, and then it just disappears. It’s gone melts, and I’m hungry still. Okay. Just like we need, we’ve talked about the physical of needing food for our bodies to thrive and individually needing to consume God’s word and be in prayer so that we can spiritually thrive. Imagine what our marriage needs daily in order to thrive.
Aaron Smith (20:11):
Oh man.
Jennifer Smith (20:12):
I know there’s probably a handful of answers that we could all chime in and say that are important, which are, and they’re good. True basic needs like communication. You need to be able to communicate in marriage, you need to love each other. You need sexual intimacy. Okay, well, we know that these things are important, but let’s remember that God designed marriage. So one of the most important and basic necessities is submitting our marriage relationship to the one who designed and purposed it. It’s going to him together to read His word and to pray that is hugely important.
Aaron Smith (20:49):
There’s something interesting because we’ve been talking about prayer in this eight part series, and that’s our main focus. But something I think a lot of believers forget to do when reading the word is pray. This is something, whenever I’m prepping a message for Sunday morning, I literally start and I close my eyes and I say, Lord, what is it you have for our church today? What is it you have for me today? What is your word trying to teach us today?
Jennifer Smith (21:20):
Which just to acknowledge when I say submit to the Lord, that’s you submitting your heart to the Lord before you go and share a sermon because you could probably come up with the knowledge that you have of something.
Aaron Smith (21:32):
I could make something out of it for sure.
Jennifer Smith (21:34):
But instead, you’re submitting to what the Lord wants to share through you in that moment. That’s what I meant when
Aaron Smith (21:40):
From his word specifically. And also there’s so many people that don’t believe in Jesus, that don’t believe in God, that read the Bible and know the Bible really well, but we as believers have a special connection to the author himself. It’s as if, and I saw someone post this once, when a believer reads the Bible, you get to have the author of the Bible reading it with you. And so you get to sit there and say, Lord, what are you saying here to me? What are you saying to your church? What am I supposed to understand here? How am I supposed to be changed by this? And we can ask God to reveal those things to us. And his holy Spirit does. His Holy Spirit teaches us all things in His word and brings to remembrance all things in his word. And that’s one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to teach us.
He’s the helper, the counselor. And so when we are reading his word and we kind of forget about him, and we’re just trying to pull out of this well without a bucket, without a rope, and we’re like, how do we get what the truth is here? Why are we getting what he’s saying to me here? And so prayer should be synonymous with reading the word of God. When we go to the bread of life, like Jesus says, give us this day our daily bread, we’re going to Jesus. And we open the word and we say, Lord, give me the bread of life out of this. Show me what you’re saying to me. And the same in marriage that we are pursuing God for our spouse and saying, Lord, would you feed my wife today what she needs? Would you show me what she needs? And so when I’m in the word of God, God revealed to me how I can encourage my wife from this. What do you have for me to draw out, to give to her? Right.
Jennifer Smith (23:20):
That’s good. And when you guys, okay, so this is obviously based off of our experience of praying together in marriage, but when you go to the Lord together in prayer and you’re submitting to him your relationship and you’re pursuing his will, you’re showing him that you trust him first and foremost,
Right? You wouldn’t be going to him if you don’t trust him, which is getting built up as you continually practice prayer, but you’re also showing your own heart and mind, but also your spouses, that your reliance is in the Lord reliance to give you understanding, reliance to give you that physical daily basic necessities of life and to help you thrive. And that’s a powerful thing because there’s a lot of circumstances in life that a marriage will come up against every single day there’s a new thing. It could be something small and simple to something excruciating and painful. But my point is that we are all going to experience hardships and things that we are forced to walk through. And when we can submit those things to the Lord and say, maybe our prayer is just, we don’t even know how to handle this right now. You’re showing your reliance on the one who can lead you through it, who can be your stamina and strength through
Aaron Smith (24:39):
It and reveal to you the truth,
Jennifer Smith (24:40):
Reveal it to you the truth, or give you wisdom and insight on how to navigate through it together and you’re looking to him for it together. And I think that that is something that has really proved to be a grounding and important thing in our marriage.
Aaron Smith (24:58):
And it also, you’re talking about this reliance on God, and it also brings to mind this idea that so often as we were just talking about our disposition naturally is we can do this on our own. I’m going to go figure out how to get my food. I’m going to figure out how to feed myself. I’m going to, we self rely.
Jennifer Smith (25:20):
Yeah. We assume that responsibility.
Aaron Smith (25:22):
And then often we only go to God when our self-reliance runs out. Rather than a humility of recognizing that without God, without Jesus, we aren’t getting fed at all. He’s the one that provided the grain and the water and the seeds and the earth and all the things that produce actual real food, but also all the things that produce real spiritual fruit. We need God always a hundred percent for everything we need, but we forget that we self rely like, oh, I’m going to do everything in my own power until I can’t. And then I’m going to go to God and say, okay, how can you help
Jennifer Smith (26:06):
Me? Which carrying around that kind of weight is really, really challenging and hard. Do you feel like Aaron, when we pray and reveal our reliances on God for certain things, that that pressure is relieved? There’s this relief in you that immediately, yeah,
Aaron Smith (26:21):
There’s something incredibly freeing about humiliation, being humble before God saying, I can’t do this. I have no idea what I’m doing,
Jennifer Smith (26:30):
Which that’s another thing I talked about. You get to experience that reliance on the Lord, but when you’re praying together in marriage, you also get to know and experience that humility. When you hear your praying to the Lord and you hear them be humble before him. That’s an experience. And that goes a long way in your relationship because it adds to that trust of I know you. I know that you’re a humble person, and I can say that with confidence because I’ve seen you before. You’re creator submitting that relationship. So submitting everything before him,
Aaron Smith (27:06):
Which this is the question we’re trying to answer today. Can we live without prayer? And I think the answer is, yeah, I think we can. I experience life without prayer and many do. It’s why we’re doing this episode, this series is to explain and to remind us as believers that sure, we may be able to live without prayer,
Jennifer Smith (27:30):
But your quality of life,
Aaron Smith (27:32):
Can we thrive without prayer?
Jennifer Smith (27:34):
Aaron Smith (27:35):
Can we grow without prayer? Can we sustain without prayer? And the answer is no. We need the bread of life. We need God to feed us our daily bread. We need it as believers. So sure we can live a long life on this earth, in this body without prayer, but we are not going to thrive as believers. We’re not going to be close to God. We’re not going to know him without going to
Jennifer Smith (28:04):
Him. If you believe and confess that Jesus is Lord, that he died for your sins and rose again, that makes you a Christian. And you have to understand that there is a privilege and an opportunity and access to walk with God, and prayer is that way that we commune with him.
Aaron Smith (28:21):
Jennifer Smith (28:21):
Choosing not to pray would be to choose to have a relationship with someone and never talk to them. Is that even a relationship at all?
Aaron Smith (28:30):
Jennifer Smith (28:30):
No. Yeah.
Aaron Smith (28:32):
I said, I love you. That one time when we got married,
Jennifer Smith (28:35):
Aaron Smith (28:35):
Was the last time we talked. No. That daily moment by moment communication of recognizing who God is as we’ve been walking through this Lord’s prayer, Jesus teaching us of this understanding that he’s our father, understanding that he’s holy, understanding that what His will is understanding that he provides for us, that we’re getting into this phase of how he takes care of us as our father. There’s another scripture that talks about how fathers take care of their children. If a child goes to a father and asks for a cup of water, he doesn’t give him a serpent or asks for a bread and give him a rock. He gives good gifts. So does our Father in heaven. We can trust and know that when we ask God to feed us, he is going to feed us every time.
Jennifer Smith (29:24):
So what do Christians miss out on if they’re not praying every day? What are those not thriving Christians experiencing?
Aaron Smith (29:33):
Well, there’s a distance they feel, they feel distant. And that’s just true. And if you’re listening to this, just raise your right now. When you’re not praying and drawing close to God, do you feel close or distant?
Jennifer Smith (29:45):
Yeah. And with distance comes loneliness, and with distance comes doubt because you’re unsure. Yeah.
Aaron Smith (29:53):
Confusion too.
Jennifer Smith (29:53):
You’re unsure of who God is, what he’s capable of. Is
Aaron Smith (29:59):
He mad at me? Does he love me or not? All these questions insecurities.
Jennifer Smith (30:02):
Yeah, for sure. Yeah. You miss out on being reminded that you’re forgiven and loved. I feel like I kind of struggle with that in times that I’ve experienced drought, so to speak, or me being distant from God. I start to wonder in that place of insecurity, am I even truly forgiven?
Aaron Smith (30:22):
I think just speaking about this whole idea of doubt and doubting our forgiveness and our love, the good love of God, several enemies in this world, we have the devil. We have that evil spirit that speaks lies
Jennifer Smith (30:40):
I would consider our own flesh, enemy,
Aaron Smith (30:42):
Our own flesh.
Jennifer Smith (30:43):
It gets in the way.
Aaron Smith (30:45):
And so when we fill those doubts, what we’re doing is we’re believing the lies rather than the truth. I’m not loved messed up too much. God can’t forgive me. I can’t just go to him now. I’ve got to fix myself first. All of these things are the devil or flesh or voices from the past that have told us that those things, when God tells us a very different story in his word, come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke. Ponya for it is light and my burden is easy.
Jennifer Smith (31:20):
So when we’re not consuming God’s word and praying daily, we’re missing out on the truth and we’re consuming life.
Aaron Smith (31:27):
We’re becoming susceptible to the lies early on. And then eventually, yeah, start believing him. I think another thing we miss out on when we don’t pray, when we don’t come to God is being able to petition God for our marriages. Like
Jennifer Smith (31:40):
Ask for help.
Aaron Smith (31:41):
Yeah. We’re not living up our marriages. We’re kind of leaving that to the wayside. Plenty of things that we need wisdom on or even miracles or transformation. And we’re not going to God and saying, God, I need help in this area.
Jennifer Smith (31:54):
Aaron Smith (31:54):
Me become that man. Help her become that woman.
Jennifer Smith (31:56):
Yeah, totally. And you said the word miracles, and I think sometimes it’s just a matter of seeing the miracle When you pray, your eyes are open to the
Aaron Smith (32:04):
Thing that God’s already doing, what
Jennifer Smith (32:05):
God’s already doing and moving in. We’ve talked about this in the past, like you praying for me and then me changing in areas without us ever having a conversation about it. But you got to see that miracle take place in me that the Lord was moving in me. And had you not been praying for that thing, do you think your eyes would’ve seen it as clearly? Probably
Aaron Smith (32:25):
Not. Probably would’ve recognized it.
Jennifer Smith (32:27):
So there’s this thing that happens when we’re praying to God that we’re in tune to his spirit, we’re in tune to his will and how he’s moving. And I think that that’s powerful. I think that’s beautiful to be able to recognize clearly where the miracles, because I think miracles happen without us seeing them, without us recognizing what they are
Aaron Smith (32:43):
All the time.
Jennifer Smith (32:43):
But I think that when we’re praying for them and we’re seeking them and we’re trusting in the one who does them, we see with spiritual eyes,
Aaron Smith (32:51):
We’re more able to recognize them when they happen,
Jennifer Smith (32:55):
Aaron Smith (32:55):
God’s moving,
Jennifer Smith (32:57):
Aaron Smith (32:57):
Than again being self-centered. And we’re totally missing all the things that God’s doing.
Jennifer Smith (33:01):
Yeah. The last thing we just want to mention is that when you’re not praying, you’re missing out on being obedient to God, which pleases him. He commands us to pray. In Philippians four, six, it says, do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God. He wants you to make them known to him,
Aaron Smith (33:22):
Which is exactly why we’ve been doing this series because our heart is that marriages are praying that they are going to God with everything in and everything with thanksgiving.
Jennifer Smith (33:31):
And just a reminder, a shameless plug here. If you and your spouse struggle, which we know happens a lot in marriages, if you’re struggling to figure out how to start praying together, please grab our book that just came out. It’s called The Marriage Gift. We wrote it for you guys with you in mind so that you have something to start with. It’s just a catalyst for you.
Aaron Smith (33:53):
That was a good plug. Yeah.
Jennifer Smith (33:55):
Okay. So as I was preparing notes for this specific episode, I went on got questions, which is a site where you can basically just ask a question and it gives you biblical answers and scriptures regarding your question. So this is what they had to say about prayer. God intends prayer to be the means of obtaining his solutions in a number of situations, which I like that because it’s very practical. I’m very practical.
Aaron Smith (34:23):
I like that as his solutions,
Jennifer Smith (34:25):
Not our own right. We’re pursuing his will. And just a couple of things to highlight that they bullet pointed for us was that we pray in preparation for major decisions, which Aaron, I know in our marriage, pretty much any decision we’ve had to make when we go to God in prayer, it feels more clarifying. We walk away with peace knowing that we can confidently choose what
Aaron Smith (34:50):
Jennifer Smith (34:50):
Got going on. And maybe that doesn’t happen in every single situation, but the
Aaron Smith (34:54):
Majority of time, no. Sometimes it’s we’re not going to do that thing. And that’s very clear, and which we don’t feel regret over. We’re like, oh, okay. Clearly that’s not God’s will for us right now.
Jennifer Smith (35:04):
And anytime that we haven’t felt super clear about a decision we know and trust because we’ve done it so long that in his timing, the Lord will help us navigate that one. So the example that they gave for this one was in Luke six, 12 through 13. Jesus goes away to be praying, and when he comes back, he calls his disciples and he chooses the 12. So it’s just showing and reflecting that even Jesus before he made that decision, even though he knew who it was going to be, submitted that before the Lord and spent time praying and love that
Aaron Smith (35:37):
He also went away in the garden just before he was crucified
Jennifer Smith (35:42):
Aaron Smith (35:42):
Jennifer Smith (35:42):
Aaron Smith (35:43):
Be prepared for that thing. He was about to do a
Jennifer Smith (35:47):
Aaron Smith (35:47):
Hard thing.
Jennifer Smith (35:48):
And guys, we know in marriage we are always coming up against decisions that we have to make, whether it’s in our jobs or in our parenting or in schooling or
Aaron Smith (35:58):
Jennifer Smith (35:59):
Literally everything we have to make major and sometimes minor decisions. And it’s good to pray about those things. Another one was to gain strength, to overcome temptation, which again, everybody deals with and everyone needs help with. And Matthew 26 41, it says, watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak,
Aaron Smith (36:20):
Which is something we’re going to talk about soon in the next couple episodes.
Jennifer Smith (36:25):
And then the last one, I just wanted to note this again, is from God. Questions they said to obtain the means of strengthening others spiritually. So this is going back to that whole, take your eyes off yourself for a moment and remember that others need your prayers.
Aaron Smith (36:39):
So like I was bringing up earlier, praying and asking God to reveal to you how you could best feed your wife, serve your wife, love your wife, and the wife in reverse can do the same. Go to God and ask, how can I serve my husband right now?
Jennifer Smith (36:55):
And Aaron and I have always been big advocates to share with you guys the importance of community and fellowship. And one of the benefits is that when you are in a community and you’re actively pursuing spiritual disciplines like prayer, you know can trust your friends to be praying for you. And when you are going through hard things, I can’t tell you how comforting it is to know that you’ve got other spiritual warriors praying on your behalf and petitioning to the Lord for the thing that it is that you’re dealing with. And we all need that because we’re all part of the same body. That
Aaron Smith (37:32):
Was a really good encouragement because being prayed for by other people is the best.
Jennifer Smith (37:37):
Yeah. Ephesians six, 18 through 19 says, praying at all times in the spirit with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints and also for me, that words may be given to me and opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, which continues to happen to this day. You guys, we all are a light in this world, and we have to continue proclaiming the gospel for the sake of people who don’t know Jesus. Yet we need to be praying for people to be bold and to know and have the words to be sharing.
Aaron Smith (38:09):
Jennifer Smith (38:10):
That can’t stop.
Aaron Smith (38:12):
I love that. Well, this could be our main focus of our prayers for our spouse too. That our marriages would be in such a place where we are an example for Christ. We are a ministry for Christ. We are a message of the gospel to the world. And so praying for your spouse and praying for your marriage to be in a place that you can do that and truly do is the main thing.
Jennifer Smith (38:39):
If you’ve been struggling in the day-to-day with feeling overwhelmed or frustrated over uncertainty with life decisions like we talked about, or wondering how you can grow into the person that you truly want to be or even have the marriage that you really desire, but you’re not actively pursuing God in these areas through prayer, relying on his strength and wisdom for his guidance, you’ll continue to feel weak and alone and frustrated and have a lack of confidence moving forward. And so our hope and encouragement for you guys to hear this today and us answering this question, can I live without praying? No. If you truly desire to thrive individually and personally and in your marriage, you need,
Aaron Smith (39:22):
You got to eat bread,
Jennifer Smith (39:23):
You got to eat the bread.
Aaron Smith (39:27):
Gluten-free bread is okay, but we’re talking about the full bread of Jesus, the full bread of going to God in prayer,
Jennifer Smith (39:34):
The bread of life.
Aaron Smith (39:34):
Yeah, we got to stop emanating ourselves. It’s something that we do. It’s something that it’s natural for us to kind of just go in that flow, but we got to stop.
Jennifer Smith (39:43):
We need to recognize when we’re starving.
Aaron Smith (39:45):
Oh yeah.
Jennifer Smith (39:46):
And not let it get to that point ever again.
Aaron Smith (39:50):
A marriage after God has the courage to pray together, a couple who believes God and desires his will to be done and relies on God for every need, is a couple who is willing to commune with him, to pray and praise him, to lift up their request to him. A marriage after God chases boldly after God’s purpose and humbly enters into the throne room of grace in faith. That’s why we do this podcast, because we want your marriage to be a marriage after God too. So hope you’re encouraged by that.
Jennifer Smith (40:20):
Okay. We end every episode with a prayer. And for this specific series, we thought it would be really great to share a prayer straight out of the marriage gift. And so for today, we are going to share with you prayer number 41, and it’s titled The Cry for Help. Every prayer comes along with it, a verse to support why we’re praying this thing. And so the verse for today is Psalm 34 17, when the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. Dear Lord, we have continually relied on you in our faith and in our marriage. It would’ve been impossible to make it this far without you. Thank you for being faithful and reliable. We praise you for hearing our prayers and responding. Thank you for the gift of prayer, allowing us to bring our needs before you right now.
We cry out to you and ask you to help us overcome the challenges in our relationship. We know we will go through difficult times and we know our flesh will be tested. Please rescue us when the pain threatens to undo us. Lord, will you please meet us right where we are and tell us what next step to take to restore our relationship? Humble us, revive us. We beg you to intercede in our marriage. Lord, deliver us from our current troubles. We love each other, and long for our marriage to be in a better place. Fill us with your hope, anchor our hearts through the storm and cover our minds with your peace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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