CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FREE MARRIAGE ENCOURAGEMENT PODCAST
Prayer is a practice deeply ingrained in many of our lives, offering solace, guidance, and a connection to the Lord. But what is true prayer? In this 8-part series, we look at the way Jesus instructs us to pray. Each episode will cover lessons and principles that can transform our prayer journey, not only in our personal lives but also within the sacred bond of marriage. Our journey begins with Matthew 6:5, where Jesus admonishes, “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites…” Why does Jesus teach us to pray? It’s a question that often lingers in our minds. Jesus’ teachings on prayer emphasize its significance in forging a deep, personal connection with our Creator. He encourages us to communicate with God, not as a duty, but as an opportunity to strengthen our spiritual bond. But first, we have to know how. While sinning comes naturally to us, prayer is something that takes practice. “Prayer is one of those things that as children of God, we get to learn.” Hypocrisy in prayer occurs when our motives are tainted by the desire for public recognition. Jesus warns against praying for the sole purpose of being seen by others, as this hollow practice leads to a shallow, self-serving faith. So, what motivates us when we pray? This question forces us to self-reflect. Are we praying to genuinely seek God’s guidance, or are we driven by the need for praise and recognition from our peers? Furthermore, what reward are we seeking when we pray? In Matthew 6:5, Jesus tells us that those who pray to be seen by others have already received their reward—earthly recognition. True prayer, on the other hand, offers us a heavenly reward: connection with God. “When you reveal what your heart is going through, what your circumstances are, what you’re thinking, you’re offering that to the Lord and you’re making yourself known to him.” Charles Spurgeon’s profound insight reminds us that prayer is not a superficial act but a spiritual transaction. True prayer transcends mere words; it is an intimate dialogue with the Creator of the universe, a means to experience His presence and guidance. Why Should We Pray for Our Marriage? Our marriage is a sacred union, and as such, it deserves our dedication in prayer. By seeking God’s guidance and strength through prayer, we invite His wisdom and love to permeate our relationship, fostering a deeper connection between spouses. The rewards of true prayer are heavenly, not earthly, and it is essential to examine our motives when we approach God in prayer. In the episodes to come, we will explore Scripture further, to further enrich our prayer life. Let us continue on this spiritual journey, aspiring to deepen our connection with God and applying these teachings to strengthen our personal lives and marriages. As Charles Spurgeon wisely said, “True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – it is a spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.” Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of The Marriage Gift today for more prayer resources for your marriage!