The Power Of Private And Secret Prayer: How To Pray For Your Spouse And Marriage part 2 of 8

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Are we really finding the time to spend with the Lord, and letting God sit with us in that heart space, and revealing things to Him and have him reveal things to us? In a world filled with constant noise and distractions, finding moments of true connection with God can be difficult. Yet, as we look at Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 6, we are reminded of the importance of pausing and seeking His presence.

Throughout our lives, we’ve been fortunate to have wise mentors who instilled in us the significance of prayer. Their lessons taught us that prayer is not limited to a specific location or circumstance. It’s a practice that can be woven seamlessly into the fabric of our daily lives, whether we’re at home, driving, or even at the gym. Our hearts should always remain attuned to God, ready to connect with Him.

Intentional prayer is about a heart posture, a willingness to seek God’s presence regardless of the circumstances surrounding us. It’s about recognizing that we can talk with God in the midst of busyness and challenges. However, it is also important to note what Jesus teaches us about the importance of intentional prayer. He urges us to find a secluded spot, away from the distractions of the world. 

A genuine relationship with God, one that is devoid of pretense or the need for external validation is about coming before God with authenticity, laying bare our true selves, and finding solace in His presence. For example, if you are a parent, it’s crucial to carve out undistracted time for prayer. Whether it means waking up early or staying up late, the goal is to spend intentional time with the Lord. When we “shut the door” to the noise of the world, we open our hearts to connecting with God.

Each person’s interpretation of “going into your room” may vary. While some might see it as a shared sacred space with a spouse, others may see it as a private space without any distraction. The beauty of prayer lies in its ability to transform and mold our hearts, especially when we delve deep into our emotions and vulnerabilities.

“The meaning behind our prayer life is truly to hear from God, to truly be with God, and nothing else.”

In today’s fast-paced world, we can miss out on the profound intimacy that intentional prayer offers. But remembering to slow down and spend that time with the Lord is essential for believers. Set aside the distractions, sit in His presence, and lay it all out for Him. Prayer is a powerful journey, and it all begins with the intentional choice to seek God’s presence.

Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of The Marriage Gift today for more prayer resources for your marriage!

READ TRANSCRIPT

Aaron Smith (00:06):

Prayer should be the natural outflow of the soul. You should pray because you must pray not because the set time for praying has arrived, but because your heart must cry unto your Lord. Charles Spurgeon.

Jennifer Smith (00:18):

Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith, your host of the Marriage After God podcast. Before we get into part two of this eight part devotional on prayer, we wanted to read a review that we have recently received because we love reading the reviews our listeners leave. It says Life-changing. I have been listening to this podcast on my way to work for probably around six to seven months now. I started from the beginning and I’ve missed several days of listening, so I’m still in the 2019 episodes. Wow, that’s incredible. But I’m obsessed. My husband started listening to it as well on his commute after telling him about it, and we both love it so much. We both really felt the pull from God to start immersing ourselves in the word and encouraging one another to be in the word, and this podcast was a huge catalyst for both of us doing that.

(01:03)
Wow, that’s awesome. That is so cool. Thank you so much for leaving this review, and we just want to thank all of you who have left reviews because it really does not only touch our hearts and encourage us, but it also just helps other people find the podcast, find the podcast, and want to listen to it. So thank you. If you haven’t had a chance to leave a review or star rating, would you just take a moment right now to do that? This blesses us so much, and like we said, it just helps the reach of the show. Thank you.

Aaron Smith (01:33):

Awesome. Yeah, it was something I wanted to do. I’ve been going through the reviews and just so many people have so many good ones, so we might be sharing them more often. Awesome. Yeah, very cool. So we’re in part two of an eight week series.

Jennifer Smith (01:47):

We were just talking about how much we love series. We splitting things up and kind of digging into it a little bit more over time.

Aaron Smith (01:54):

And so we have this eight part series where we’re going through essentially the Lord’s Prayer as he teaches the disciples how to pray. And each week we’re going to be breaking down prayer, a piece, piece of that teaching that Jesus gives to his disciples, and we’re trying to apply it to our marriage and how we can be praying for our husbands and our wives.

Jennifer Smith (02:16):

The way that we wrote these and kind of filled them in too, is that you don’t have to listen to them in order. So if you miss the first part or the second part of this, I mean this is the second part. If you miss the first part, you don’t have to go in order. You can

Aaron Smith (02:30):

Listen to the first part after this one. Yeah. So today we’re tackling the question of when should I pray and based off of what Jesus teaches,

Jennifer Smith (02:42):

Which could be an obvious, there could be an obvious answer to it, but we’re going to explain it nonetheless. So just real quick, you opened up with a quote from Spurgeon and I really liked it and I just wanted to say that.

Aaron Smith (02:56):

Well, I love Spurgeon.

Jennifer Smith (02:57):

I know, but I like that he’s addressing the fact that there is no set time to pray. We pray because our heart needs it, our minds need it, our body needs it, our soul needs it. We pray because we fill that urge to cry out to the Lord,

Aaron Smith (03:15):

Which actually ties into our first episode. So again, if you haven’t listened to the first episode after this episode, go back and do that. But talking about this idea of praying because our hearts want to pray rather than we have an obligation to prayer or we are trying to show off in prayer or we’re trying to hypocritical attitude.

Jennifer Smith (03:37):

Yeah. It’s recognizing that motivation. Why are we drawn?

Aaron Smith (03:40):

Yeah, that’s the word I was trying to say. Motivation. What is motivating us to pray?

Jennifer Smith (03:44):

So like I said, we can easily answer this question, when should I pray? Because one Thessalonians five 17 tells us, and we all know this, it says to pray without ceasing, so as believers.

Aaron Smith (03:54):

So that’s the answer. Okay. Always.

Jennifer Smith (03:56):

Yeah, I know. Yeah, you should always be praying, right? But there is this idea of being in constant communion with the Lord, and I was just thinking about this lately. We’ve been doing interviews because our book’s coming out, which we’re super stoked for you guys. We’ve been getting some really good feedback from it. It just really is awesome. I’m so excited. But since these interviews are done on other people’s podcasts, they’re new audiences and they’re new listeners to us. And so we’ve been invited to share a little bit of background before we actually get into the interview questions. It’s more like take us

Aaron Smith (04:34):

Back. It takes us back like 17 years and we’re, oh, man, we haven’t talked about this in a while.

Jennifer Smith (04:37):

It’s been so fun. And we’ve been, even after the interview’s done, we go back and we’re like, well, we haven’t talked about that in a while, or we haven’t thought about the beginning of our marriage or the beginning of this ministry in a long time. And so it’s been really fun to go back there.

Aaron Smith (04:54):

One thing that’s been really cool as we’ve been talking about our past is it seems like we’ve been noticing some similarities in our upbringings that we didn’t really realize before. One specifically with prayer, you were bringing up a podcast we just did recently that your aunt used to drive you around and if she saw something or if she got a text message or if she wanted to pray, she’d be

Jennifer Smith (05:16):

Like, well, back then there weren’t text messages yet. Yeah, there weren’t text messages yet back over there. We do that now with our kids, but

Aaron Smith (05:21):

She got a phone call, she’d say exactly. She would say, okay, kids, we got to pray. Let’s pray for this right now. And she would just pray right in the moment. My mom did the same thing. So when you brought that up, I brought up the same story. I’m like, yeah, my mom would always, we’d drive by an ambulance or a car wreck or anything. She’d be like, okay guys, let’s pray right now. And we were just talking about how prayer was kind of just taught to us and exemplified to us. And not everyone had that because I think the interviewer was asking us, where did that start with us and why does it seem like it’s been easy for us? Which it hasn’t been easy, but

Jennifer Smith (05:57):

There has been this natural flow of prayer in our relationship, and I think that is because of our background and upbringing, which we know not everybody has that. And so we just found that interesting when we were talking about it. And

Aaron Smith (06:13):

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 gift.com today and order your copy and give your marriage the greatest gift, powerful and meaningful prayer. Visit the marriage gift.com. Today

Jennifer Smith (07:09):

Goes back to this idea of having a posture and heart of prayer, to always be ready to pray and to never cease praying. And

Aaron Smith (07:18):

Also that it could be something that is taught and it doesn’t need to be something you saw as a child, but you could actually start it now, especially for your own kids. That was another thing that was brought up is that we’re now trying to teach that to our kids and show them that example so that it’s not something that feels daunting for them in the future.

Jennifer Smith (07:36):

Yeah. Another thing that came to my mind when I was thinking about Pray without ceasing is I went to an event where Sarah Haggerty was there and she was sharing about her book. I can’t remember if it was for Unseen or Every Bitter Thing is Sweet, but she was sharing this motherhood moment of when you just have to get away and you get in the pantry and you throw your apron over your head and you’re just praying. She was saying, my kids know that when the aprons over my head, I am communion with God to leave her alone. Yeah. She goes, it’s only a couple of minutes, but I have to do it. And so that was another example of I pray without ceasing that I thought was funny when I was thinking about this. But really it’s like, okay, when should we pray? Should we pray when we’re walking around the house? Should we pray when we’re driving, going to the gym

Aaron Smith (08:26):

Anywhere? Can I add to the pray without ceasing, the pray without ceasing from one Thessalonians five also? I mean, it is the answer, but it also doesn’t really answer because everyone still asks, okay, I can’t pray without ceasing.

Jennifer Smith (08:40):

Everybody knows

Aaron Smith (08:41):

We haven’t heard this. So the Pray without ceasing is what you said. It’s a constant community with God where it’s your first response to something, to anything is like, Lord, what’s going on?

Jennifer Smith (08:57):

Which is important to have that

Aaron Smith (08:59):

I imagine when the disciples were walking with Jesus, which is awesome because we’re going to be talking about Jesus teaching the disciples when they were walking with him. That was a constant prayer without ceasing where they were with Jesus. Jesus says, follow me lucky.

(09:16)
Well, but they only had it for him for three and a half years, three years or so, we have him living in us. So this idea of praying without ceasing is as John would say, when actually I don’t think it’s in John, I messed that up. But when it says, keep in step with the Spirit, you’re close with God, you’re ready to say, Hey, am I going the right direction? And so I think it’s like you said, more of a posture of are we near the Lord and with our hearts and with our attitudes and with our minds.

Jennifer Smith (09:54):

So the answer is of course, we should be praying without ceasing and we should be praying all the time. But today we want to dive into this a little bit more and give you guys a reason why we think prayer should be even more intentional than that. And Jesus reveals it in Matthew six, which we’ll read Matthew six, six. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your father who is in secret, and your father who is in secret will reward you. So here we see Jesus teaching us to be intentional to pray,

Aaron Smith (10:24):

And it’s showing a time being set aside. He’s showing an intention of where you’re going to do it and how you’re going to do it. So those things, just those details show Jesus’ emphasis on like, Hey, this should be something that you care about and do. But there’s something, there’s a note here. I want to pull out this word secret all throughout chapter, chapter six of Matthew, when Jesus is teaching not just in the Lord’s Prayer, but in the other teachings also, I went back and I was scanning through it all. There’s a huge emphasis on this idea of when you give, do it in secret. When you pray, do it in secret. When you fast wash your face, don’t let them see that you are fasting. Essentially. He’s saying all these things you’re doing for the Lord actually do them for him only, not for anyone else.

(11:19)
Again, going back to what we talked about in last episode, but not being like the hypocrites who did it for everyone else. Look at me, look at my prayer. Look how pious I am. Look how good I am. Look, I have a great relationship with God and you don’t. That’s essentially the heart that the hypocrite did it in. But he says, dude in secret and Jesus is emphasizing how he wants his disciples and us, his church. He wants us to truly have a relationship with God. He does not a false relationship, not a facade of a relationship, not a fake relationship, not doing things out of obligation like, oh, I have to do this thing because God desires it or my parents desire it or my husband desires it or my wife desires it. People

Jennifer Smith (12:07):

Pleaser, so to speak.

Aaron Smith (12:08):

Exactly. The emphasis on secret is not saying the only place to praise in secret because Jesus didn’t do that. He prayed all the time and he didn’t always just go into a closet, but there was definitely times he says he went away and he didn’t have anyone around him. He went off into the wilderness, he went off into the mountain, he went off to alone and sometimes for days just to be with God, just to be with his father. And so I think that the main emphasis that I see in this when he says secret, and then he also, he emphasizes, he’s like, where God who sees in secret will reward you, it shows God also sees those quiet alone places with us. And I thought that was really beautiful that something that emphasizes that our prayer life is truly to hear from God is truly to be with God and nothing else.

Jennifer Smith (13:02):

That’s really good. And in order to answer this question, when should I pray in light of this teaching of go to your room and shut the door. We really need to think about this as moms and dads and husbands and wives and consider if we’re going to pursue this this way, we do need to be intentional because it means as moms, we need to get up early before the kids or find time after they go to bed. So some place where you’re not going to be distracted, say for fathers and husbands, you got to get up early before work. You got to stay up late. You got to find some time in the middle of the day when the kids are actively doing something where you know can pull away and have that time where they’re not going to open the door. They’re not going to fight you and distract you, fight you for your time or distract you.

Aaron Smith (13:54):

A funny note on this, I just thought about this, the bathroom is a good place for that you could kind of couple yourself with. And the reason I’m laughing about this is because this is actually something that I thought about with this idea of Jesus going away to be alone. And that’s weird to be like Jesus didn’t go to the bathroom. Well, he is a man. He had to, but there was often he went away to be alone. And I was thinking, that’s probably when he went to the bathroom.

Jennifer Smith (14:24):

I know you think that’s funny and I’ve thought about this before. Of course

Aaron Smith (14:27):

I think that’s funny, babe. Okay.

Jennifer Smith (14:30):

But I don’t want our listeners to be like, how could you say that? Okay.

Aaron Smith (14:33):

Well, the reason I would say this is because one time I was praying not in the bathroom, but I was just saying, God, there’s like every once in a while there’s thoughts I have of like, Hey, there’s something that I’d never noticed mentioned in the Bible before God, why is not in the Bible? And one of them was like, I don’t feel like I’ve ever heard someone go to the bathroom. And then I got one of the stories, the book of, I think it’s judges where there’s a king and one of the judges goes in and kills the king, and then he leaves and sneaks out the window and the door’s locked. And so the soldiers think he’s just relieving himself. And I was like, oh, that you answered my prayer. Lord, that was a really funny story. Well, cool story I should say.

Jennifer Smith (15:09):

I didn’t expect you to keep going on about it. That was funny. I don’t want our listeners to hear this as the recommendation or as the thing we want to leave them with

Aaron Smith (15:21):

Today. I know I took it from really serious to light, but that is one place.

Jennifer Smith (15:26):

Hold on, let me finish my sentence. This is my thought on this because I have had the thought too, but going to God, he is holy. He is holy and sacred, and I just feel like we should be I in a state or posture physically that maintains that holiness.

Aaron Smith (15:51):

Okay, well it could happen there, but you’re saying on this, what we’re talking about is the more intentional of going to a place where you can be alone and quiet and pray, not necessarily why you’re going to the bathroom.

Jennifer Smith (16:03):

I would not recommend praying like this and being intentional. You’re not being intentional. You’re just doing it on a whim. You would be walking through the kitchen or going to the gym.

Aaron Smith (16:11):

So you chalk that up to more of the without ceasing the regular throughout the day praying. Yes.

Jennifer Smith (16:17):

Okay. But even then I would suggest not doing that because the Lord is set apart.

Aaron Smith (16:24):

You don’t pray while you’re in the bathroom sometimes.

Jennifer Smith (16:26):

Like I said, I’ve had the thought, this is not something I was thinking about. And this is not in the

Aaron Smith (16:30):

Notes. I know it came up just now. It’s not in the notes.

Jennifer Smith (16:32):

I have actually had the thought to pray about something in the bathroom, and I stop myself because I think there’s no way I am. It’s like it’s going to your friend’s house with no pants on. You’re like, that’s really, do you not feel like that?

Aaron Smith (16:47):

Well, he’s there anyway. He sees the secret. I can see you uncomfortable. We’ll move on from the bathroom talk. The idea though, from everything we’re saying, that was a lighthearted thing. I was just bringing up the thought I had, but is that this shutting the door is an intentional space. Like you were saying, it’s a private space, it’s an alone space. It’s not just the ordinary throughout the day. The quick prayers. The quick questions, but it’s an actual, we talked about Jesus going away for sometimes several days to be with God.

Jennifer Smith (17:20):

Yeah. I think when we do this intentionally, our hearts and our minds can really tune into not just the experience of opening up your heart to the Lord, which is so important to be able to offer what’s in there and be raw and vulnerable with him. But it’s also just spending time in his presence and listening to how he’s going to respond to you, whether it’s through his word or just in that space of the still and the quiet. Kind of like in that Psalm 23 where he says He leads us beside quiet still waters. Yeah,

Aaron Smith (17:54):

That’s really good. And then there’s another word that I think is really important in this idea of going into a closet or into a private space, is the distraction, distraction free.

Jennifer Smith (18:08):

So don’t take your phone. Yeah.

Aaron Smith (18:10):

Well, and nowadays, especially, we’re constantly distracted. I feel like lately I’ve been trying to get back into a rhythm with reading in the mornings, and I get up and I grab my Bible and I’m like, immediately there’s distractions. So we’re distracted by everything,

Jennifer Smith (18:27):

But that just means that you need to get up earlier. Right?

Aaron Smith (18:29):

It’s true. Yeah. So finding ways of getting rid of those distractions. It’s funny because 2000 years ago when this was written, when Jesus said this, it was needed back then and it’s literally still needed today, this idea of we need to find a way to get away from distractions. And we have more of them today than they did 2000 years ago for sure.

Jennifer Smith (18:51):

And I had just mentioned about opening up your hearts and sharing vulnerably with the Lord. And I also just want to note on that it takes time to get there. It takes time to be in a place where you’re not distracted about all the to-do lists and the things that you got on your agenda that day. But it takes time to also have the courage to find the words to offer up. And we’ve talked about this before, why do we need to offer up or share with God what’s in our hearts when he already knows? Well, there’s something really special about God knowing something, and you also being willing to let him know you in that way. So

Aaron Smith (19:29):

Well, it shows that we have a relationship with him that we desire to share.

Jennifer Smith (19:33):

But those things take time. Just like in a conversation with your spouse, you don’t just jump into it on the fly. If it’s something serious, you set aside that time, you make a space for it because the first 30 to 45 minutes is just nothingness until you actually have the courage to share. And I’m not putting a time on this, I’m just saying it takes time to find the right words that you want to say to the Lord.

Aaron Smith (19:58):

And so being in that moment also in his presence, to receive from him, to go to him to say, okay, Lord, I am seeking from you. I need you for consolation, for him to console us that peace. And it’s something our culture definitely doesn’t support. We’re in a constant. We got to go. We got to go. We got to move forward this do that hustle culture, you got to feel every single time with something productive in the

Jennifer Smith (20:34):

Life if you have. I feel like it’s that physically, but it’s also that emotionally our culture tends to say, don’t feel it. Just keep going.

Aaron Smith (20:44):

Yeah, I can see that. I mean, we do that to ourselves too. I should be happy right now instead of like, wait, why am I not experiencing this sadness? Why am I not with friends and family? What Bible says, rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those weep. That’s like, that’s a very intimate thing. It’s like, Hey, be in that moment with them. That’s what God wants with us. He wants to be in that moment with us. He is in the moment with us. He’s in the season of life. That’s hard. And that’s how he’s able to take everything and work them together for good. For those who love him are called according to his purpose.

Jennifer Smith (21:20):

And think about the intimacy with God that we’re missing out on when we don’t slow down enough to go to our room and shut the door.

Aaron Smith (21:27):

Oh, I feel it. There’s days I go by and I’m like, man, I’m not listening to God. I’m not near God. I could feel it, not that God’s left, but just because I’ve been so distracted and I find myself saying, okay, Lord, where have I been? Not where have you been? Where have I been?

Jennifer Smith (21:46):

When we were reading this verse and talking about the direction we wanted to share about it, we kind of saw a portion of it in two different ways that I want to share about. I think they’re both interesting, but mine’s a little bit briefer. So I’ll go first when I read the part about go to your room and shut the door. I saw it as an opportunity for your spouse to come with you because that’s also their sacred space. That’s their bedroom. And you share

Aaron Smith (22:12):

The room, you share it. Hopefully if you’re not sharing a room, that’s something you guys should be probably discussing and figuring out.

Jennifer Smith (22:18):

Yeah, I just saw as they have that invitation to come in and to share it with you. And we want to be an encouragement to you guys listening today, that praying together with your spouse and that intimacy with the Lord is such a cool and extraordinary experience. If you guys haven’t been praying together, we want to encourage you to be doing that because there’s things just like how I mentioned about revealing your heart and offering that up to the Lord,

Aaron Smith (22:44):

The intimacy of that closeness, that space,

Jennifer Smith (22:47):

When you do that out loud in front of your spouse, they get a glimpse into your relationship with the Lord, the things that you’re sharing with them, and it also reveals and makes yourself known to them. And then they can pray for you in those things, in the concerns or the praises or whatever it is that you’re sharing with the Lord. And I just know from experience, Aaron with you, that has been a really powerful and good part of our relationship. And so when I saw this verse about shutting the door, and I don’t know, I just felt compelled to share that you

Aaron Smith (23:23):

Interpret it in a way of in marriage, again, we’re taking this teaching that Jesus gives to his disciples and we’re trying to draw from it for our marriages. You’re saying

Jennifer Smith (23:31):

They’re the only

Aaron Smith (23:33):

One going to your room and pray for it with your husband.

Jennifer Smith (23:35):

Well, yeah. And they’re the only other ones that have that same access. And so I thought it was worth it to note.

Aaron Smith (23:41):

And the way I kind of saw it, which I would agree with you, I would say we could look at this as, and one of the principles is go and pray with your spouse in the privacy of your room and that intimacy. But the way I took it is looking at the importance sometimes of our prayers being private only meaning specifically when it comes to praying for your spouse or anyone really, because there’s so many things that happen between you and your spouse. There’s conflict, there’s struggles, there’s transformation that you desire to see in them. But sometimes instead of just going straight and in the flesh, trying to deal with that thing with your spouse right away, just like, Hey, let’s go talk. We need to talk about this. I need to bring up this thing. This is bothering me. Here’s this thing that you need to change.

(24:33)
Here’s this thing that I hate about you. Here’s this, whatever it is, stopping first and saying, okay, I’m going to go bring this thing to the Lord first. I’m not even going to bring it up yet. It’s bothering me. It’s in my heart. I’m frustrated. I feel bitterness coming and going straight to the Lord first in secret where God who hears in secret rewards, and I’ve done this many times with you, Jennifer, and I know you’ve done it with me, but there’s something that’s going on. I see something that’s bothering me. There’s something that has happened. Maybe you said something to me a certain way, and I’m like, why does she do that? Or whatever it is. And before just saying something to you, just kind of addressing it out loud in the flesh is what I would call it. Just trying to get you to repent right away or get you to change right away or get you to whatever my heart’s desiring, I just start praying about it.

(25:27)
Lord, why did she do that? What’s going on? How do you want me to walk in this situation? I’m angry God. And I go to him with those things. And I don’t know if everyone’s that’s listening believes me or not, but there’s been so many times that I’ve done that, and that has been much more fruitful in that situation than me just going head on and trying to deal with it in my flesh with you where I see you actually something changes. You come to me later on and you’re like, Hey, yesterday, I’m so sorry. I was really irritable and I shouldn’t have done that. And I’m like, wow, Lord, thank you. Or I’m like, babe, I was literally just praying about this. And that’s happened a bunch of times. How many times do you hear me say, babe? I was just praying about that.

Jennifer Smith (26:12):

Yeah, it’s happened several times. I think the other thing that can happen when we’re doing that is when you’re praying about something that’s frustrating you and the Lord actually convicts your own heart and you never have to bring it up because it was something in you that had to

Aaron Smith (26:25):

Change. That’s the second answer to this, is in stopping and going to God first more times than not, he’s addressing my heart. He’s like, why are you angry? Why has that bothered you? What did she do? And he actually convicts me of my wrong thinking, my wrong hearing, my wrong receiving, my wrong interpretation of what’s going on, or simply like, Hey, give her grace. She loves you and she didn’t mean that. And something I don’t need to fight for. I don’t need to rehash. It’s something that I can overlook because the Bible says love covers a multitude of sins. So there’s so many times that go into God first resolves the situation in my own heart, and then often there’s also been times that he resolves it between us and in you. And so I just wanted to bring encouragement to our listeners that secret place, it’s twofold in your bedroom and your closet is one where you go with your spouse, and it’s also one where you go for your spouse, and you can do it in private, and you can, we start off in the beginning of this episode talking about why are we going to God in prayer if it’s not just to receive from God?

(27:43)
And so going in that place for our spouse and saying, Lord, I need to receive from you in this situation, either wisdom or transformation or help.

Jennifer Smith (27:52):

Prayer is an experience that keeps your heart tender no matter what. It keeps it tender because you have to go in humility before the Lord. And it is a way that he gets to spend time with us. And in that sacred moment, he’s actively molding and shaping us. If we let him are only taking a minute or two on the go, which again is a good thing, are we really getting to the root of the matters in our hearts?

Aaron Smith (28:21):

Are we still long enough to be seen and also hear?

Jennifer Smith (28:25):

Yeah. Or are we convincing ourselves that we are praying regularly even though it’s on the go and kind of avoiding all that heart stuff? These are good things to be thinking about. So we’ve already talked about the motivation of prayer, why we go to prayer, and now we want to ask the question, are we really

Aaron Smith (28:44):

Finding the time to do it,

Jennifer Smith (28:46):

Finding the time to do it, and letting God sit with us in that heart space and reveal things to him and have him reveal things to us?

Aaron Smith (28:56):

Yeah. It’s convicting for me for sure. And that’s something that actually we want to, again, another encouragement is just because we’re teaching these things and we’ve written a book on prayer, doesn’t mean we’ve figured all this out. It’s actually we’re constantly trying to be reminded and encouraged in our own life of the things that God desires from us and in the relationship we have with him. So we haven’t figured all this out, but we’re working on it.

Jennifer Smith (29:21):

I’d say to add to that, when you say working it out, it’s more of making sure that our flesh isn’t getting in the way and keeping us from that distraction, but actually doing the things that the Lord has already taught today. God wants you to know that He wants to hear from you in an intentional and deep way. He wants you to offer your heart to him. He wants you to sit still before him and receive from him. Today, we want to encourage you to build a habit of escaping the day’s distractions, the constant requirement on you to be and to do, and to sit before the Lord in quiet in secret. Let your preoccupied heart offer up to God, your praises, your concerns, your gratitude, and your needs, and just be with him.

Aaron Smith (30:05):

So at the end of all of our episodes, we usually pray. We end with a prayer. But with this eight part series, the prayer that we’re going to be praying is actually from our book, the Marriage Gift. And so this is Prayer one 13, and it’s called Praying for Each Other. Dear Lord, what a beautiful and intimate gift you have given to us in prayer. We praise you for the way you make yourself available to us. Thank you for the privilege and opportunity to come before you right now. Today, we pray for our marriage. We invite you to motivate us to regularly share what is in our hearts, how we feel needs we have, and what we’re struggling with, so that we know how best to pray for each other. We also ask you for the gift of understanding each other in a profound way.

(30:52)
Let us come to you in confidence and ask only what is in your will. Lord, will you bolster our faith and give us the courage to initiate prayer together? Make us brave to pray for each other without being concerned with messing up our words or not praying perfectly. Please inspire our hearts with what to say so that our prayers uplift and comfort each other, give us a deep desire and strong-willed to pray for one another daily, bless our marriage with unity as we commit to praying for each other. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. So we just want to encourage you all to pick up a copy of our newest book, the Marriage Gift, 365 Prayers for Our Marriage. And the subtitle is a Daily Devotional journey to inspire, encourage, and transform us and our prayer life. So if you want to pick up a copy today, it’s just go to the marriage gift.com, the marriage gift.com, one word, and your.

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