Who’s Kingdom Are You Seeking? How To Pray For Your Marriage Lessons And Principles From Jesus

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In Matthew 6:10, Jesus teaches us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” As Christians, these should be the ultimate goals of our prayers – for God’s perfect will to shape everything on earth, including our marriages.

Yet if we’re honest, many of our prayers focus solely on our own comfort, desires, and agendas for marriage. We beg God to change our spouse or fix our problems. While bringing our needs to God is good, we must also pray with the motivation to see His kingdom advanced and His will accomplished.

This requires self-examination. Why do we really pray for our marriage? Is it from a sincere trust in God or a demand for Him to fulfill our expectations? Humbling ourselves before God requires releasing our tight grip on personal outcomes. Marriage is not about you and what you want; neither is it all about your spouse. Instead, yield your hearts to the Lord and acknowledge that your marriage has a far greater purpose than being the means by which you are fulfilled.

The more we pursue knowing God’s heart versus imposing our own agendas, the more our prayers will align with His perfect plan. Our personal dreams and desires will begin to align with His when we prioritize intimacy with Him.

Praying for God’s will also necessitates walking in obedience. We cannot ask Him to reign over our lives while refusing to submit to Him. A prayer life crying out for His kingdom must flow from a life increasingly yielding to His lordship.

This starts by obeying God’s revealed will in Scripture – choosing integrity in marriage, and extending grace to others. As we follow Christ wholeheartedly, our prayers take on new sincerity, earnestness, and authority.Let us remember to search our hearts and reshape our priorities in prayer. As we seek first His kingdom and righteousness, He promises to supply all we need (Matthew 6:33). As we humble ourselves, our desires will align with His purposes.

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Jennifer Smith (00:05):

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays. Soren Ard.

Aaron Smith (00:13):

Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith, your host of the Marriage After God podcast. And before we jump into part five of this eight part series on prayer, we want to read a review. This is from Jen d Bloss. Her title is Perfect Timing for Our Marriage. What’s funny is she gave a two-star rating, but I don’t think that’s what she meant to give because her review doesn’t actually match the rating, so I’m going to be honest here. It’s a two-star. It says, I was newly introduced to you by your prayer, emails, books, and now your podcast. I’m 50, been married for less than seven years and slowly had more difficulty communicating in our marriage. Hearing your stories of similar issues and hearing heartfelt scriptures has truly helped to soften my heart and learn his way of communicating rather than ours. It’s still a work in progress and with the help of your resources, we have a renewed hope.

(01:05)
Thank you very much. I’m sure you’ve heard this already, but we love reviews. I love reading this. It’s so interesting hearing everyone’s little stories and what God’s doing in their life and marriage and so we love ’em. We love seeing the ratings and the reviews and so we just wanted to ask you if you haven’t done that, if you haven’t taken a moment and left us a star rating and review, we want to really encourage you to do that. It truly blesses us and it really does help spread the word about this podcast so that others can be blessed like you have. So take some time today and give us a star rating and a review if you haven’t yet already.

Jennifer Smith (01:39):

Okay. Exciting news. Our book, the Marriage Gift is officially released and people are getting them into their hands and we’re really excited about this.

Aaron Smith (01:48):

If you pre-ordered, you probably already have it.

Jennifer Smith (01:51):

Yeah, you probably got it Dave, so

Aaron Smith (01:53):

That’s awesome.

Jennifer Smith (01:54):

So this book, the Marriage Gift, it’s a collection of 365 unique prayers that we wrote and also added a supportive prayer with each one so that our hope is that it would be a catalyst for couples to be praying together that they would grow in spiritual intimacy. And this is a great time of year to be able to get a resource like this because coming to the end of the year, I feel like the beginning of

Aaron Smith (02:18):

The year,

Jennifer Smith (02:18):

I feel like it’s a good setup for people who like challenges, like you like to start off with New year’s resolutions or just something to have a commitment to, and so getting it before the new year starts would be a really great way to look forward to 2024 and do something together with your spouse.

Aaron Smith (02:35):

I think this book is a really easy challenge for the whole year. It really isn’t much to do each day. It will take you a few minutes each day with your spouse. Actually, if you did get a copy of our book, if you have it in your hands and you’re just excited about it, if you have social media or something like it, would you share about it? Would you let others know? Take a picture of it, post picture of your favorite prayer, maybe read a prayer on your social media, but just let people know you have it and spread the word about it

Jennifer Smith (03:06):

Even if you don’t have social media or don’t feel like sharing it there. Word of mouth is really powerful too. I know there’s been countless times that I am in a group of friends and someone’s mentioning a book or a resource or something that they’re using that’s really impacting them and I’m jumping on Amazon right then and there and putting it in my cart. That’s

Aaron Smith (03:21):

Usually how I find things is someone tells me about it and I’m like, oh, I’m going to check that out.

Jennifer Smith (03:25):

So good. Tell your friends. Also, if you just want to get the book, you can check out the marriage gift.com and we have more information there. You can also order it. So just wanted you to know.

Aaron Smith (03:35):

Awesome. Part five, we’re almost done with this series. We only have a few left after this, and so we’ve been going through the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew chapter six, and we just really hope this has been blessing you.

Jennifer Smith (03:47):

I was just going to say because we’re taking it in such small pieces,

Aaron Smith (03:51):

I know we’re taking like verse by verse,

Jennifer Smith (03:52):

I hope that nothing sounds repetitive or that I just hope that with each part of the series that someone’s gotten something new and thought provoking about the Lord’s Prayer and about what it means to be a Christian and to have a prayer life. I really hope that it’s been encouraging to people.

Aaron Smith (04:10):

What’s funny about the taking it verse by verse is how I teach on Sunday mornings. I take

Jennifer Smith (04:15):

The

Aaron Smith (04:16):

Sections of the Bible and I actually go verse by verse, and sometimes I go through big chunks, whole chapters in one teaching, but there’s times that I only get through one verse and these episodes have been what, 30 minutes to 45 minutes? How it is. Sometimes on Sunday mornings I end up teaching just through one small verse. But that’s what we’ve been wanting to do is really focus on each little piece of this teaching that Jesus gives on prayer and pull out of it for us. And I’ve actually been personally getting convicted and learning a lot as we go through this.

Jennifer Smith (04:50):

Cool. Well, today we’re going to be focusing on Matthew chapter six, verse 10. It says, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. So this is Jesus teaching his disciples to pray and to begin the prayers with this acceptance and excitement over wanting God’s will to be done.

Aaron Smith (05:12):

Yeah. This first request that we are seeing in this prayer is for not something that I want, not something that I even need in my physical, in my, it’s

Jennifer Smith (05:25):

Not about me

Aaron Smith (05:26):

Personal life, it’s not about me.

(05:28)
It’s a deeper longing, the most valuable thing. And what we long for as believers is the kingdom of God. He’s teaching his disciples to seek the kingdom of God on earth to see that here Now. So in learning about prayer and the types of things that we are seeking for in prayer, the question is what does it mean for the kingdom of God to come? And this happens in a few ways. First and most specifically, this is what us as believers are looking forward to. Just ultimately we’re longing for the future coming of God’s kingdom where Jesus will reign with us and that it’s, or I should say, we will reign with

Jennifer Smith (06:15):

Him

Aaron Smith (06:16):

And everything’s as it should be. God’s restores everything. A new heaven, a new earth, new bodies new. That’s what we long for as believers. And so it just makes me think of when we come to God in prayer, kind of like what we talked about last week, is understanding who he is, coming to him and understanding what he’s about his kingdom and what is it that we’re truly seeking for. Because that puts such a larger perspective, a more focused perspective of what we’re looking for in life. So much temporary. There’s so much immediate, what do we need right now? What do I feel right now? What’s going on right now versus looking ahead to the prize, looking ahead to the very thing that we actually truly long for. Because even though we want the things now that we care about, ultimately we want his kingdom, we want to be restored back to him. We want all things to be made. So I would say that’s the first thing this means when we say your kingdom come is this prayer for that hopeful longing of God’s kingdom.

Jennifer Smith (07:22):

And it also ties into what we talked about last week with how it would be your name and just recognizing his authority. We’re also recognizing when we say your kingdom come,

Aaron Smith (07:32):

Whose kingdom is it?

Jennifer Smith (07:33):

Yeah, that it’s about him. All of this, the story of the Bible, the story of our lives, all the testimony, everything that’s happening, it’s for him.

Aaron Smith (07:42):

Yes,

Jennifer Smith (07:43):

It’s his kingdom

Aaron Smith (07:43):

And we’re members of that kingdom. And then the second part of this idea of kingdom come is also true. It’s that when we pray, we’re seeking that his kingdom be represented here on earth through us. So when we say your kingdom come, what we’re saying is God, how can I build your kingdom today? How is my life building and representing your kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven? And so there’s this mentality of when we come to God that we’re not just a trying to build our thing. We’re not just trying to receive something for ourselves alone, but we’re gumming to him and asking, what is it that you want? What’s your kingdom about? And how am I a part of that today? God,

Jennifer Smith (08:36):

Yeah, it’s recognizing our position in his kingdom. So he’s the authority, he’s the one who’s reigning and even if we want to use the word microscopically looks into our life, are we fulfilling our position and our role in his kingdom?

Aaron Smith (08:57):

And when we do that, what was that? The quote again that you read was the function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays. We got to think about our nature and what our cravings and desires and we see everything currently just in the now, what we know in the world and the history, the recent history that we have knowledge of and to seek God’s kingdom, to ask him where we fit into that kingdom and how he wants to use us in that kingdom and participate in that work. Kingdom work, we some say realigns us. It changes our nature from this nature of just the temporary to the eternal because his kingdom is eternal.

Jennifer Smith (09:48):

As we’re talking about prayer, obviously we’re talking like our individual relationships with God. And when we go to him in prayer, but also because this is a marriage podcast, we’re also talking about what does that look like for us along with our spouses coming to God in prayer for our marriage, for our families, for his kingdom come. And what that means for our marriage and something that we’ve taught along the way and really shared in the message of the marriage after God book that we did is asking the question, is our marriage looking forward to his kingdom coming or are we looking forward to building our own kingdom here on earth?

Aaron Smith (10:27):

And I think that’s a constant for believing couples who have a walk with Christ and desire to serve him. I think that’s a constant struggle of what does it look like? Are we building our thing? Are we building his thing?

Jennifer Smith (10:41):

Yeah. And I remember you saying one time, is your marriage representing God’s heavenly kingdom or something else? Are you representing God’s love story or something else? Are you representing who he is as you are made in his image or something else? All by the choices that we make, that we reflect what we believe. And I just wanted to share a quote from marriage after God, if you guys have read that book, it might sound familiar to you, but

Aaron Smith (11:06):

You have not after this episode. You should go get a copy of the Marriage After God book.

Jennifer Smith (11:10):

Okay. But on page 1 91, I’m just going to read a paragraph. It says, A Marriage after God is one where the husband and wife walk with humble hearts before the Lord and with each other. Marriage is not about you and what you want, neither is it all about your spouse. Instead, yield your hearts to the Lord and acknowledge that your marriage has a far greater purpose than being the means by which you are fulfilled. Your marriage is the means by which God’s purposes are fulfilled and he is glorified for it is not your message you are striving to spread. It is not your mission you are pursuing and it is not your kingdom. You are building everything you and your spouse do is for God’s message, God’s mission and the building up of God’s kingdom. And as you chase after God, you’ll discover that your personal dreams and desires begin to align with his

Aaron Smith (11:56):

Wow. So I like that we talked about how as we pursue his kingdom, our personal desires and needs align with his, that nature is changing in us

Jennifer Smith (12:08):

And talking about how prayer changes the one who prays. How often have we experienced when we’re praying for something Aaron, and eventually our prayers themselves start to change and we start to change because of that alignment with God’s will and we start to understand what his purpose is with a certain circumstance or situation or way of being with us and our marriage and what he’s put us together for. And it’s really beautiful to see.

Aaron Smith (12:33):

This makes me think about my hesitancy at times to pray for specific things. Well, how many times you bring something up to me? I’m like, have you prayed about that? What do you feel God’s leading you in that?

Jennifer Smith (12:50):

And

Aaron Smith (12:50):

You’re like, well, not yet, but I will. And I do the same thing because I know that there might be a level of selfishness in me about a topic or a thing, a situation

Jennifer Smith (13:03):

Wanting it to turn out a certain way.

Aaron Smith (13:04):

I desire a certain result. And my concern is like, well, the moment I bring that to God, is he going to change my mind about that?

Jennifer Smith (13:11):

Probably yes.

Aaron Smith (13:13):

Is he going to convict me of my position on that? And that’s exactly what happens is because sometimes my kingdom is not aligned with God’s kingdom. Actually often my kingdom is not aligned with his kingdom, but the moment we begin to pursue that, your kingdom come, Lord, what does your kingdom look like in this situation? What is my role in this for you? And he says, well, that’s not it. And you’re like, oh, but I want that.

Jennifer Smith (13:39):

And you’re

Aaron Smith (13:39):

Like, no, that’s not it. That’s not what I have for you. That’s not what I want. So it’s a powerful thing to have that mindset when you’re praying and talking to your king of desiring his kingdom and the reign of his kingdom and the success of his kingdom. And think about just we think about America and we’re like, we want America to prosper. We want there to be good laws and we want there to be law and order and we want there to be financial success in our kingdom, I should say. But our country, why would we not want the same things for our heavenly kingdom that we want it to succeed members of that

Jennifer Smith (14:20):

That’s

Aaron Smith (14:21):

Our true home, that kingdom. And so we should be desiring that his kingdom rules and looking forward to it and looking for it in every circumstance.

Jennifer Smith (14:35):

Well, in talking about that kingdom experiencing success in everything, real quick going back to the verse, just a portion where it says on earth as it is in heaven, and I know you shared a little bit about how we can represent that on earth part, right? Yeah. Do you want to just go into sharing a little bit about what it means for us to I guess make it happen, how our behavior and our choices and the ways that we think impact?

Aaron Smith (15:07):

Well, I think yes, because it goes into that next part of that verse where he says, your will be done. So both of those things, your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. There’s this part of the will. The will is what he desires, what he wants to happen. And in heaven, God’s will is always done heaven, where God lives, where he dwells, it’s done. But on earth, God’s will is not always done. And I wanted to find a scripture to back this up because I know there’s probably people thinking no God’s will is always done, but that’s just not the case because there’s sin in the world, there’s evil in the world, there’s things that there’s people that make choices that are against God’s will. And so here’s one example, two Peter three, nine. It says, the Lord is not slack concerning his promise as some men count slackness, but his long suffering toward us not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God’s will, his heart’s desire is that all men, all people would come to the knowledge of the truth, would come to salvation and would not die,

Jennifer Smith (16:14):

That

Aaron Smith (16:14):

He doesn’t want anyone to die. But that’s just not the case because there are some people who deny him who deny Christ, and they do not receive that free gift that he offers to the world. And so I just want to say that when Jesus teaches us to pray that his will be done, we are actively seeking His will to be done not only in our lives, but in the lives of those around us. We want it otherwise He wouldn’t teach us to pray for it if he didn’t care that we sought it or not, but he does.

Jennifer Smith (16:45):

Do you think that God needs us for his will to happen

Aaron Smith (16:51):

Needs? Those are big questions. I don’t think God needs anything. He’s God, but I think he desires us. That’s a big difference. This is true in our lives. There’s plenty of things that we need and then there’s plenty of things that we desire but don’t necessarily need.

Jennifer Smith (17:11):

What I love is let’s say that there’s a certain circumstance or situation that has happened that let’s say that wouldn’t have been a part of God’s will, but because of choices made and the way that

Aaron Smith (17:23):

Things

Jennifer Smith (17:23):

Are happening, that thing happened. I love that. In his goodness, he still uses that thing for good.

Aaron Smith (17:32):

That’s something that’s amazing about God, especially when we pray for God’s will to be done. That in situations where you could think about all of the hard things, all of the painful things, all of the bad things, there’s really bad things that those bad were not God’s will, but there are things that God does will out of it. He desires reconciliation, he desires restoration, repentance, healing, lots of things that he wants to come out of that. And when the Bible says that he works all things together for good, for

Jennifer Smith (18:05):

Those who love, for

Aaron Smith (18:05):

Those who love him and are called according to his purposes. So not only does God have a will and there are people that can go against that, but then he can work those things for his will still, which blows my mind. So I think this plays out in our marriages also when we don’t walk in his will example, God’s will is that a husband and wife walk in their roles in love, in strength, that a man would love his wife as Christ loves the church that a woman would honor her husband. There’s would

Jennifer Smith (18:40):

Submit to him respect, peace,

Aaron Smith (18:42):

Unity, those things. Then everyone listening right now is like, well, that doesn’t always, oh

Jennifer Smith (18:46):

Yeah, I was just thinking we don’t even do that.

Aaron Smith (18:48):

That is Dodd’s will though. That’s what he wants. I’ve heard it said this, where there’s his perfect will, like what he actually desires, how things would play out. And then there’s his permissive will things that he allows because he’s allowing us to do what we do. I’ll

Jennifer Smith (19:08):

Say this about marriage because we’ve had the experiences

Aaron Smith (19:13):

A few of ’em

Jennifer Smith (19:13):

Along the years when we are actively pursuing God in his word, understanding his word and having discipline, spiritual disciplines such as praying together, we are more aligned with him and with each other in a way that we are able to walk out his will in our marriage. We are we compassionate, we are loving, we are forgiving of one another. And I’ll say that the times that we usually are experiencing strife or frustration or that feeling that disunity one or both of us is not choosing to actively walk

Aaron Smith (19:57):

In

Jennifer Smith (19:57):

His spirit.

Aaron Smith (19:59):

That’s true. And so this happens. So I hope this is making sense that ultimately God is God and he’s in control, but it’s hard to understand. It’s hard to explain, but he does have a will

Jennifer Smith (20:14):

And Jesus tells us to pray for it

Aaron Smith (20:15):

And Jesus tells us to pray for it and ask for it and seek it.

Jennifer Smith (20:19):

Okay. I have another quick question just so we can flesh it out. When we pray for things we desire, let’s say healing or breakthrough or whatever we’re praying for, it could be about our marriage or about others, and then follow the prayer with may your will be done. So maybe you’re praying for healing, but then at the end you close it with, but let your will be done. Is that a lack of belief that that thing is going to happen or is that how we should be praying no matter what we pray?

Aaron Smith (20:46):

Well, it’s definitely not a lack of belief because Jesus prayed exactly that way. And we’ve brought this up several times now in the garden Yosemite, when he’s about to go to the cross, he says, Lord, let this cup pass for me the cup of wrath, the cup that represents what he’s about to endure. And then he always followed up with, but not my will be done but yours. Because he’s saying in that moment, in his human flesh, his flesh had a different will than what God’s was. But guess what He did? God’s will not his own. And so right there in that one example, we see two wills at play and the Bible teaches us there are two wills at play at all times, but God, we’re warned to make sure that we are seeking God’s will because when we’re in his will is the safest place When we’re in his ways is the safest place. It makes sense, but it’s also so confusing. And also there’s oftentimes when we pray these things, when we come to God and we say, God, what is your will? What is your will in this moment? The spirit changes the directions of our hearts,

Jennifer Smith (22:00):

Gives us wisdom because sometimes we start out praying and we actually don’t know the full scope of what we’re actually praying for. And as we continue on in prayer, there’s clarity, there’s understanding or there’s change of our character or there’s change of our perspective.

Aaron Smith (22:14):

You shared a scripture on a podcast we just were being interviewed on. It was your favorite scripture.

Jennifer Smith (22:20):

Yeah.

Aaron Smith (22:20):

Can you just summarize it real quick?

Jennifer Smith (22:22):

It’s Proverbs three five through six and it says, trust in the Lord with all your ways, acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.

Aaron Smith (22:28):

And this also lean out on your own understanding.

Jennifer Smith (22:31):

Did I not say that? Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean out on your own

Aaron Smith (22:34):

Understanding

Jennifer Smith (22:35):

And all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.

Aaron Smith (22:38):

The reason we pray these things, your will be done, your kingdom come is because we don’t know everything. We don’t have full understanding. We don’t know His will always.

Jennifer Smith (22:53):

So

Aaron Smith (22:53):

We have to ask, what is your will? What’s your will right now today? And often his holy spirits can appoint us right back to scripture. What’s your will in this situation with me and my wife? Well Aaron, my will is that you would walk with your wife in an understanding way. My will is that you would love her as Christ lives a church giving himself up for her. My will is that you would be patient. My will is that you would be gentle. My will is that you would not be harsh. My will. And he reminds me of all the scriptures.

Jennifer Smith (23:23):

He reminds you of these things while you’re praying for his will.

Aaron Smith (23:26):

Well, that’s what he does. Doesn’t mean always listen. It doesn’t mean I always listen. That is what he wants. He wants us to remember the things that he’s shown us and how he’s revealed himself to us.

Jennifer Smith (23:40):

I had a really cool picture when we were filling out the notes for this podcast episode and we often talk about the analogy of the potter and the clay. I think it’s just an easy natural one to go to because the Bible talks about it, but also it’s just a really cool picture of imagining God’s hands working you like a piece of clay and how he shapes us

(24:01)
And being on, I always imagine the clay being on one of those spinning wheels and in order to shape and maneuver the clay, I was thinking about water and how a potter or an artist will dip their hand or use a sponge in some way, add moisture to the clay and the water prevents the clay from drying out. Or if there’s little cracks or mess-ups in it, it folds it back in. It just makes it moldable. I was thinking of prayer as the water, a means of connecting us to God and allowing him to shape us and mold us. It’s like the InBetween when that

Aaron Smith (24:41):

Goes back to for the husbands washing their wives with the water by the word, the water also is the word of God

Jennifer Smith (24:49):

That

Aaron Smith (24:49):

Makes us pliable. But when we seek the will of God, we’re seeking his knowledge. Like I said, when I pray in God, the Holy Spirit brings back to remembrance, things he’s already said and that’s his will. He’s like, here’s my will. I’ve shown it to you. This is what I desire. That was a really good analogy. The water making the claim moldable.

Jennifer Smith (25:11):

Yeah, it’s just the means or that in-between. And when you’re thinking about going to God and having that spiritual intimacy with him, I dunno, it’s just a really cool, it’s

Aaron Smith (25:23):

Whit between the clay and his hand, right? You’re like, oh,

Jennifer Smith (25:27):

I need to

Aaron Smith (25:27):

Meet you there. And he meets us there and he molds us. He does mold us so desiring his will. So we’re seeking his kingdom and desiring his will, which is amazing. So the question is then what is the will of God? And there’s lots of scriptures that talk about specifically what the will of God is, but I just mentioned first and foremost, his word is already revealed,

(25:54)
The will, his will to us. So we might ask ourselves, and this is often where the question comes in as like, oh, what job should I take? Or what direction should I take on the highway or at what time should I, these kind of these minute details in our lives that we want to know the quote unquote will have gotten. But often it’s a step above that, several steps above that where he’s already revealed how we should think about these things, how we should operate in these things, who we should trust in these decisions. And so it’s not as like country. Sometimes I believe the Holy Spirit speaks to someone on something specifically like that, but I think the majority of the time he’s already revealed it to us in his word. I brought up how I should treat you as a wife. That covers a multitude of scenarios in our life and direction, but there are some scriptures that specifically speak to the will of God. The first one being Romans 12, two. It says, do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. So this is a part of God’s will is being transformed so that we would also know what the will of God is

(27:12)
And we’re being transformed by our minds being renewed, which is being renewed by the Word.

Jennifer Smith (27:17):

Amen. Another one is First Thessalonians five 18. It says, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. And so having a heart of gratitude, I was just thinking about in marriage how often we are not thankful in the moment for a specific circumstance or situation, which maybe later on after we do pray or have more clarity for, we understand that we can be thankful for hard things, but kind of that immediate response to things like, are we able and capable of giving thanks in all circumstances? Do we go there with God? Can we

Aaron Smith (27:54):

Well, and this brings me back to this. Your kingdom come, your will be done on that. When we think about God’s kingdom

Jennifer Smith (28:01):

And

Aaron Smith (28:01):

His will, are you thankful? You’re like, thank you for letting me into your kingdom, for inviting me to be here. As we learned last week, last episode, being your children. You’ve made us your children, you’ve made me new, you’ve forgiven me. There’s so much we have to be thankful for, not even to count all of the personal details of our lives that we could be thankful for, but just the overall goodness of the gospel and what it has done for us that our prayers should be laden with thanksgiving. This is God’s will, Thanksgiving one Peter two 15. For this is the will of God that by doing good, you should put to silence the ignorance of the foolish people. Of foolish people. So again, his will is thanksgiving, his will is being renewed, his will is doing good. These are things that he actually desires his kingdom builders to do.

Jennifer Smith (29:02):

When I saw this verse on here, I get really sensitive. I’m a peacemaker at heart. I’m like, wait, that sounds kind of harsh. Yeah, that sounds mean. Put a silence, ignorance. But God quickly comforted me and was like, when it says put to silence the ignorance of foolish people, that’s someone who quickly responds and quickly says something out of their mouth without knowledge, without knowing, without understanding. And when they’re silent, it’s because they’re thinking about it. And so there was comfort in knowing that when you are walking in the will of God and doing good, you put them to silence because you make them think about what it is that you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and it leads them back to the Lord. And so it’s a good thing

Aaron Smith (29:43):

That is good,

Jennifer Smith (29:44):

At least that’s how I reconciled it.

Aaron Smith (29:47):

First Thessalonians four, three for this is the will of God, your sanctification, that you abstain from sexual morality, that each one of you know how to control his own body and holiness and honor not in the passions of lest like the Gentiles who do not know God, that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand, and PS solemnly warned you, for God has not called us for impurity but for holiness. So his will is that we are sanctified, and then more specifically that we’re sanctified in this area of sexual morality and holiness and lust and overall walking in self-control and purity. That’s again, another will of God

Jennifer Smith (30:32):

And a blessing for your marriage when you walk in it. Another one’s, Micah six eight. He has told you a man what is good and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God. There

Aaron Smith (30:46):

You go. You want to know what God’s will is that you would do justice, love, kindness, and walk humbly

Jennifer Smith (30:54):

Before

Aaron Smith (30:54):

God. One Timothy two through four, first of all, then I urge, lemme start over. First of all, then I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good and it is pleasing in the sight of God, our savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. So what does he desire?

Jennifer Smith (31:25):

That all people be saved and come to the knowledge

Aaron Smith (31:27):

Of the truth. And he also, he urges us that we would lift up prayers and supplications and intercessions and thanksgiving for everyone, our leaders, our kings and our friends, our parents. And then I love that in the middle of this, it says that we may lead peaceful and quiet lives, godly and dignified. That’s his will for us. So there’s many things that we may have questions about, but we can definitely know the will of God. We can look into scripture and be like, wow, okay. And if you were to just break down all of these, you can dig in and there’s probably answers to almost everything in your life in a lot of these things. Like, oh, this thing’s happening. Well, Thanksgiving, oh, but I’m not thankful. Well, his will, they’d be thankful. So we should be asking for that.

Jennifer Smith (32:17):

You had already had me bring it up earlier, but I did have in here to share Proverbs three five through six because when we’re considering God’s will and we’re praying for his will to be done in our lives and in our marriages, but even more so when we feel unclear about what his will is maybe for a specific circumstance or situation, we can pray and ask God to help us clinging to this next verse that I’m going to again and believe it and do what it says. But it’s Proverbs three five through six and it says, trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding in all your ways, acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths. And how challenging it is to our flesh sometimes to not lean on our own understanding. When we think and we’re convinced

Aaron Smith (32:55):

That

Jennifer Smith (32:55):

We know what is right, that we know what is good, that we know what is perfect even, and we’re trying to convince our spouse that our understanding is the best way we end up in turmoil, we end up in strife. And so this is just a good reminder to trust the Lord and to lean on him and to acknowledge him.

Aaron Smith (33:14):

So some questions for us to consider when we pray, what are we pursuing? Are we pursuing our kingdom, our will? Are we pursuing God’s kingdom

Jennifer Smith (33:24):

And

Aaron Smith (33:24):

His will? Are we praying that God changes our spouse and forgetting about our own hearts, our own sanctification or own transformation?

Jennifer Smith (33:34):

Or are we praying that he blesses us so we don’t ever have to face anything difficult or hard or challenging?

Aaron Smith (33:39):

Yes, I’m always praying for that. We’re not condemning these prayers, but it is good to think about when we pray these, are we still actually desiring God’s will? Are we desiring that? Like, okay, Lord, as I’m going through this, what is your will? This is hard. Oh, you want me to be thankful? Teach me how to do that. That’s really hard for me right now

Jennifer Smith (34:01):

When we come to him, are we just praying for the things that we want and desire and request of him? Or are we also praying that his will be done? Are we praying with gratitude and thanksgiving and reminding him that we trust him and that we are ready to embrace whatever he has for us?

Aaron Smith (34:19):

We’ve had some feedback years ago about our 31 prayers for my future husband and future wife books. Different people commented that as they were praying the prayers in those books, they realized they needed God to change them

Jennifer Smith (34:32):

And shape them and prepare them for their spouse.

Aaron Smith (34:35):

Because when we’ve written these books and these prayers, our intention is not just to give them like, oh, here’s all the prayers that you would probably already pray. We wanted to use it as a way of opening their eyes, opening our eyes to God’s will for us. Again, prayer changes

Jennifer Smith (34:53):

The

Aaron Smith (34:53):

Prayer. And that’s what’s pretty interesting is they would read these prayers, they’d be like, oh, I’m praying this thing, but for my future spouse that I would desire them to be. But I’m realizing I

Jennifer Smith (35:04):

Need that too. I need

Aaron Smith (35:05):

That too. I’m not that right now.

Jennifer Smith (35:07):

God,

Aaron Smith (35:07):

Help me be that.

Jennifer Smith (35:08):

Which is exactly what we’ve experienced, especially in our dating and engaged years and throughout marriage, that when we come to him with the heart of like, oh, I want this for this person that we realize we’re humbled and we recognize what we need.

Aaron Smith (35:23):

The prayer often looks like this, Lord, I see the speck in their eyes, but would you show me my log in my own? Because we forget sometimes that we have that we need to be looking at in ourselves, and often we tend to see the thing in us, so clearly in our spouse.

Jennifer Smith (35:45):

I just want to go back to the quote that we opened up with. It’s by soaring Kirky garden. It says, the function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays

Aaron Smith (35:55):

And

Jennifer Smith (35:55):

Just ask, do we believe it? Do we believe that?

Aaron Smith (35:58):

Yeah, I do.

Jennifer Smith (35:59):

Yeah.

Aaron Smith (36:01):

Yeah. We’ve talked quite a bit about this in this series already about evaluating our hearts, which I think is a good thing that we should all do as believers asking what’s in me?

Jennifer Smith (36:16):

Do we believe that our prayers can influence God? Or do you think that he just wants us to come to him, but that we desire?

Aaron Smith (36:25):

Well, I think this would go to this. Well, are we changing God? The Bible says God doesn’t change, but I think there’s a part of our relationship with God that he allows us to come to him with requests. I just think about the stories in the Old Testament where it seems as though someone praying like Moses changes God’s mind on something. And so I think by his choice and his will,

Jennifer Smith (37:00):

He

Aaron Smith (37:00):

Allows us to influence him. Again. It’s a weird thing. Holy and he’s omniscient and omnipotent and he’s all powerful and almighty, and he’s sovereign and in control and created everything. But there’s something, I don’t know how it works, but from what I’ve seen in scripture, it seems like he allows for this exchange, this engagement. I don’t know. I don’t know how, just being honest, I don’t know.

Jennifer Smith (37:29):

Something that I wanted to share is our 31 prayers for my husband and 31 prayers for our wife books have a subtitle and it says, seeing God move in his heart and seeing God move in her heart. And what’s cool about that is, yeah, I don’t know if the prayers that we pray for our spouse make God do anything different than what he’s already willed. But what it does is it opens our eyes, the prayer for the things that we’re praying to see him who’s already moving in them, to

Aaron Smith (38:01):

See how he’s moving, to

Jennifer Smith (38:02):

See how he’s moving in them. For me, when I pray for you, it opens my eyes to see all the ways that God is moving in your life.

Aaron Smith (38:12):

I like that.

Jennifer Smith (38:12):

Yeah.

Aaron Smith (38:14):

Okay, so I got some questions for us. Do we see prayer as something that we’re checking off? It’s a box. I’m a Christian and check, I did my prayer for the day. Do we see it as a

Jennifer Smith (38:28):

Try it here and there or

Aaron Smith (38:29):

Yeah, I’m going to do it only when I feel like it’s most necessary. Am I going to do it just when things are really hard

Jennifer Smith (38:36):

Or in a people pleasing way of like, I know my spouse wants me to do this, so I’m just going to do it.

Aaron Smith (38:40):

Yeah. Do you see it as a last ditch effort because everything else in your power has failed and you’re like, okay, now I’m going to try going to God?

Jennifer Smith (38:49):

Or do you pray because you truly desire to be close to God and because you want to share your heart and be known by him? Do you pray because you trust that he does hear you and that he does have the power to move?

Aaron Smith (39:04):

And we don’t ask these questions to shame anyone because we’ve all answered each one of these different ways at different times, but we’re all imperfect and in this flesh, and as believers, we have different motivations at different times for why we go to God and how we pray and the things we pray.

Jennifer Smith (39:27):

I remember my last labor and delivery was with Edith, and I had made a commitment prior to going into labor that with every contraction I was going to pray. And it was cool, and it was twofold because the contraction was a cue. Hey, pray for those that I love who are around me and also for people in the world who need God. And prayer at the time was a distraction from the pain I was experiencing.

Aaron Smith (39:52):

It’s a good analogy for life is going to, God is praying to distract us from the flesh and the things in life, but not necessarily distraction, but to focus on something else.

Jennifer Smith (40:05):

I was not even bringing it up for metaphorical reasons. I was just saying that we’re all motivated for different reasons.

Aaron Smith (40:11):

But it was a good metaphor.

Jennifer Smith (40:12):

It was a good metaphor. No, I think that it’s important to remember that our motivations and intentions matter, but they can be layered

Aaron Smith (40:22):

As

Jennifer Smith (40:22):

Well. And that God moves in us even with just the commitment to be obedient in that way to pray.

Aaron Smith (40:28):

Well, and that’s been the theme of Jesus’s teaching on prayer. The Lord’s prayer is this idea of sincerity and a trueness of relationship that we actually know God and he knows us.

Jennifer Smith (40:40):

Yeah, the word sincerity means genuineness, honesty, freedom from deceit and freedom from hypocrisy.

Aaron Smith (40:47):

Yeah. We’ve talked about all these things,

Jennifer Smith (40:48):

Honesty and intention, and in communicating earnestness, when I was looking at the word sincerity, I really feel like this is to answer the question, what am I pursuing when I pray? It’s like, well, you should be praying with sincerity. The Wikipedia, it was talking about the Latin word for its ris, meaning clean, pure, and sound, which I like that. And it may have once meant one growth, which I thought was cool. One growth. Interesting. I don’t know what that means. It’s just how they take the root words of things and

Aaron Smith (41:25):

Put

Jennifer Smith (41:26):

Them together. But I like the word growth in there when you’re talking about sincerity and prayer. And I dunno, it was exciting to me when I wrote it down. Okay, there was this one little part that said there was controversy to this portion, but I thought it was really cool in talking about in sincerity. Okay, so let me try and make sense of this for you guys. I’m just going to read it. And often repeated folk, ophthalmology proposes that sincere is derived from the Latin sign is that sign ss i m e

Aaron Smith (41:59):

Sin.

Jennifer Smith (41:59):

Sin or sign, which equals without Sarah equals wax.

Aaron Smith (42:06):

It’s without wax.

Jennifer Smith (42:07):

Without wax. According to one popular explanation, dishonest sculptors in Rome or Greece would cover flaws in their work with wax to deceive the viewer. Therefore, a sculpture without wax would be one that was honestly represented. And later on it went on to say that there were these sculptures that were given that had wax on them to grease, and they melted in the sun. So they were

Aaron Smith (42:39):

Totally revealed to be frauds revealed.

Jennifer Smith (42:40):

To be frauds. Yeah. So again, there’s some controversy to what this means, but I thought it was really interesting to see how just the correlation between a sculpture and having this part of them that’s not actually real or a part of it being with wax.

Aaron Smith (42:59):

Yeah, I think that makes sense. Again, this is a controversy. This is not necessarily, it’s saying that this is folklore. It’s

Jennifer Smith (43:09):

Been talked about.

Aaron Smith (43:09):

Yeah, maybe it came from this idea, but I like the picture of it. This is something, and we’ve talked about this earlier on in the first handful, first couple of episodes of this series of hypocrisy and coming to God with a mask on, I’m going to show you only the sides that I want to show you. I’m going

Jennifer Smith (43:28):

To

Aaron Smith (43:28):

Pretend to be something

Jennifer Smith (43:29):

Exactly where they were using the wax to cover up flaws and cracks and things. We can’t do that when we go to God. We have to be honest and sincere. We have to be truthful just like we want our spouse to be in marriage.

Aaron Smith (43:42):

And that’s when we come to God in sincerity. Then what we’re doing is we’re revealing those imperfections because that’s what we are, and asking the creator to fix them to work on us like the clay.

Jennifer Smith (44:00):

So our encouragement for you guys today in answering this question, what are we pursuing when we pray? Pursue prayer with an honest and sincere heart and start by asking the Lord for his will to be done

Aaron Smith (44:15):

And His kingdom

Jennifer Smith (44:15):

And his kingdom, especially when it comes to our marriages. So at the end of every episode, we end with a prayer. And so we thought it would be awesome to end with this one from the Marriage Gift. It’s 2 54 and it’s titled The Posture of Our Hearts.

Aaron Smith (44:33):

Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of another day to live a life of worship, praising you with our actions and our words. Will you direct our eyes to notice all the moments you give us today to make right our posture before you and before each other? Holy Spirit, will you work in our hearts making them pleasing and honoring to you? May the posture of our hearts be humble and sincere. Lord, remove any pride and selfishness that creeps up in us. Give us deep consideration for one another, being thoughtful to check in with each other. Make us a couple who listens with pure compassion and grace. Help us seek to benefit one another in any way we can. Lord, we ask for a supernatural understanding of each other. Give us the gift of being keen on how each other is doing so that we may know each other well and bless each other if we are in conversation and hear something that stirs up anger. Encourage us to evaluate the posture of our hearts. May we address our emotions and work them out with self-control. Lord, please help us to walk righteously and humbly trusting you in all your ways. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. And the verse that goes with this is Proverbs three, five. Trust in the Lord with all your heart

(45:43)
And do not lean on your own understanding. So we just hope that this has blessed you. We have a few more episodes in this series, so keep on the lookout for the next three episodes and we’ll see.

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