â€œAnd though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand himâ€”a threefold cord is not quickly broken.â€ (Ecclesiastes 4:12 ESV)
One of the many benefits which my wife and I have received from the DOXOLOGY training program has been the gift of prayer. Kathryn and I were able to have a wonderful dinner and conversation with an Australian pastor and theologian named Dr. John Kleinig. He is best known in our parish for his delightful book, Grace Upon Grace.
As Kathryn and I sat and talked with him, he asked me about my book, and specifically about the struggle that I had with prayer while I was sick and on disability. We talked, and then he told us what he and his wife have been doing for many years. Theyâ€™ve made several resolutions about their common life together. Here are some of them:
- Always go to bed at the same time. This insures that eventually or generally, you end up on the same wake/sleep schedule. It helps a marriage if you arenâ€™t two ships passing in the night, living parallel lives.
- Talk about the day, especially that made you rejoice, and what challenges or temptations you had. This helps you to stay focused on one another and your actually needs, not simply on talking about the weather, the children, the schedule, etc.
- Finally, pray out loud for one another each night in the presence of your spouse. The point of this is that it focuses your life upon the life of your spouse. You know that your needs are heard by your spouse and by God Himself. It helps you to know what to actually do to help your spouse, because they have told you what is going on.
So Kathryn and I started doing this in September 2009, and I can hardly begin to tell you what kind of a blessing it has been to our marriage and our family. We are more aware of one another, we are more relaxed, and we know that for at least one little snippet of time each day, we are together and in Christ. It has helped us to focus on the needs of each of our children, of our family at large and on our brothers and sisters here at Messiah.
Why not try it? It doesnâ€™t have to be long or complicated. It can be as simple as â€œGod bless Kathryn. Give her a night of sleep. Help our children to rest so that they and we may rise in the morning to serve you.â€ You may be amazed at what God can do.
Yours in Christ,