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September 18, 2022 8:00 pm
Could prayer change more than you think? Authors Michael & Melissa Kruger get practical about the how, why, and what of praying for your spouse.
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So some listener wrote in the family life today okay to share their thoughts on our broadcast and he had a question because you and I and we were talking about praying together is America, while important it is and he said where in the Bible does it say that a husband and wife should pray together and what you say I said my wife will tell you so that you welcome to family life to day where we want to help you pursue relationships that matter most and Wilson Dave Wilson and you can find this if it we live today.com or on our family life. His family life today. I outweigh well that's pray without ceasing.
There's a lot about prayer, but doesn't say anywhere that husband and wife should pray, you know, I don't know I just know we we get to really smart people live today who I think can answer this question together laughing right out but Michael and Melissa Kruger are in the studio from North Carolina so welcome in Orlando. Welcome to family life today. Thanks so much for God to be here and you do have written a book together about prayer.
So I figure you get answer this question as I like to say the name of the book is five things to pray for your spouse prayers that change and strengthen your marriage so first I would like to start here, why write a prayer book together. That's a good question, and in this book is actually to help you pray for your spouse. Use it to play with your spouse, but I think we all know that we want to pray for our spouse, but sometimes we don't even know what to pray. We get stuck in the same prayer will bless my husband will bless my husband yes let work that well today was Lord change my yeah I mean I think part of it is also also autobiographical mean you think people get the impression that willbetter than they do. And then the truth is we all struggle pray and so was and I look for a tool to help us think about a pray for each other with each other and there's many good tools out there, but we want to put something together that was more concrete particles for step-by-step can people plan to think about prayer and sometimes using double knowledge to get where you need to be tough to pray and so we've been using the book, and so on and also about humor selfish locally, so we wrote of ourselves and now we want to share with others and we hope the bus by him.
Is that something that is like a struggle for you to because in some sense you look your bio and your like you're the president of reformed theological seminary or an author. Both of your authors you written books your leaders in the Christian community here yet with the leader of one of the best seminaries in the world that I say that right in some ways people would think our pastors are leaders.
They don't struggle to pray special intermarriage like everybody else's expense on the easy for you sent me struggle with. I think for human just like everyone else and say taking the time to be still and just go before the Lord and ask the Lord to do what we cannot do such a discipline for everyone and I think sometimes when you are used to getting things done yourself you think you can even get things done in your marriage like 00 you pray about that. I just need to fix him and fix me or we just need to have maybe a date night to talk about this or we just need to have a family summit to talk about this or whatever it might be and sometimes we forget the most basic thing to pray for one another faithfully over the long course of life and it's just a hard discipline and so what I love to do is to help make hard things a little easier and said this for me is really helpful and it's already been really providential because to be honest this is been, hard week for us and all the prayers that I was on for him this week where I'm from Psalm 121 on how the Lord is watching over him and that he will not let his foot stumble as he was praying this prayers that we had written months ago so you took some Asam that you wrote a prayer out of that yes, your spouse, yes, and it's you write it word for word. Yes that's right for every prayer in this book as a springboard from some Scripture passage is helping us combine Scripture which we know okay these are good things to pray for our spouse and then it gives us some words to make it. You know, applicable to our situation and just this week, they were the perfect words I needed to pray. All I want to hear about this week is that it was hard week locks are so busy and complicated, and there's a variety of things. It can in leadership struggles with. But, but we just love having a per tool this week and really anyway just to turn to when we need it and we love the structural focus on what is most was saying this expositional prayers yeah no it's wanting to just write your prayers were trying to use Scripture is the God and so each time you pray in our book we give you a positive Scripture and then we break it in the five things about your spouse. You can pray for based on a positive Scripture, not just the title of the book. Five things to price the roles control based prayers, and that we love.key people in the word is much as gives an impression of the bond. He said he ever got to this point because this happened to us.
I hope you already. We try to pay before we go to sleep at night and I love that we started our marriage doing that, but then we got in this pattern because were so busy were exhausted with kids, our lives are stressful and date of sleep before I do, and so he fell asleep. And because we can pray and so then I may feel these I turned everything in my next that was. I see how important prayer is he supposed to lead spiritually.
Come on David, and so I would even pray because I thought his job was so convicted I thought who wins in that situation. Nobody Satan one because he's the one that would love us to not pray for our spouse and so I remember I just started if they fell asleep. I just put my hand on his shoulder and I just pray for and thanking God for them out loud talk to women that get resentful if their husbands are leading the way. Absolutely resonated with everything you said.
I think we sometimes wrongly think of her husband that he spits to lead in every way spiritually right rather than viewing our marriage as a really blessed union of two people bringing their gifts to the table and so I sometimes I think wrongly early in our marriage would put all of the spiritual lump on his forgetting that God has created his body.
He's given me spiritual gifts he's given him spiritual gifts and I like to do some things that are very daily. Organizationally select I have actually written the prayer cards for our family for how we pray each morning to get our family for years I would've just been sitting around mad. He wasn't doing it and you do it because that your gift that's right you, not me taking charge and helping our family and serving in the ways God has gifted me and I think if you're a woman he's kind of feeling that maybe just saying.
Maybe this is what that's gifted me to do versus always expecting them to do every part of the spiritual leadership claim, and what I came to realize if God put it on my heart and don't be resentful. Michael is a good thing for your merchantmen did you like that Melissa's doing out or was it like oh no it's it's wonderful mean and she's right in earlier years. I think we had this roof overly rigid view of roles in such a way that we week we knew the husband should should be the leader had a home was that was fine and true course we still believe that but I think we got a very simplistic version of what that meant. That meant that every spiritual activity I had to initiate start finish and sort of Ron and she just sort of patiently sat waiting for me to do it all on him and then and then what it didn't happen. Obviously she was a well, you're just dropping the ball here and am a lot older like, and so I think we just begin to sort of realize what a second marriage is more dynamic than that it's it's not so simplistic as and she's right about what you do.
So sometimes it's fine just a pray for your spouse initiate by putting cars goes, I lets do this every morning and I think that also just releases the pressure little bit small for like it's all one person inside. I been so blessed to murder because she is just gracious and aware of these things and then good for her, not waiting on me because we promised to learn to be married to someone actually in the ministry. They bear that pressure everywhere and they walk into all the time everywhere in either the family dinner guest to pray him every single room. They walk and they have expectations within the home. I can help in any way one when I want to help you because I do really feel for for men in ministry because they're leading everywhere so it's nice for him to be a place where we can come together and just to serve one another in love versus me having all these unrealistic expectations for him back to the prayer cards talk about those.
What are those, yeah, I actually love these. We it's it's been the way to help our family.
Pray together so we meet everyone at the kitchen table, sometimes barely this is every morning yeah yeah teenagers, we do well realized early on with care anyways. Kids do not know what's happening in any other home than yours. The other families let you get up in person like they really never complained about it down the table and each each day. We pray for a different member of the family so nice just to say hey John, how can we pray for you today and somehow you get here things that were quite on and so you get to hear that and we pray for a leader in our lives that could be our pastors at church could be the school principals.
It could be our bosses to be the government yeah are things that the Bible tells us to pray for. We pray for a missionary family that we support every morning and say this just ways even teach them about prayer through doing and so it's just a simple way that we can check off all the people we've aligned, pray for, but the sometimes get overwhelmed is just a little bit each day.
So we pray for the fact that hungry kids well. He went in different phases. So the morning prayer time started when cooked a little older school, but when they were younger we did at night so I should do devotionals of the kids are right before bed because the owner but about the same time right so PPM or whatever would be. We gathered together in a four bedroom loft Johnson client got to have a break and I did that with the kids every night the course of the Asian activities of different things that the night thing wasn't working. So we shipped it to morning ominous work from fairly well. I'll be there very morning.
We know that is another sleep yard. It's a good time to sit down thing we learned is that sometimes parents get excited about how to implement these prayer times and devotional times in our family life and to get a little overly ambitious.
Well have a 45 Bible study.
My teenagers every morning and work through some systematic theology in their old enough to leave, leave almost all meal summary level education on what will appreciate shooting hard for your gold is also on the list of goals. It realize you can't meet the need to stop doing entirely sore morning per time is not ambitious talk about 10 minutes of face-to-face prayer time for somebody before you get out the door. It doesn't seem like much, but it does make a big difference but I'm guessing you did it when there really little to sell their product crawl around.
It's messy and a lot of parents give up and that mullets like this is too hard to do what you just pledge to ruin my right. It just looks different, but it's still worth doing yeah it's it's the it's the memory that clicks with the kids and any individual per moment may not be smooth and in all that you wished it would be when they leave home that they still get the impression that my family prayed together and it matter to them and take the value. It's interesting when art one of our sons went on a mission trip in college. They just happened to be on the road and the ambulance went by in one of the students in and say hey we should pray for that. Whoever that ambulance is going to work on and so they prayed and somebody in the Vance was amazing that we just did that and our son came home and said what I realized was like oh that's not normal that we just pray all the time for anybody.
It's kind of what you are saying Melissa is that this was so normal they did know the people didn't do that and so I like that it just becomes a rhythm in your life, and this is what we do, that's really good strategy. One of the things I you know is we been in marriage ministry for almost 4 decades now, a lot of couples when you talk about you know some that would really help your marriage is to pray together. Weatherby day we we encourage daily. They look at you like they've never done it and they don't understand why that would be beneficial when you think why does it help a marriage or how does it help emerge whelming prayers person on those things and it doesn't mean you can pray with your neighbor and pray with a stranger prayed with the from the church.
But there is something intimate about it that makes you vulnerable and makes you, hopefully you know open real about what's going on your life and busy marriages. You know couples need time were they hear from each other and share what's on your heart and times of intimacy and it is be.
She's not just romantic and see what intimacy is also just life intimacy and in a busy life you still have it is not the same as sitting down for dinner and have a date night all that's important to you can talk about lots of things but prayer you just go get zips right out of the heart. You have to merely say what I pray for you about what you struggle with and it opens up important doors in marriage. I think that's one of the things it makes personal important for marriages adjoins the two people together sitting here thinking this is why it's home high just because I get to know day. Here is hard.
I feel closer to the Internet and does not stop because that fear something not that women are praying more than men that might be amenable think I think it's a jungle rule to say men maybe generally struggle with intimacy more than women, so I don't think that's a surprising one here and maybe man, you could argue or less to open up and be more real words, women may be more apt to do that will support your generalizations regardless of any particular person's personality a couple needs to be able to join together in that way for sure and purchased a way to do it so you know anything about what makes my marriage strong. Well, you could say the romance my wife date my wife know do things like invoice gifts.
Okay, those are all important categories, but prayer people forget that can actually really think there is somewhat of a fear I know our listeners of her to say this, I will go to the details, but there was a moment in our marriage work, and said to me as a as a pastor and as her husband.
I wish the man who led our church lived here that was a Sunday night 11 PM, and when I got really mad at you glad you didn't hear that Lenny and I'm exhausted. I just preached all morning and I sort of look at what is that mean and bottom-line profit for good you because it was poor timing on my part. You had just done so much. But here's what I remember as I wrote up. I remember one of the things you said there were many 11:30 PM, but one of them was the way you pray and cast vision on the stage at church with passion and inspiration. It's inspiring feels like you don't.
I think she said ever. But you price that you rarely bring that kind of prayer and vision in your home because so honestly she was sent man that guy is like you two different guys and in some ways it's what you said earlier Melissa's like in ministry by doing every meeting every room. I walk in assorted part of my role. I wanted a place to go. Can I just let it down, but at same time when she said I thought she deserves the best. Why, when I bring that kind of energy but part of me is like it's easier for me to center stage and pray publicly when I'm in a bedroom or kitchen. It is just us, or maybe even our family. It shouldn't be any harder, but sometimes it's like this is more intimate, you know what you're saying and so sometimes I don't know if it's just a man thing that I think men and women but deftly for me is like I could be that it takes more courage to be that intimate because prayer is an intimate thing to do just quietly in my home five should ask their husbands that yeah and even just asked them to pray because I think sometimes that I have not speaking for you in this instance.
Sometimes I think while you know prayer is effective you live like I should actually do something to help her.
Yeah, I mean it's actually the thing. Yes, you felt was possible that maybe prayer isn't good enough you will be discussing a problem. I can tell you want to fix it all better for me and so one thing I would just encourage any men with with wives. It really does help if you just say can we pray about this.
That may make you feel like you're not doing enough I think to women that just makes us feel lives, but I think sometimes it's just that it doesn't feel like enough and yet it really is amazing what just sitting together praying can do. How does that make a woman feel loved. I mean I hear you. My wife said the same thing I want to understand how does that compute it's just this unselfish. I love you and I'm gonna go before the Lord of all the heavens and earth who can do something about this and it's actually acknowledging maybe I can't but God can. And so I am going to with you hand-in-hand seek him together and just pray that he would work the situation out and I think just acknowledgment that we don't have the answers. In some ways.
Prayer does that it says yeah I think of the king and its Cameron which which Violet sent. I love the president of the seven areas wife does remember what book are you omniscient. You just like this coming testified against them. He says we do not know what to do but arise on anything. All of us sometimes feel like were facing circumstances that we really don't know how to deal with but to take your wife by the hand and say hey I don't know it to do this but arise on God mean that that's there's a strength in that vulnerability that is so admirable. It makes me respect Dave all the more because I think he believes this prayer is working.
He believes God hears. He believes God's going to move and that makes me want to just be right there with him.
If Davis ever said let's pray I'm there like yes I'm there is never said no. I think the thing to highlights addressing public per private prayer both have their place in both matter, but private prayer is much harder to fake private prayer requires genuineness, intimacy in a way you can's report of a public prayer, and only knows what you mean or not, but let me perjure kids they can spot a fake of my there like they got in the true like to have like a six cents rate like hypocrisy from like 100 miles. So if you're not in it.
I know your your spouse knows so pray together, breaks you out of that little bit where you can't get away with the upfront missile that you have to be real and I think that's what brings you what I'm wondering what it would look like for our country if we as spouses were praying for each other. Switching change because the cultures having such an impact, and fear is just bombarding us and anxiety. There's a lot of scary things going on in the world right now and so to pray for our spouse to change is not only a family and household but whole generation mean one of the strategies we have with the book is prayers worth doing in its own right, praying with your spouse is a way to strengthen marriages that we could all agree that the strength of a marriage is gonna be great. When was the church that make the church strong well lots ways that one always make marriages in the church, strong all the way to make America strong is to help people pray for the spouse with his mother. The could have a ripple effect in the church in such a way that if you can strengthen these marriages across the board. You may have a healthier church in America and in the world in a way that they really can make a difference and so I think that's the strategy here is praying and in couples because it really does change the marriage. So I'm wondering Melissa not all this for us. When you pray for Michael of think it will give us an example can some paper like I've never seen didn't grow up with this like this look like you're listening to David and Wilson with Michael and Melissa Kruger on family life to will hear Melissa's prayer in just a minute, but first a quick question. How would you rate your marriage on a scale from 1 to 10. Be honest.
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So don't wait visit family life to a.com, find a date and location that works for you and save 50%. Your marriage is worth it right now. Here's Melissa Kruger, modeling how to pray for your spouse, father, I think you that I can come before you, thank you that you welcome us to your throne room of grace and that you say we can come boldly because you are merciful, so I thank you that I can come and pray for Mike and what I do pray I pray the words of Psalm 121 that he would know that you are a God, she does not sleep that you neither slumber nor sleep and that you are watching over him in love. Each day in order pray that you would keep his feet from falling, that you would keep him from stumbling that you would allow him to walk walk in a manner worthy of the gospel order pray that you would do that for him and Laura just also pray that you would protect him and keep him safe from troubles and from hardships that when they calm, he would lean more into you and trust you in all things. What I thank you that we can bring all of our requests before you in order pray for him today and just pray for all of us as we are wives and husbands and we seek to love our spouses make us perfect people in your name we pray you been listening to David Anne's conversation with Michael and Melissa Kruger on family life there book is called five things to pray for your spouse and will send you a copy when you give any amount email@example.com. If you know anyone who needs to hear today's conversation.
Be sure to share it from wherever you get your podcasts and while you're there a simple way you can help more families discover God's plan for marriage and families is by leaving a rating and review for family life to David Tanner join tomorrow with Larry Fowler and Tim Kimball about raising kids with the faith that lasts. Join us then on behalf of David and Wilson. I'm Shelby. We'll see you back next time for another edition of family life to family life today is a production of family life accrued ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most