Day 355: Weekly Prayer: Your Purpose

January 10, 2013

For day 355, I read and prayed through chapter 13 of Omartian’s The Power of a Praying Husband, called “Her Purpose.” When Omartian asked various women what they wanted their husbands to pray for regarding their purpose, they answered that they wanted prayer that they would understand God’s purpose for their life, that they would be able to recognize their gifts and talents, that they would be the wife God wants them to be, that they would be a wife deserving of honor and respect, that they would be the wife their husbands need them to be, that they would use their gifts to help others, and that they would fulfill God’s call on their lives. I prayed for all of these things for you on day 355, and more.

If you don’t recognize your gifts and talents, I do (at least some of the many). You’re very artistic, you are great with our kids, you’re good with people, you can tolerate me, you know how to handle me, and you do a great Irish jig.

In addition, I think you’re just the wife God wants you to be. Though you’re imperfect, you’re growing, and you’re already a tremendous marriage partner.

You deserve honor and respect as well, for trudging with me through years of graduate school, for putting up with me through my slow character growth, for shining as a light with our girls, and for making life fun. I just hope I give you the honor and respect you deserve.

I’ve seen you use your gifts for others. The time and energy that you invest in our children is a prime example. Though you’ve desired to go back to school, you’ve put that aside in order to focus on our children. Since you’re so great with them, the investment has been paying off very well.

Whatever God’s “call” or “purpose” for your life is, you’re honoring him by doing and being all of the above. I pray that you would acknowledge him in all your ways so that he makes your path straight.

 

 

 


Day 329: Weekly Prayer: Your Priorities

September 19, 2012

You have a lot of relationships in your life that you need to foster—your relationship with me, God, our children, our church, your friends, and your family and mine. Some of these relationships have priority over others and maintaining that proper balance can be tough!

For act 329, I read and prayed through the chapter on priorities in The Power of a Praying Husband. Omartian talked about the importance of living a balanced life, giving appropriate attention to your relationships, your spiritual life, your responsibilities, yourself, etc. I prayed that you would be able maintain a good balance in your life, but I focused on praying that you would maintain a good balance in and give appropriate priority to the various relationships in your life.

I prayed that you would give your relationship with God priority over every other relationship. I prayed that you would put me next and the kids after that. From there, I prayed that you would have time to foster good relationships with other people in your life. I can help with that by providing opportunities for you to be with others.

I think you do a great job in this area. I pray that you would grow even more.


My Third Guest Post

August 22, 2012

Below is my final guest post for Power of the Home. I hope you enjoy it!

For this final post, I’d like to discuss some of the ways that 365 Acts of Love has shaped my relationship with and understanding of God.

(1) First off, through 365 Acts of Love, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of Christ’s sacrifice for me. Before 365, I could tell you all about Christ’s sacrifice—what he accomplished through it, what that meant for me, how that should affect the way I live, etc. I even had an idea of what it was like for him to go through such a sacrifice since I myself had made some (minor) self-sacrifices.

But through 365, I sacrificed more deeply for another person than I ever had before. It forced me to make huge changes to my day, and even my lifestyle, in order to love my wife. Those sacrifices gave me a deeper experiential knowledge of the nature of sacrifice, and consequently, a deeper understanding of what Christ went through in dying for myself and others.

Furthermore, the personal and tangible nature of my sacrifices made me realize how personal and tangible Christ’s sacrifice was. Christ, a real person, gave up his position in heaven to suffer and die in space and time on my behalf. He felt the pain of whips, the weight of the cross, and the sting of nails; the pain of wrath, the weight of sin, and the sting of betrayal. Compared to his sacrifice, mine are negligible. Even so, Christ’s sacrifice for me has become more real as I’ve experienced some of the pain (and joy) of serving my wife.

(2) I’ve grown deeper in my relationship with God. Because 365 is such a huge project, I’ve really had to rely on God to get through it. As part of that, I’ve been driven to prayer over and over and over this year which in turn has drawn me closer to God. I’m not saying that my relationship with him is perfect: I have such a long way to go that it’s not even funny (seriously, I’m not laughing right now). But at least I’ve made some progress.

(3) Finally, 365 Acts of Love has helped me view God less as an abstract, impersonal object and more as a person.

Before I explain this, allow me to give you a little of my backstory. I grew up in a Christian home, but it took me a while to make my faith my own. When I got to college, I realized that I didn’t have much evidence for thinking that Christianity is true. Naturally, doubts about my belief system cropped up in my mind. I eventually realized that I needed to investigate the truth claims of Christianity for myself to determine whether or not I should keep believing in it.

After much investigation, which involved some serious sacrifices of time and money for my wife and me, it seemed to me that Christianity was true. So I continued to believe in it. Even so, accepting it had more to do with accepting certain propositions as true than it did with developing a relationship with God. Furthermore, I think I (unintentionally) viewed God himself as more of a proposition or a concept than a person.

Over time, though, God became more personal to me as I attempted to grow closer to him. This relates to my blog in the following way. 365 Acts of Love expedited my transition from viewing God as a concept to viewing him as a person. It seems that a catalyst for this change stemmed from the fact that I began to view my wife more like a person, which was a result of 365 Acts of Love. Basically, 365 forced me to treat my wife with more respect and show her more love—that is, it forced me to treat her more like a person. As it did this, I began viewing her more like a person. And somehow, this affected my view of God. I really began to see him as someone with reason and emotions and desires and a will, as someone I could relate to. I don’t know why the change in perspective toward my wife changed my perspective of God, but it did.

Overall, I can’t believe how far-reaching the effects of 365 Acts of Love have been. And I’m sure it has been more effective than I realize and will continue affecting things for the better. I’m so thankful that I chose to do it.


Day 246: Piper Sermon

June 2, 2012

In my attempt to learn more about what God requires of husbands, on Thursday I listened to John Piper’s sermon called “God’s Showcase of Covenant-Keeping Grace.” In it, Piper claims that I, as a husband, should show you grace since God in Christ showed me grace. In addition, he claimed that if I make gratitude for God’s grace a focal point of my life, it will be easier for me to be gracious to you.

Whenever I sin–whenever I act pridefully, selfishly, in lust, with anger, or whatever–I betray God by denying him his rightful place as king over my life. I essentially tell the king of all things that he cannot be king of my heart. And the penalty for such betrayal is death. Well, Christ took my penalty upon himself and made me right with the king. Given that, I should live in gratitude to God and in recognition of his grace.

When you commit something against me or irk me in some way, how can I not show you grace when I’ve been granted grace abundance? If I’ve been forgiven such a debt, how can I not forgive you your debts?

On Thursday night, you did something to make us late to a dinner party. I was incredibly irked by that and let you know–almost the entire way to the party. Even as I did, though, Piper’s sermon was in the back of my mind. Finally, I was able to calm myself down and ask for your forgiveness for getting so upset.

It’s unbelievable how perturbed I can get by the small things you do against me when God forgave me for the cosmically wretched things I’ve done against him. May I eventually be so grateful for God’s grace that I cannot help but show you grace.


Day 243: Weekly Prayer

May 31, 2012

This is the third week that I’ve done a special prayer session for our marriage since I committed to praying for our marriage. May God work through these prayers to bring mighty changes to our marriage for his glory.


Day 235: Special Prayer Session #2

May 24, 2012

For my 235th act of love, I completed my second special session of prayer. I decided that I’ll make these once-a-week sessions 15 minutes long. That’s it–just 15 minutes per week dedicated to praying for our marriage. At least it’s a start. And at least it’s consistent.

In my prayer, I first thought of qualities of yours that I really appreciate, using Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, then I thanked God for you and for instilling those qualities in you. Then I prayed through Ephesians 5:25-33, asking God to make me the kind of husband who’d be willing to sacrifice his life for his wife (i.e., you!) and the kind of husband who sacrifices himself on a daily basis for the purpose of his wife’s success. I’d say this was a good start to my new tradition.


Day 230: Commitment to Prayer

May 22, 2012

Consistent prayer for our marriage is one of the most important things I can do to change our marriage for the better. And such change is the purpose of 365 Acts of Love. Accordingly, it’s very curious that I don’t consistently pray for our marriage.

To remedy this, I’m committing to having a special session of prayer for our marriage once a week, which sessions will serve as acts of love for the blog. I’ll keep this up at least until 365 is finished. Having said that, I intend to pray for our marriage every day, but the special sessions will be once a week.

For this week’s prayer session, I prayed (among other things) that God would make you well. You apparently caught my sickness.

 


Days 213, 214, & 215: Prayer, Continued

May 3, 2012

For these acts, I continued to pray for our marriage. Each day, I got down on my knees and prayed the same kinds of things I prayed on day 212.

I ought to commit to praying for our marriage every day. The sooner the better. It’s been our habit of late to, on a daily basis, read the Scriptures and pray together. Perhaps we can incorporate prayer for our marriage into those times.


Day 212: On My Knees to Love You

April 29, 2012

Since my brother and his family will be here for the weekend, I decided to keep 365 things simple: for the next few days, I’m going to pray for our marriage for my acts of love. Even though that’s simple, it’s one of the most important things I can do to love you and to help our relationship.

On Friday, then, I (literally) got down on my knees in our living room and sought help for our marriage from my heavenly Father. Nothing I prayed was new or exciting, but everything I prayed was important. I asked God to give me the grace I need to love you sacrificially, to give me a passion for you, to protect our marriage from infidelity, to make us people of integrity, and to do all this for his glory. In asking for these things, I’m not implying that I don’t need to do anything to bring them about. In fact, I anticipate doing some dang hard work.

I don’t expect that our marriage will be successful if we pray for it intermittently (though God can use many means to accomplish his ends). Instead, it’ll come from (among other things) daily and sincere cryings out to the only true God. In this light, I hope that prayer for our marriage doesn’t (simply) occur as an act of love through this blog, but is such a part of our lives that we can’t imagine living without it.


Day 176: Praying with You

March 24, 2012

Lately, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with and inadequate for the demands of being a good husband and father. The truth is, on my own I am inadequate for these demands.

So, for my act of love, I lead us in prayer for our marriage and family. We prayed that God would make us people of integrity who do his will over our own. That we would love God more than ourselves or each other and that this, in turn, would increase our love for each other. We prayed that because of our love for each other, we would put each other’s needs over our own and that we would sacrifice for each other. We prayed for strength to raise our kids in a way that honors God and for patience with and love for them. Finally, we prayed that God would bring glory to his name through all of this. May these things be so, dear Lord.