Do We Really Give a Care… or a Prayer?

Read through to the end to hear an amazing story of perpetual prayer.

Jeremiah 33: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

I recently attended a prayer meeting called a “solemn assembly.” It’s named solemn as the needs in the community and around the globe are many and serious. We broke off into small groups and were given specific prayer topics.

Topics included prayer for strong marriages, local government officials, schools, addictions, churches, neighbors, farmers and small businesses, etc.

As with most prayer meetings, it began with a time of worship and repentance, and concluded with a time of worship.

Strange thing is that the solemn nature turned to outright celebration during the worship in the end, at which we collectively marvelled.

What’s the reason we went from solemn to celebratory, regardless of how the prayers are answered? We know the ending and the One who holds the future, of course!

We know how the story ends. We know there is hope and justice and eternal peace and celebration. We believe in the power of prayer.

Persevering in Prayer: For What Do We Really Care?

Certainly, as Christians we can all relate to peaks and valleys in our personal prayer life, but we’re going to deal a bit more with corporate prayer as well here.

As a school teacher and church goer, I have a former pet peeve, partly because I’m just as much to blame. On Labor Day Sundays, we would have a special prayer time at the service, praying for our churched kids to be salt and light when they went back to public schools for a new year, and that was that. No more corporate prayer on the topic until the next year’s Labor Day Sunday.

We regularly pray for that which we really care! In the latter example, did we really care that our students were so bright and “flavorful” that they attracted others to Christ, or that they maintained their own faith?

Our church went through a strategic planning process with an authorized, legitimate strategic church planning company. Initially, it involved some heavy assessment and scrutiny regarding our present condition. It induced or generated our core values. I recall being on the board and devastated that prayer wasn’t one of our core values. I felt like we should close the doors (or at least make prayer a projected core value!).

The Truth Project from Focus on the Family has a slogan: “Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?” The main point being that if you really believe in something, then it will affect the way you live your life, whether privately or publicly.

I think the same could be said for prayer. Yes of course if you really believe in the power of prayer, then you’ll pray. But just as importantly, whatever is really important will be the topic of your prayers.

We had a professor at seminary who challenged us once with, “We don’t really care for the lost like we say we do. If we think hell is real and the stranger at the mall is going to hell, then we’d be in a constant state of prayer right then and there!”

1 Thessalonians 5:  17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Pray without ceasing? That’s a challenge. But one we must strive to achieve.

Power of Prayer

I taught with a colleague who claimed that her youth group produced an inordinate amount of pastors and missionaries. I asked her the secret formula of this youth group. A superstar youth pastor? Her claim was that a group of adults committed to praying earnestly and regularly for the spiritual strength and endurance of those youth.

Our church supports missionary families in central America. These self-sacrificing families develop programs and self-sustaining businesses with youth at a Bible college. They also arrange short-term trips for traveling groups like us in our church.

There is an amazing testimony at their campus. There is a prayer tower or fortress that houses a 24-hour prayer vigil which has proceeded non-stop since October 31, 1998. Perpetual prayer for nearly twenty years!

No wonder they have invaded Latin America and beyond with the gospel to the youth and all ages!

Philippians 4:  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

From the Savior, Master Teacher and Great Physician Jesus, who knows what’s best for us:

 Matthew 21:  22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.

In conclusion, we don’t need to fret about praying about the proper topics or saying the right words. We have supernatural help in prayer endeavors:

Romans 8:  26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Whatever the reasons or whatever the answers to prayer, the theology is that our God desires our prayers. We have the privilege to talk to the Creator of all life. He doesn’t shut the door, and He keeps the prayer lines open. No matter the circumstances, persevere in prayer.

Matthew 7:  “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.     

Diabolical Deeds: Terror at the Ariane Grande Concert

This article may appear out of step with regular themes viewed here on faith and family, however there may be none more relevant. For out of the slime of this story, what do parents teach or tell their kids?

Modern atheists deny the existence of evil. Seriously? Many don’t believe in a good or a dark supernatural realm. Really? Then what unfortunate mix of time + chance + matter produced the kind of act that targeted as many young girls as possible for shock value?

That was the desired effect of the suicide bomber and terrorist plotters that killed twenty-two and injured over fifty in Manchester, England on May 22, 2017.

“It’s intended to shock,” said William McCants, a senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and an authority on the Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the Manchester assault. “You get maximum fear by attacking a vulnerable population: kids.” ( Insidious Twist on Terror Attack Victims: Teens and Young Girls with Mothers in Tow).

So out of the darkness of this story, what do parents teach or tell their kids?

For example, one mom who took her unharmed but concert-going fifteen-year-old daughter to a vigil the next day said, “I brought her here because she needs to process what has happened. She needs to grieve. This is the world we live in now. We have to face up to it.” ( Manchester Bombing Investigation Focuses on ‘Network’)

That seems like a good, even wise, starting point. This is the world we live in now. We have to face up to it. Let’s aim to solve a bit more of the detail behind how to do so.

There is no intention to point fingers at ideologies here. Free stock photo of woman, girl, cross, awarenessHow could I single out one ideology after spending several years on an anti-slavery education and awareness team, learning that the evil of men from all ideologies and backgrounds fuels the human-trafficking world. It fuels it with an increasing diabolical demand for adult slaves, youth, children…and infants.

Jesus describes what it will be like on earth when He returns to bring everlasting peace and justice.

Matt. 24:37  But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

What was it like in the days of Noah?

Gen. 6:5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Does that sound like the world we live in now? Does that not sound like men desiring little children and going on business or vacation trips to seek them out? Does it describe the diabolical desire to mutilate, disfigure, and destroy the innocent?

The first thing I said to my class of 11 and 12-year olds on Tuesday May 23rd was that the attack certainly makes our track-and-field season seem less important. It definitely puts our six days of standardized testing into a different perspective.

But let me clarify as I did with them: those are a few of the things that make life worth living and give it value. But sometimes we are so caught up in our devices and activities that we don’t take the time for the important questions.

Questions like: What would happen if I died in such a tragedy or other accident tonight? And Why does such evil exist?

Why Evil Exists

Evil exists because humanity chooses it. Lucifer became the devil and author of all lies and deception when he disobeyed God. Humanity often chooses disobedience to God as well. Often humans that choose good get caught in the pathways of those choosing darkness, and consequences for them also ensue. It’s quite simple and rational: objections from God-skeptics or even worse—haters—can easily be answered.

There is also a spiritual realm that surrounds us. I liken it to a fourth dimension. It consists in the light waves we cannot see, outside the visible spectrum. It exists in the sound frequencies that we cannot hear. Put that way, it sounds a bit more scientific than supernatural.

Some are not comfortable with supernatural talk, but don’t fear. If you don’t call upon its dark side, it cannot harm you. If you call upon the Creator, you will be sheltered.

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

Teach your children that evil exists and they cannot even dabble in it. Teach them that there is an objective standard of good, and they must seek it.

Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

What Happens if You Die This Very Night

Being involved with students, I like to tell the exciting possibilities for the next chapter of our lives ‘colorfully.’Free stock photo of art, creative, pattern, colorful

  1. Gold represents a perfect eternity, paradise, or heaven that only God can provide. A place where we should desire to reside.* 

2. Black is the evil or sin that separates us from our Creator, preventing us from attaining that Paradise.

3. Red represents the solution to that separation…the blood of Jesus Christ – the sacrifice to pay or atone for our sins. A sacrifice wholly acceptable to God.

4. White represents how God now sees after accepting this sacrifice…washed white and clean and pure as snow.

5. Green is the growth that we display as we progress in our faith – by learning the Word of God, talking intimately with Him, and being with other believers like a large family.

By accepting the red color and what Jesus has done for you, you must turn away from your sins and put your trust in Him. Then you will be restored to God’s family and receive that perfect eternal paradise. Your life here might not be easier, but it will be more filled with joy, peace, meaning, and love. You will have peace and answers when those epic or less violent or disappointing incidents occur.

If you put off or refuse to accept Christ’s sacrifice, then you are willingly choosing some of life’s filth and depravity. Possibly not to the level of the stories referenced here, but sin and shame just the same. And the Bible describes the eternity beyond that to be even worse.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

These are the truths we need to share with our children. The world in which we are living is both beautiful and evil, because people choose both the good and bad.

As with any tragedy, stories of redemption are coming out regarding the events in Manchester. Free stock photo of man, person, sport, footballThis is a result of the common grace we share in being made in the image of God. Yet we are fallen and depraved in our sinfulness, causing this epic and ongoing struggle between good and evil.

Choose God and you can face life with God living in you through His Holy Spirit.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

(*some might not be interested in this Paradise due to their misconceptions of it e.g. they see heaven as a place of ethereal clouds, golden streets, or unfavorable activities; they need to be educated that when Jesus returns, there will be a renewed and restored perfect earth, where abundance abounds and violence is absent, where even bears and lions can be hugged, and thorns, weeds, pain and unpleasant labor are no more Isaiah 2:4; Rev.21:1-4)

Praying Together: Harder Than You May Think


We’ve read it and we believe it, but doing it has become much more of a struggle than ever imagined.

Praying together as a couple would seem like the most natural act between two people who love each other. Taking it a step further, how about two believers who love each other and engage in an active prayer life?

While it would also appear praying together would be just as much a part of the loving relationship as saying, “I love you,” it often becomes a sticking point in relationships.

Why is it so difficult?


Time, or the claim to have an absence of it, is the most often cited reason for not praying together as a couple. While there may be legitimate occasions where extreme schedules prohibit praying together, those moments are rare.

Praying together doesn’t require all day marathon prayer sessions. A genuine 5-minute investment of spirit-filled time in God’s presence is worth more than every business meeting or busy schedule.

Where to find the time:

  • Wake up 10 minutes earlier
  • Facetime each other over lunch
  • While waiting for your kids at practice
  • Before bedtime


Men usually have a more difficult time initiating couple’s prayer. The biblical expectation places man as the head of household. This also means the spiritual leader as well.

Most men simply don’t know how to get started. If it were a sport or fixing the car, they’d roll up their sleeves and get it done. When it comes to leading his wife in prayer, the proverbial brakes get mashed.

There’s an intimidation factor with intimately praying with your spouse. What if you’re prayers are not significant or spoken eloquently enough? How about if you don’t say the right things or don’t know exactly what to say? Is your spouse going to lose respect for you?

Men, this is not a case of silence is golden. It’s a time for you to ask God for guidance and the words to speak. Praying should make you feel vulnerable. It’s God you’re talking to after all.

Where to find the courage:

  • Don’t try being courageous.
  • Accept that you aren’t in charge
  • Expect a blessing for your obedience
  • Know you are not being judged by your spouse

Above the Radar

Once a couple goes all out in God’s service, it’s not uncommon for satan to begin mingling in their affairs. Praying couples mean they’re drawing ever closer to Christ.  That closeness begins to squeeze out space for temptation and marital strife.

Christians have admitted to living below the spiritual radar in hopes of avoiding satan’s attentions. An uncertain spouse with unconfessed sin may fear unintentional discovery by their spouse or may feel their Achilles heel may become a focal point that brings destruction to the marriage if old habits resurface.

Men, this isn’t a case of letting sleeping dogs lie. Get in the fight. Armor up with the word of God and allow Him to defeat your enemy. He will bless your marriage for your faithfulness.

How To Start

  • Keep your prayers casual
  • Schedule a set time each day
  • Keep your prayers short but to the point
  • Don’t worry about memorizing scripture
  • Open your mouth and your heart will follow
  • Ask your spouse if there are prayer requests
  • Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s presence

Do You Pray As A Couple?

If you gained from reading, Praying Together: Harder Than You May Think, please leave a comment below.



9 Ways to be a Great and Godly Wife

faithful pic


God has blessed you with the one person you were meant to spend the rest of your life with. Marriage is our treasure, so why wouldn’t we take care of and nurture the gift God’s given us?

But let’s face it, marriage is hard. There are challenges and pitfalls mixed in with the euphoria of uniting in holy matrimony. You’ll both have good days and bad. But it’s loving each other on the bad days that strengthens a marriage.

Society tells us that almost everything else is more important than our marriage and family. But our marriage should be our highest priority, just after loving Christ with all your heart.

How many of you juggle work, kids, soccer, ballet, piano, meetings, and car pool on a daily basis, only to collapse in the evenings in front of the TV, exhausted and knowing you’ve got to be up to do it all again the next morning?

I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been there. And because we have school age kids at home, I’m still there. But I can tell you with certainty that when my marriage is nourished and healthy, the rest of the family is nourished and healthy, and those hectic days and busy schedules aren’t all that bad.

There’s a saying that goes, “Happy wife, happy life.” And though people often say it in jest, there’s a truth to it. Think of the roles you play as a wife and mother. You’re the heartbeat of the family.

No one knows better how to juggle schedules, remember who has tests, meetings, or practice. No one knows better when their spouse has had a rough day just by looking at him, and no one knows better when their children’s hearts have been broken and they need a hug.

If our relationship with our spouse is healthy, we will be happy. It takes effort to love someone. Especially if they’re not acting particularly lovable. And by consciously doing these things as wives, we’re setting ourselves up for a happy marriage.

1.) Respect Your Husband

The number one thing that men want is respect. And they REALLY want it from their wives. If you want to see a change in your marriage or your husband, show him respect, even if you think he doesn’t deserve it.

“So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33

2.) Pray For Your Husband

Have you ever heard the saying, “The Couple That Prays Together, Stays Together?” I pray for my husband every single day, even days where I’m irritated with him or if we’ve had a fight.

I do it for two specific reasons:

1.) Praying for him daily reminds me that my marriage is a priority, because it’s easy to forget when life gets busy.

2.) I want to be intentional in my prayers for him.

I want to lift him up as head of the household. I pray for his health, for God to soften his heart, for our future, that he has patience and wisdom and submits his fears to Christ. And I pray specifically that his love grows for me every day and that he’s intentional about it.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” James 5:16

3.) Seek To Please Your Husband in Intimacy

This is an important one. Physical intimacy in marriage is crucial. Becoming one brings us closer together and binds us like nothing else can. Sex is especially important to men. Studies show that sexual fulfillment is a priority to most men in their marriage. Physical intimacy is as important as emotional intimacy. Make sure you’re nourishing them both.

God created sex. When we have sex with our spouse we’re fulfilling God’s design for marriage. Check out this passage from Elisabeth Elliot’s book.

Who of us, given the chance to arrange the world to our liking, would have had the powers of imagination . . . the courage of the Creator when He conceived the idea of sex? We cannot suppose that He overlooked the potentialities, the pitfalls, the high risks that would accompany it. He saw them all. And He made a woman, suitable, fit in every way, for man. (Elliot, Let Me Be a Woman [Tyndale, 1976], 152-153)

When kids, and work, and exhaustion set in, sex is usually the last thing on our minds. Make the time. My goal is to please my husband, and his goal is to please me. We’re putting each other’s needs before our own. Plus it’s fun and a great stress reliever. Just do it.

“The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs.1 Corinthians 7:3

4.) Love God

When we love God, everything else falls into place. Our husbands notice. Our children notice. Loving God changes you, and it subsequently changes the people around you. Your capacity for loving your spouse will be so much more because you love God.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.” Proverbs 31:30-31

5.) Learn To Forgive and Apologize Quickly

The key word there is quickly. You’re going to have some fights that are real doozies. Sometimes you’re going to be mad. Sometime’s he’s going to be mad. But at the end of the day you love each other. Don’t waste your time together holding grudges or giving the silent treatment.

Don’t wait to communicate once you notice a problem. If you’re the one who is in the wrong, don’t dig your heels in the sand and try to pretend you’re right. Apologize. If your spouse is the one who’s in the wrong, Forgive. And forgive without strings attached.

I can’t imagine there are a lot of widows or widowers in this world who would say if asked, “I wish we’d spent more hours fighting.”

“God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6)

6.) Keep Your Marriage Private

Build each other up. Never complain about your spouse to your friends, co-workers, or while waiting for a PTA meeting to start. This goes back to respect. Your friends, or anyone you complain to, will remember what you said and think poorly of your husband long after you’ve moved past whatever had you complaining in the first place.

7.) Forget the Past

I honestly think this is one of the most difficult things for women to do. Whether it’s his past before he met you or why you asked him to sleep on the couch six years ago, bringing up those past transgressions when you’re angry feeds your own sense of self-righteousness in why you’re RIGHT.

Let me tell you, Satan is rubbing his hands with glee as he puts those thoughts into your mind. Refer back to number five. Learn to forgive and learn to apologize. But MEAN it. And move on.

8.) Compliment/Complement Your Husband

Compliment: An expression of praise, commendation, or admiration

Tell your husband he’s doing a good job as provider and protector of your family. Thank him when he fulfills your needs, whether it’s something as simple as letting you sleep in one morning or rubbing the sore spot in your back. Appreciate him, and then tell him you appreciate him.

Complement: Something that completes or makes perfect. Either of two parts or things needed to complete the whole; counterpart.

I am always incredibly proud of my husband. When we’re in public or he’s speaking somewhere, I want to complement him so people see him the way I see him. I want to build him up, give him strength and support, and I want to make sure my words of praise reach not only other people’s ears, but his ears as well. It’s my honor to be the greatest support system he’ll ever have.

9.) Divorce is NOT an Option

Of course, I’m not speaking in cases of abuse, neglect, or adultery. As women, fighting for our marriage oftentimes falls to us. We’re the ones who seek counseling first. We’re the ones who buy all the self-help books and then try to get our husbands to read them. It is so important to never give up. Even when you wonder why you’re trying so hard and he’s not.

I’ve heard friends say this before: “I can always get divorced if it doesn’t work out.”

Guess what? People with that attitude will more than likely end up divorced. There is power in words. Especially words that are spoken. Do not speak words you do not want to come to pass. That’s why it’s so important to guard out words and not speak out of anger.

Go into your marriage with the idea that divorce isn’t an option. That attitude gives your spouse confidence that no matter what goes wrong between you, that you’ll still be married and still love each other at the end of it.