(not being completely familiar with the new blogger interface, I accidentally hit the wrong button and deleted the introduction to this series from yesterday) EDIT: I have recovered the introduction and you can read that here)
As a preface to this series I want to point out one simple fact, based on all I've read. That fact is this: what will make or break a marriage is the level of intimacy you have with your spouse. More specifically, or to understand better what I mean by intimacy is to understand that when it comes to marriage there are three basic categories of intimacy and they are spiritual, emotional and physical. If those three areas are strong and healthy and you're mindful of them always, you will have a fantastic marriage. If any one of those three areas is suffering (and the reality of it is, in most marriages one or more of those areas do suffer from time to time), there are very real ways to address them and make them strong and those are the three areas I'm going to focus on for the purposes of this series of posts. In truth, they actually all blend together and overlap in a hundred different mysterious and wonderful ways but I'll focus on each area seperately, as best as I can. First, and most important in any Christian marriage is the level of spiritual intimacy you and your husband share.
This one might seem like a no-brainer for Christians, but from all I've read many Christian couples don't actually do this, or used to do it when newly married but allowed their busy lives to sort of edge this kind of prayer time out of the picture. I can testify that it's very easy to allow that to happen, even if you didn't want it to. They often pray as a family together, and the husband or the wife may pray for the other, in their own quiet prayer time but they often do not pray as a couple together. The benefit of this is that both spouses hear what is on the heart and mind of the other and can go to the Lord in prayer with them, and agree in prayer together.
Husband, is she asking the Lord to give you strength to avoid temptation in our modern world where impure messages and images are everywhere you look? Hear her prayer and praise God for her support and her love for you and her dedication to keeping your marriage pure and solid, and go to the Lord together on this.
Wife, is he asking the Lord to help you manage your busy schedule and give you refreshment when you feel down? Praise God for him that he goes to the Lord in prayer for you in this way, that he knows and understands how difficult it can be sometimes to juggle so many things, and that he's in your corner and cares so much about you, and agree with him in prayer.
As a married couple going together before the Lord in prayer this way you will grow closer together and that is the goal. My husband Kevin and I used to do this but as life tends to do, we adopted different routines and schedules and let this one slip years ago. We've recently begun doing this again every day and I cannot tell you how much it blesses me to hear what he prays for when we pray together, or how it blesses me to hear him whisper "yes" when I am praying for him in certain areas.
Thank the Lord for your marriage, for your family, His grace, strength and the conviction and guidance of the Holy Spirit in all your thoughts and words for both of you. If you already do this you already know how close it makes the both of you and how much stronger your relationship (and your entire family) is because of it. If you've let this slip or have never done it, you're in for a wonderful surprise when you begin praying this way and you'll both be happier for it.
If your marriage is in need of a spiritual refreshment and this is something you're not doing, have never done or let slip, I would encourage you both to begin doing this, this very day. A Christ-centered marriage is the most beautiful kind of relationship, with a most incredible spiritual intimacy and coming before Him each day, together in praise and petition for one another will make your bond stronger than you ever realized it could be.