Tell us a bit about yourselves. How did you find yourselves speaking on the topics of marriage and couples intentionally praying together?
We met in high school and have been married 41 years—so we have virtually spent all of our lives together. We came to know Jesus Christ as our Savior the same week but through completely different circumstances—it was God’s amazing work in our lives to draw us to Him at the same time. We have been seeking to follow after the Lord since that time.
The Lord called us into full-time ministry, which has included Christian school and Bible College teaching, pastoral ministry, and, for the last 24 years, serving with e3 Partners Ministry based in Dallas, Texas, which works in 30 countries. The focus of our current work is mobilizing short-term missions teams to Colombia, South America, for evangelism, discipleship, and church planting ministry.
We are amazed the Lord has opened a door for us to write and speak about marital prayer. In some ways we feel like we have no business doing this because, for many years, we were not very attentive to prayer in our own marriage. Quite frankly, this calling from God comes from the ashes of our own failure. But then again, isn’t that often how God works? This way we know that this ministry is born from His strength and grace working in our lives and marriage.
We have thee adult daughters; two are married and we have two young grandchildren—the delight of our lives.
How would you encourage husbands or wives who feel their marriage is too far-gone to implement a strong prayer life?
From our experience in interacting with thousands of Christian couples in different countries, cultures, and contexts (many of these people are leaders in churches and ministries), we are certain there is a major gap in the body of Christ in the area of marital prayer. The fact is not very many Christian husbands and wives are very intentional or regular in praying together. The same was true in our own marriage for many years.
Two things are important to come to grips with if you feel your marriage is too far-gone to implement a strong prayer life together. First, God can restore the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25). God is able to move into our lives and take back ground and time that has been loss. This is a work of His grace. This is because of God’s promise that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. Second, God’s revelation comes at the appointed time (Habakkuk 2:3). Who can understand the mystery of the timing of God? Most often we don’t need more information; we need a fresh awakening to enlighten us to move forward. God can orchestrate the circumstances of our lives; He can speak to our hearts in special ways to get our attention. It can be like a spiritual “ah ha” moment when we suddenly see something with vivid clarity.
All this is say, there is really no one and nothing that is “too far-gone” for the reach of God and His grace. Was the prodigal son too far-gone? Was Saul the Pharisee to far-gone? Was the thief on the cross too far-gone? No, no, and no! In fact, we would say, that you reading these words is clear evidence you are not “too far-gone!” You are seeking and God is finding you. Perhaps the message and model in Praying Together will come as a breath of hope and provide guidance on a path that will make a huge difference in your life, marriage, and family.
Is the model of praying Scripture rather simple? Well, yes. But will it require hard work, perseverance, and commitment? Absolutely, yes! God is sufficient and He desires your marriage to be energized and strengthened—praying the Word of God together is not the only answer, but it could very well be a key part of your answer.
What do you hope readers will take away from Praying Together?
There are two things we trust readers of Praying Together will take away from the book.
First, hope! We really do not need more guilt. We don’t need condemnation. Yes, we do need to face the reality of where we are and determine with God’s help and our spouse’s help to step in a direction of positive change. Praying Together addresses two rather sensitive dimensions of life: marriage and prayer. Either one of these alone are vast and complex topics. What we propose, however, is a path that can, interestingly enough, bring strength to both our marriage and our prayer life. That brings us to the second take-away: path!
We share a path for marital prayer that we know is simple and powerful. Basically the path is to allow the Bible to provide the content for the focus of our prayers together as husband and wife. In this way, the Holy Spirit informs and guides our prayers from the Word of God. Rather than only praying “off the top of our heads,” we can take our prompts for prayer from the Bible. We cannot go wrong because, as we are praying through the Word of God, we are praying in harmony with the will of God! We are therefore praying the principles, truths, blessings, praises, promises, confessions, doctrines, virtues, values, and more, directly from inspired Scripture. This path can be amazing, awakening a spiritual and emotional intimacy in our marriage that will touch every dimension of our life and family.
How can readers connect with you? (blog, social media, email, anything you’d like to provide)