SC Devotions: The Power of Praying For The World & For Your Marriage

The guide to praying big, bold, critical prayers that literally change the course of history God is carving for the world and for your marriage.

My mama handed me the small, newly bought book as my husband and I were walking out the door, ready to start our journey back to our Indianapolis oasis. She had been talking my ear off about it for months, since the first time she started her annual 40-day fast with Mark Batterson’s 40-day prayer challenge.

Her eyes beamed as I glossed over the chapter titles: Get Ready, Established by God, Amazing Things, Don’t Pray Away, Write It Down…

One quick hug later, and my husband and I were settling down for the long ride back home. But my mind was set on the book. I had read it’s predecessor, the Circle Maker, earlier in the year, and it revolutionized my understanding of prayer. Nowadays you can find me thinking long, dreaming big, and praying hard for God’s hand to forever lead me in His Will because of it.

I knew that this 40-Day Prayer Challenge was going to have just as much of an affect on my relationship with Christ and on my life – and I could not wait to dig in. My spiritual life had taken a place on the backburner, my schedule was chaotic, and what I needed was a challenge to rein me in from the everyday noise of life – and move me forward in spiritual maturity.

 

Praying Like A Mama’s Girl

Since I was a teenager living in my mama’s house, she would reach out to me with books and inspirational talks, sharing what was on her heart everyday of every week. As a young woman watching this awesome lady take hold of the world with Jesus and make dreams come true, I had learned that her secret was the daily quiet time she had with the Lord. A time that was filled with spiritual books and scripture to point her back to Christ and draw her into closer communion with Him.

So just like my ma – I started in with the 40-Day Prayer Challenge the next day during quiet time and was instantly met with the most unpleasant prayer challenge I have ever encountered.

“Go home. Lock yourself in a room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk draw a circle around yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.

I would love to say that I did just that, but I didn’t. Instead my eyes widened as I realized I had never prayed bold prayers like that before. I instantly recalled the legend of Honi, the Circlemaker, who did just that in the desert. He did not leave his sand dusted circle until it rained buckets to end Israel’s drought. Honi went down in history as the one with bold prayers and faith, and immediately redefined what people at that time, and today, can ask our great, big God for.

Now – let me explain – the reason I didn’t start asking for an internal revival instantly was because two questions kept nudging me away from doing so:

1) Did I trust that God would answer my own bold prayers for revival in my heart and restoration in the world?

2) Did I have faith that He would hear and respond to my pleas?

 

This 40 Day Challenge my mama handed me was already tugging, already challenging, and already foundationally driving me in a direction I hadn’t even considered wandering into before.

 

Praying With Shameless Audacity

The reason I became such a close Christ-follower was entirely due to His hand in my life. As a child, I sat with Jesus like he was my friend, cross-legged across from me on my bed. I would tell him everything I was feeling and he would bring peace. Since then, this communication line with Christ has grown into a strong, triple-stranded chord of heart talk, but there was one piece missing: intercession.

Here’s why: Knowing that the Lord would continually make sure His Will was doneI never felt my prayers for others had meaning. Honestly, sometimes I still feel like that because praying for healing, conversions of heart and an end to abortion seem like even bigger problems that can’t be solved with a quick prayer from a hopeful, naivé 22-year-old.

It couldn’t be that easy. Could it?

So here I was – doubtful and cynical – that God took on a 40-day journey to trust, and at Day 6: Shameless Audacity, he brought a memorable stopping point along the way.

As it turns out, I learned that these big prayers I feel will not be answered are actually the critical prayers that literally change the course of history God is carving.

 

That God Is Carving.

 

This quick chapter in the 40-Day-Prayer Challenge reminded me that prayer is not about me, it’s about God. It’s His name at stake when we lay a request down, because in that moment we relieve ourselves of the responsibility and ask God to take and finish the job.

It’s our job to ask bold prayers persistently.

It’s His job to answer to preserve His Good Name and Glory.

So the question for us then, is – Do we have the faith to pray the impossible prayers that honor God and allow Him to reveal His glory?

 

Praying In His Will

Ladies, like always, I pray you are soaking in every statement of this blog– because it’s the revival within you that allows God to change the course of history through your prayers.

If you’re not there yet – pause here and take time to marinate in the truth that you are called to trust a big God who can answer your persistent prayers that His Glory be shown on earth more and more.

If you’re so ready to pray boldly and persistently because you have full faith that He will answer, I’ve got one more truth for you to chew on before you start drawing circles.

It’s time to ensure that the bold prayers you are thinking of are aligned with God’s Will and Promises.

 

God’s Will… this is a phrase I had started to hear every week in Church since the days when I was in the midst of choosing which college to go to.

“God willing…”

“What is God’s will for my life?”

“How can I know God’s will for me?”

Even when I Google “God’s Will”, articles upon articles of 8 Tips To Finding God’s Will come up.

Well, ladies, let me be honest – God’s Will and Promises are not as elusive as you’ve been trained to think. Sure, there are personal gifts that you’re given for the good of the Church which need to be explored and utilized. But God’s Will for us is one and the same…

When Alan and I were asking ourselves this exact question – What is God’s Will for us as a couple? – the Holy Spirit immediately led us to Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. These three short books were somehow chock full of the knowledge and practical instructions that I never saw so clearly before.

“Go, spread the gospel to the ends of the earth.” (Mark 16:15)

“Be holy as I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)

Live Separate – “as sheep among wolves.” (2 Corinthians 6:17)

God’s Will is that we share His love and receive His love, everyday. That we may be His hands and feet, using our gifts, to love others just as He’s loved us! He desires that we live as His new creations (Eph. 4), always keep alert (Eph. 6), and live our life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ (Phil. 1). He asks that we rejoice alwaysfocus on what is good, and hold fast to what you’ve been taught (Phil. 4-5).

God’s promise is that He will provide (Phil. 4), He will be with us, and that He will use all things for goodHe will give us rest (Matt. 11), He will give us strength (Isa. 40), and He will give us peace (John 14). Ladies, these are just a few of His promises, these aren’t even the whole lot of His Will for our life and !!!

Ladies, when we are aligning our bold prayers with what God desires for us (God’s Will) and what God says He will give us (God’s Promises)… prayer time gets real:

  • Lord, provide for my sister as you have promised you would provide for those who love You.
  • Lord, I know it is in your Will for me to be your light in the world, give me the wisdom to know what that looks like.
  • Lord, my mother is in the final stage of cancer. Her heart is turned against you. If it be your Will, heal her body and convert her heart, that you may be glorified when she sings that her life was given back to her by You.
  • Lord, you have promised to be a refuge for those who trust in you, give our family the grace to hold fast and put our trust in you as we move to this new city.
  • Lord, you say that a mustard seed of faith can move mountains. I pray that you will take my small amount of faith and bless it – as I ask that you close this abortion clinic and convert the hearts of those who are entering it’s door to have an abortion. I believe this prayer will be answered, as you are one to save and rescue the orphans, the widow, and your unborn children!

 

Ladies, these are those prayers that I never felt he would answer. But these are the exact prayers that He desires us to pour out, as each one requires Him to answer and each one reorients us. Because we are a branch, attached to the Vine and we can do nothing apart from Him.

“The true purpose of prayer is to get into God’s presence so He can outline His agenda for us.”

 

 

Praying From A Consecrated Heart

Remember, girls, God is in your corner and wants to show you that He’s got you. This is a journey of trust and big faith steps – but it can’t happen unless you want it to. His invitation to dive deeper into a relationship with Him lies on your shoulders to accept.

So if your heart is saying, Yes, Lord! Teach me!

Then the next step to get started is a simple one: consecrate yourself.

Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” – Joshua 3:5

It’s in the time that you take to consecrate yourself that He will:

  • Remind you whose you are & who you are
  • Help you ensure your will is aligned to His
  • Allow His Holy Promises to pour forth in your life
  • Give you the grace to “work like it depends on us, but pray like it depends on God”
  • Teach you to pray As long As It Takes (ALAT)
  • Inspire you to pray daily for God’s intervention in the world and in our lives

When you pray from a consecrated heart, your tendencies toward selfishness immediately dissipate, and your heart is clear to pray with the Holy Spirit.

So ladies, find your prayer spot– find your prayer time–

and draw that first circle…

“Go home. Lock yourself in a room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk draw a circle around yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.”

May your heart be revived and consecrated to the great, big God that desires to daily envelop you in His love.

May you continue to learn the breadth, depth and width of His Love, His Will and what His Promises are.

And May your prayers be so bold, so big, and so brash that nothing less that the Lord intervening will suffice.

 

Praying For Your Marriage

If you are on your journey to the aisle and wondering how to bring the beauty of the sacrament into your prayer time, here are three of the biggest ways to truly make an impact.

I know it’s been said more than once that my prayer for you is to be a power couple for Christ. I know for a fact the best way to get to that stage on life in on your knees, instead of running full force ahead.

I pray you dream big, think long, and pray hard, that your marriage may glorify Him and spread His name across the earth even more than you could do so yourself.

 

Pray for your Fiancé: I highly recommend getting yourself a copy of The Power of a Praying Wife. May it allow you to pray over your husband for his safety, his spirituality, and his sanctity.

“ Lord, I release my fiancé to You. Help me to accept him the way he is and not try to change him. I realize that in some ways he may never change, but at the same time, I release him to change in ways I never thought he could. Lead him, guide him, and be his mighty fortress and hiding place. May his light so shine before men that they see his good works and glorify you, Lord.”

 

Pray for your Wedding: Pray that the Lord may be glorified in Your wedding. It is not about you, but about His great love to us and what that truly looks like. Here are a few more thoughts on how to Life Up Jesus On Your Wedding Day, and Make Your Wedding Glorifying To God.

“Lord, I pray that you take hold of our wedding day. We entrust it to you as an offering that we pray will fully glorify You. We ask that the Good News told during the ceremony will be as seeds sewn in good soil. We ask that the speeches and prayers honor You as the one credited for our growth and godliness. We ask that you may give us your patience, strength, and grace – that we may enjoy the entirety of the day, from beginning to end, as this is the day that You have written special for us. We love You, Lord, above all things. May our day glorify You.”

 

Pray for your Married Life: Pray hard, dream big, and think long. May the large goals you have to be a power couple for Christ become small, and His dreams take shape in your life. Here are 17 dreams for marriage that may inspire a few more prayers of your own to take shape.

“Lord, may we pray persistently, live patiently, and love unconditionally, as you have shown us. Let the work of our hands be blessed and our house be a haven for others. May You draw us both nearer to You, that our love for one another reflect Your love for the church. And may we be bold ambassadors for Your Gospel wherever we go.”