Lord, teach us to pray.....
I am so excited that you are joining me in praying for our husbands. I am expecting God to do great things in our marriages over the next few weeks! Since some of you are still waiting for your book to arrive, let's read "Answering God's Call to Pray" this week and we will begin chapter one next week. (August 21st) Please let me know if you are participating so I can pray alongside you for your husband. If you are just hearing about this now, the book we are using is 15 Verses to Pray For Your Husband by Elizabeth George.
The Bible has a lot to say about prayer and its importance. We are told "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6 ESV). Many of us have experienced struggles in our marriages and instead of turning to God for help we worry, or complain to our friends. We hope that things will get better but get discouraged when they don't. Our enemy wants to destroy our marriage, family and testimony. Don't let him destroy yours. God has given us a powerful tool that we don't use enough. That tool is prayer!
I am inviting all wives to join me in praying for our husbands. I will be using the book, 15 Verses to Pray For Your Husband by Elizabeth George. I encourage you to buy a copy and follow along with me. Each week I will post a specific area of our husband's life to pray over. Let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are participating in this and we can pray for each other's husband. "The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results" (James 5:16 NLT).
Psalm 27:4 "One thing I have asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple."
David asks God for one thing, to dwell in His presence. He doesn't ask for riches or fame or power but to be allowed to dwell, to enter into His presence and to remain there, to be able to have a close, intimate relationship with God. David loved God and He loved being with Him. He was taken with the beauty and majesty of Almighty God.
This phrase, "one thing" should bring to remembrance a passage in Luke 10, where we have the story of Mary and Martha. They were sisters and friends of Jesus. One day He enters their village and goes to Martha's house. Beginning in verse 38 we read, "Jesus entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to Him and said, "Lord do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." Mary chooses the one thing, the one good thing, the one thing that is necessary and that is to sit in the presence of the Lord, to sit at the feet of Jesus and take in what He is saying, to listen to His teaching, to hear the Word of God.
Those of us that are older can remember a book called Having a Mary's Heart in a Martha's World. In this book women were divided into two groups, you were either a Mary or a Martha. Many women fall into the Martha group. She is a woman of action, a doer, she gets things done. If you want to have a food drive for the homeless...put a Martha in charge. Need someone to plan an event? Find a Martha. We see her in this story busy preparing for Jesus. She is cooking and cleaning and she is irritated with her sister who she sees as being lazy. Martha is serving which is commendable but she taken her focus from Jesus and instead is distracted by many things including her sister who isn't serving in the way Martha thinks she should. Mary is focused on Jesus, His presence and His teaching. She has focused on the one thing, she has chosen the good portion that will not be taken from her. The time that you and I spend in the presence of God, listening to Him, reading His Word, hearing His teachings, gazing upon His majesty, talking with Him, will not be wasted.
Both David and Mary pursued the presence of God, they realized that the one thing is really the only thing that matters. Have we realized that or are we busy serving? Don't get me wrong serving is important, in fact the Bible is clear that Christians should be serving, but we also need to be fed. Servants need to sit at the feet of Jesus to be fed, encouraged, empowered, and filled up with Him. Otherwise we will be like Martha who was distracted by her service and anxious about many things.
Jesus said "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest." Rest. What does that little word mean to you? A nap, a moment to yourself, a full nights sleep? As women we are uncomfortable with rest, we are doers. We don't have time to rest because we carry everyone else's burdens. There is always too much to do and not enough time to get it all done! Society tells us we have to do it all. Have a career, a family, a ministry , "quiet time", date nights with your hubby. Don't forget being your child's taxi,make time to go to the gym and volunteer for every school event. Throw in home cooked meals, laundry, diapers....The list is endless!
Martha fell into this trap. You are familiar with the story. Jesus comes to visit and Martha is busy with preparations while her sister Mary is sitting on her butt! (my interpretation) Martha is worried/concerned/bothered by many things. She is on the hamster wheel running as fast as she can. She is cooking and cleaning for company, and not just any company but God Himself. Mary, on the other hand, is concerned with only one "thing", sitting at the feet of Jesus. He has her full attention. She is listening to Him, spending time with Him. Now there is nothing wrong with serving others. " ...but only a few things are necessary, really only one and Mary has chosen the good part..."
So have you unplugged today from all your distractions? Jesus wants you to sit at His feet, listen to His word and spend time with Him. This needs to be at the top of your to-do list today and every day.