One interesting side effect of this effort at developing a more disciplined prayer life has been that I have begun to pray over my wife in the morning before we leave for work. It is not something I did before, but lately I have been laying my hands on my wife and praying for God’s providence on her day. It is something I should have done many, many years ago. It is something I am doing now and I credit this Lenten effort with the change.
Yes, I know this isnt the private prayer we have been talking about, but it is the closest thing to it, since we are one flesh, are we not? It was difficult at first or maybe I should say awkward. There is mutual submission involved and trust (it is easy to sound pretty trite or even silly), but I believe that this is some of the good growing from the tree I have been cultivating the last two weeks. So, I challenge all of the husbands out there to lay hands on your wife, beginning tomorrow morning, and pray for her before you or she goes off to work.
I have discovered a blessing in my new job, the owner of the company is a Christian. I am beginning to understand why God opened this door for me. It was/is the right place for me to be. I want to say thank you to those of you who prayed for my job search back in December and early January.
Paul, as I have been thinking about the dangers of the inward journey that solitary (prayer closet) prayer brings with it, I think it is mitigated by the fellowship of faithful companions. Their interaction with you helps to keep your feet firmly grounded in everyday reality.
However, one of the ways I have begun to look at those disciplined times of private prayer is that it is like shooting your daily sextant reading, getting your course plotted for the day. I can honestly say I still have a lot to learn about mapping out a course, and the quiet voice on which I take my soundings is still getting lost in the hubbub of the day, but I trust it will get better with time. After all, these are only the first steps on a long, I guess I should say lifelong, journey.
I should also let you know that I have a vague sense of preparation, that I am not doing this only as a personal spiritual exercise, but that the Lord is preparing me for something. I have no idea what it might be, or when, but something is going to cross my path that will use the fruit growing from this tree, and it is something more than praying for my wife in the morning, as important as that is.
I pray that God gives each of us the words our wives need to hear said for them, as well as the loving heart to say those words over them with true and intercessory purpose and conviction. I pray that God uses us to mightily bless our wives, drawing them ever more closely to him and to us. Amen.