Saturday, January 29, 2011

Treasure, Week 5: Prayer

You have some catching up to do if you're just starting this series today!  
Here are the links to weeks one, two, three, and four.  
Isn't it fun to be orderly?  

Good Saturday Morning to you!  

The flu has finally crept its way out of our house, it's sunny, and it's supposed to be close to 60 degrees today in eastern NC!  Hip Hip!!!

I hope you and your spouse have had time together away from the kiddos this week.  I hope you have made a point to make each other a priority without those little ankle biters spoiling the mood.  

I kid, I kid about your kid being an ankle biter.  

This week is all about prayer.  

I almost didn't write this post because I wasn't sure I was the person to actually say anything about prayer.  

I am a pray-er.  I can pray all day long, often in one long continuous prayer about everything that crosses my mind.  I've got a 2 hour commute to work and I spend a lot of time in prayer as I drive--prayers for my family, my friends, my students, myself.

I know that God hears my words and there are many times He makes it clear that He's listening. 

I am good at praying by myself.  

I know my husband prays.  I have no doubt that he spends time communicating with God. I know he prays for us, our family, our friends, and our church.  

However, Chris and I do not pray together on a regular basis.  

Sure, we give thanks for our food and with our kids when they say their nightly prayers. We pray in the car before a long drive.  We talk about praying for certain things, we commit to pray for certain things, but as far as just sitting down and praying out loud and together, it just doesn't happen that much. 

I pray for Chris, I pray for our marriage, I pray for our decisions as husband and wife, I pray for our family.  

The majority of my most fervent prayers are about the three people I live with. 

And, unfortunately, they probably have no idea the countless words I've expressed on their behalf.

And guilt is covering me as I write this post.  

I should be better than this.  

I should absolutely be better than this.  

It's really hard for me to type these words this morning.  However, I refuse to let this blog, this series, this post be about putting up false pretenses.  I aim to be completely transparent, even to the extent of exposing my faults (which, if you know me well, you know that is a hard pill to swallow because I'm a big fan of "just keep dancing and smiling and no one will ever know").  

I think some of our habits are formed in the home.  I know a lot of my habits mirror the way I was raised in my parent's house.  To this day I make sure I have things ready the night before, I like to get things done in advance, and I worry that I haven't locked the door/turned off the coffee pot/unplugged the flat iron when leaving in the morning.  

I wonder how our habits will affect my girls. Will they be afraid or unwilling to pray with their spouses or families because they weren't exposed to it growing up?  Have I completely scarred them for life? 

I have to believe there is a balance.  I don't want them to be so far removed from society and social norms because of their ultrareligious acts and routines.  But, I want them to know that prayer is a powerful tool and that it's completely normal to ask for prayer from their families when they need or want it.  

I'd like to offer the following questions.  These are things I've observed inside and outside of my house and I strongly encourage us all to take a moment and think about our marriages/relationships.  

1.  Is the husband being the spiritual leader of the family?  How does he encourage spiritual growth in his family?

2.  Is the wife being a helper for her husband in regards to spirituality?  Does she openly support her spouse's leadership?  

3.  Do you and your spouse pray together on a regular basis?  Out loud?

4. Do you pray together as a family?

I really want us all to think about these questions.  Maybe you feel pretty good about the state of your marriage/relationship and prayer life.  I think that's wonderful and I'm curious how you and your spouse/significant other cultivate this area of your relationship.  I'd like to invite you to comment below.  This is not a time to be holier than thou, so for this week, please keep your name as "anonymous."

If you are like me and feel like you need work in this area, perhaps we can learn from those who are doing well.  I pray that instead of being jealous and feeling judged that we learn from one another.  We all have areas of improvement and sometimes it's very easy to sweep our issues under the proverbial rug and spend our time polishing our trophies instead of tackling the lump hiding under the rug.    
  
Until next week, I will be praying for you.  

Pun intended.  

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