Day 11: In faith, you’re believing God for greater things in your marriage. I am too. But what will you do when you don’t see the growth you were hoping for? Give up on believing in the power of prayer?
Giving up is the equivalent of digging up a seed you’ve planted before the seedling has had time to pop its head above the soil. Giving up is robbing yourself of the HARVEST!
Faith and patience go together!
Are you watching other people receive their blessing and wondering where yours is hiding? Or are you doubting the word God gave you in your time of prayer because it hasn’t yet been fulfilled?
Remember the mustard seed Jesus talked about in Matthew 17:20? The story of this little seed teaches us that we don’t need BIG faith to receive from God. We only need little faith. Don’t focus on the size or strength of your faith but rather the size and strength of your God. When you magnify God, problems or mountains shrink.
Peter had little faith and yet he was able to walk on water. The minute he took is eyes off God, he began sinking.
The point of this little message is this:
1. The seeds of prayer you’ve planted this Spring will produce sweet fruit in your life and marriage throughout the year. Be patient. Don’t give up and thereby rob yourself of your harvest!
2. Receiving your harvest is not predicated upon the strength of your faith, but rather the ability to keep your focus on God and His strength.
Prayer for WIVES: Lord, Help me to keep my eyes on You and Your greatness rather than on my circumstances so I can receive rather than rob myself of my harvest!
Prayer for HUSBANDS: Lord, help my husband to see the power of Your love flowing through me. May he see with fresh eyes the movement of your Spirit all around Him and respond with newfound devotion.
Prayer of MARRIAGE: May our marriage be filled with the fruits of righteousness which will bring much glory and praise to God!
Day 10:Would you like to know God’s perfect will for your life and marriage? Fasting helps you prove or DISCOVER His perfect will. Paul was fasting when God shared his assignment for his life. Peter was fasting when God called him to take the gospel to the Gentiles.
“Fasting prepares the way for God to give you fresh revelation, fresh vision, and clear purpose.” Jentezen Franklin
I’m already seen fresh revelation as a result of this fast. 2 areas of concentrated prayers for my marriage are sex and money. Reading a great book by Dr. Juli Slattery, No More Headaches, I discovered a workable solution for connecting sexually at least twice a week. Battling busy-ness and fatigue, our sex life was suffering. Because I know sex works like a glue to hold couples together, I committed this area of our marriage to prayer. Dr. Slattery shared a creative solution on page 36 that jumped off the page when I read it. It’s working already : )
Reading Proverbs 27 today, I was convicted, inspired, and given direction in verses 23 and 24 concerning my role regarding our finances. God gives fresh revelation when you seek Him through prayer and fasting!
When you seek God concerning your marriage, He will be found by you (Jeremiah 29:13,14). And when you find Him, you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is!
Prayer for WIVES: Lord, help me to discipline myself as I near the end of this fast to seek you in your Word and through prayer. Give me eyes and ears to see and hear what you would have me know concerning your perfect will for my marriage.
Day 9: II Chronicles 7:14 states God’s requirements during a fast.
1. Humble yourself
3. Seek His face
4. Turn from wicked ways
Upon these conditions, God promises to hear your prayers as well as heal America (our land).
Last week during the fast, I was challenged by one of my mentors to deal with dishonesty in my relationship with Tom. You see, I tend to promise to do things in order to smooth over a tense situation which I’ve caused. When it comes time to fulfill my promise…well, I don’t always follow through if it’s not convenient for uh, me. If you see a pattern of selfishness and dishonesty here, you’d be correct.
Ephesians 4:22 implores us to throw off our old evil nature which is rotten through and through (point #4 above) full of lust and deception. Deception causes BETRAYAL and DISTRUST between spouses. Did I have that result in mind when I quickly committed to something in order to avoid the consequences of my behavior? In a word, no!
Spending time praying and fasting heightens our ability to SEE the insidiousness of sinful, casual actions that produce BAD results. What is God showing you today?
Prayer for WIVES: Lord, show me where the lust for pleasure and deception have crept into my life. Purify me by the blood of Jesus! Give me eyes to see as well as the strength to turn away from wickedness and embrace the life-giving truth of your Word.
Prayer for HUSBANDS: Lord, give my husband eyes to see You and YOUR ways in a new light and may he desire them for himself, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer for MARRIAGE: Lord, may the beauty, delightfulness, and favor of the Lord our God shine on and through our marriage! AMEN!
12 Days of Healing Marriage Fast
Are you living like the ungodly by DEFAULT and thereby personally robbing your marriage of God’s healing power? Paul is addressing Christians in Ephesians 4:17-19, imploring them to open their minds and soften their hearts, so that the work of the Holy Spirit- CONVICTION- can be felt and heeded.
I’ve got to be honest: there have been many times in my life as a Christ-follower that the delights of this world have taken precedence over my delight in Christ. Immoral idol-worship WILL take a toll on your marriage! The area I’m most convicted about in this season of life is MONEY! Having ignored (sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally) God’s wisdom concerning money, greed and fear gained entrance to my life and affected my role as HELPER to my husband. The result wasn’t pretty!
In what area of your life do you live like the ungodly-
- choice of music
- demeaning your husband
- indifference to God?
Prayer and fasting unstops your ears and clears your eyes to see where ungodliness has taken root and produced bad fruit in your life, thereby affecting your marriage.
Today, listen to the counsel of The Holy Spirit. Record any wisdom you glean from God’s word. Think about it throughout the day. Allow it to transform the way you think and act. You’ll experience more peace and power for your life and marriage.
Prayer for WIVES: Lord, show me where I’ve allowed impurity and greed to infiltrate my life, thereby negatively affecting my marriage. Convict me by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer for HUSBANDS: Lord, help my husband to notice the changes I make in my life and may they inspire Him to follow you in lock-step.
Prayer for MARRIAGE: Lord, May your righteousness and holiness shine through our marriage so that others will see and know that YOU ARE GOOD and that YOUR WAYS WORK!
Day 7: In Ezra 8: 21-23, we read of Ezra’s declaration to king Artaxerxes that those who worship the living God are protected by Him. That was a significant declaration coming from a bunch of exiled Jews about to travel through some very dangerous territory on the way to their homeland. Realizing he was in deep water, what did Ezra do? He called a fast.
Fasting acknowledges your total dependence on God.
Are you travelling through dangerous territory in your marriage? Are there threats lurking around the next corner? Are you fearful concerning an area of your marriage?
Depend on God as Ezra did. The result of dependence? Ezra and tribe enjoyed God’s complete protection, safety, and peace. Victory in the spiritual realm must be won before experiencing victory in the natural.
The victory can only be won using spiritual weapons…one of which is fasting.
Prayer for wives: Lord, help me to be direct with my husband when I address sinful issues in his life, remembering first to determine whether it’s actually sin or an annoyance which I’m observing, and secondly to apply love to the direct words I use. (Ephesians 4:15, explained in Chapter 8, The Beautiful Wife).
Prayer for husband: Lord, give my husband ears to hear what the Spirit is speaking through me when I speak the truth in Love. When my husband speaks to me about an issue, help me to lower my defenses and LISTEN to the truth he’s conveying.
Prayer for marriage: Lord, as my husband and I each do our own special work, help our marriage to become healthy, growing and full of love.
Day 6: Some of God’s choicest blessings can only be obtained through prayer AND fasting. My pastor frequently reminds our church of this fact.
The Bible reminds us that God has good plans (or good and perfect will) for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). In Colossians 4:12, Epaphras reminds the Colossians that he is praying that they stand perfect and entire in ALL the will of God. This is a high standard!
One spiritual means of attaining the ENTIRE will of God is through fasting.
Think of a triangle right now. The full triangle represents God’s will for your life. Through prayer, you enjoy much of God’s will or the bottom two thirds of the triangle. But when you pray AND fast, you begin to move up and experience the choicest blessings of God’s will for your life represented by the upper third of the triangle.
As you fast, keep your eyes on the prize—the FULLNESS of God’s good and perfect will for your life.
Prayer for you: Lord, help me to apply your love to my words when I must address a sinful issue in my husband’s life (Ephesians 4:15 explained in chapter 8 The Beautiful Wife).
Prayer of husband: Lord, soften my husband’s heart to receive the truth spoken in love concerning sin in his life.
Prayer for marriage: Lord, I claim spiritual health, provided by Jesus’ finished work on the cross, over my marriage.
I’m so glad you’ve joined the 12 Days of Healing Marriage Fast! Let’s expect great things as we seek the face of God during the fast.
Day 1: There is direct opposition between the Spirit of God and our carnal flesh as indicated in Galatians 5:17, and fasting breaks down this barrier. The 2 great barriers to the Holy Spirit’s work in our life?
- Stubborn self-will
- Self-gratifying appetites of the body
Fasting brings both body and soul into subjection to the Holy Spirit. When your body and soul are controlled by the Spirit, He can work unhindered through your prayers. There is only ONE limit to what God will do. Fasting will never change the righteous standards of God. If something is outside the will of God, fasting will not put it inside His will.
In Ephesians 4, Paul describes a life of unity in the body of Christ. During this fast we’ll take these same verses and apply them to our marriage in order to achieve increased unity with our husbands.
Ephesians 4:2 Humility is required in order to achieve unity.
Prayer for wives: Father, please work godly humility into my THOUGHTS and ACTIONS toward my husband. By the power of Your Spirit, alert me when I become proud. In Jesus name, Amen.
Day 2: After fasting for 40 days, Luke 4:14 says, “And Jesus returned IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT into Galilee. Fasting produces Spirit POWER. We want more of the Spirit’s power to work unhindered through our prayers today.
Prayer for wives: Lord, I ask the Spirit to produce His fruit of GENTLENESS in me. (Ephesians 4:2). Gentleness promotes unity. A gentle answer averts wrath.
Prayer for Husbands: Lord, lead ______ from the darkness and deepest gloom; snap his chains. Let _______ praise the Lord for His great love and for all His wonderful deeds to him.
Prayer for Marriage: May your gracious Spirit lead us forward on a firm footing. Psalms 143:10
Day 3: There is power in a FAST and Satan knows it. He knew Jesus would emerge from the wilderness in POWER so he tried to disrupt Jesus’ 40 day fast. On Sunday, the enemy tried to disturb the unity Tom and I have been enjoying, but through increased prayer during this fast, the Spirit revealed Ephesians 4:2 as a way to move through the disunity and oneness was restored! Increased time in the Word and prayer yields sweet fruit during a fast. Are you experiencing Satan’s lies and discouragement during the fast? Satan tested Jesus too, and in response, Jesus said, “It is written…”. Jesus used the words of Scripture to fight Satan’s lies and discouragement and he came through it FULL of the Holy Spirit’s power.
Prayer for Wives:Ask the Spirit to produce His fruit of patience in you so you can make allowance for your husband’s faults because of your love.
Prayer for Husbands: Lord, produce patience in __________ so he can make allowance for my faults because of His love. Amen.
Prayer for Marriage: May our marriage cause others to CLEARLY see a picture of your grace, love, and forgiveness.
Day 4: God doesn’t need anything. But God decided to need you and me. He longs to partner with us. Throughout the Bible, you will NEVER find a time after creation when God did anything without partnering with man.
God has limited His unlimited power to the extent of your faith. Jesus wants to do a might work in your life and marriage. Do you believe?
The ability to believe or TRUST God is one of the most talked about and poorly practiced acts Christians do. How can we boost our faith in the MOST HIGH? Through Praise and Worship.
I’ve found thanksgiving, praise, and worship to AUTOMATICALLY INCREASE my ability to trust God. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and draw even closer to His heart through praise. Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits. Bless the His Holy Name!
Click on the Revelation Song and begin and end this day in worship so that your faith will increase. God’s power flowing through your life and marriage will increase in proportion to the increase of your faith.
God chooses you as His partner to accomplish great things!
Prayer for you: Lord, help me to lovingly accept my husband even when we have differences.
Prayer for husband: Lord, help my husband to bear with me when we disagree.
Prayer for marriage: Lord, may our marriage be characterized by humility, gentleness, and patience so we can dwell together in unity. Ephesians 4:2,3
Day 5: Fasting brings deliverance and victory. Reading the story of King Jehoshaphat, in 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 we learn what to do in the day of trouble.
1. Seek the Lord for guidance
3.Worship the Lord
4.Praise Him for what He’s already done
5.Bring your concerns to God
6.Listen to what He says-this may come through Scripture, prayer, another person
8.Thank Him for His guidance
9. Believe that God will do what He said He would do
10. Thank Him for deliverance
The enemies of Jehoshaphat relied on earthly weapons but King J relied on spiritual weapons that still work today. The outcome of the conflict you face is determined by the supremacy of spiritual weapons over earthly ones.
Prayer, Praise, and fasting are spiritual weapons that bring deliverance and victory- both in you, your husband and your marriage.
Prayer for you: Lord, help me to distinguish between sin and annoyances in my husband. If I’m simply annoyed, help me to keep quiet, saving my influence for when it’s truly needed. (Ephesians 4:15)
Prayer for husband: Lord, help my husband to enjoy me for who I am, quirks and all!
Prayer for marriage: Lord, help our marriage to be characterized by unconditional love.
Do you hear wisdom calling out, raising her voice, and crying aloud as Proverbs 8:1-6 indicates? If you need wisdom for your marriage, it’s freely available- in fact it’s screaming at you. If that’s true, why do so many of us struggle to hear God’s voice?
Many of God’s beautiful women have unwittingly (or not) been worshiping modern-day cultural idols which block our ability to hear God clearly.
These idols include
Bowing down to these idols creates a waxy build-up over time that decreases your ear-drum’s ability to sense the vibrations of God’s voice. Time to reach for a spiritual Q-tip!
A fast is the spiritual equivalent of a Q-tip.
When you fast, you humble yourself.
When you fast, you admit your need for God Almighty.
When you fast, your repent for travelling on a fruitless, ineffective path.
When you fast, you listen.
When you fast, you record what God reveals.
When you fast, you obey what He tells you to do.
When you fast, you gain pertinent, spiritual wisdom that WILL change your life!
No matter what condition your marriage is in, it will improve when God’s wisdom is applied. A tiny drop of godly wisdom can make a HUGE change in your marriage.
People don’t avoid this spiritual discipline because it doesn’t work. On the contrary! It’s a powerful tool that cleans out the ears of your understanding.
Fasting is unpopular because it isn’t fun or easy-two things we Americans adore.
So…what do you want? To hear God’s wisdom concerning your marriage or continue on in your own wisdom. Please care enough about your marriage and any children you may have to answer this question with great thought.
If you’re tempted by the knowledge that your marriage could grow into a fulfilling, beautiful relationship with your husband, please join me for the 12 Days of Healing Marriage Fast beginning March 18-29 on Facebook.
Fasting removed my inability to hear God concerning my messy marriage. It was a vital tool that helped turn my marriage around!
How do you fast?
There are many fasts to choose from. Consider one of the following.
- Daniel Fast
- Eliminate a food you turn to every day (a friend of mine fasted Dr. Pepper)
- Water/no food (for 1-3 days for you hard-core fasters)
Whatever you choose to fast, it’s important you devote time each day to seeking God. How do you do that?
- Find a quiet place
- Begin thanking/praising God for His goodness (this brings your thoughts under control)
- Read your Bible (Proverbs is a great source of wisdom)
- Record your thoughts in a journal when a particular verse strikes you
- Think about this verse throughout the day
- Ask God to help you implement His wisdom in your life
- Obey what He asks you to do
Beginning March 18-29, I’ll be sharing thoughts from Ephesians for you to ponder on Facebook
as well as here on this blog. Check in every day to receive encouragement and share testimonies.
Wouldn’t you like to hear what God says about your marriage?
Kim Ketola is a speaker, radio personality, and author of an excellent book, Cradle My Heart, which encourages women that they can find God’s love after abortion. I’m happy to call her my friend and grateful she agreed to write today’s guest blog.
Bonnie is a ministry leader who thought her marriage was rock-solid even though she had been emotionally wounded by abortion prior to meeting her husband Dave. Their story illustrates the healing power of honesty—and the hurt which can happen when it’s withheld.
When I first started dating Dave, we were each trying to put our lives back together after a difficult divorce. I told him about the abortion when I was young and single. He was so kind and understanding that I knew he was a very special man. Later we married and the abortion issue never came up until eight years later when God finally freed me of the shame of it at last. I stepped out in ministry and he was right there with me—serving as treasurer of our conference ministry and attending many, many fundraising banquets where I told the story of God’s grace.
Two years into my healing journey, I finally took the step of attending a Bible study support group which included a memorial service for our lost children. We each invited friends and family, so naturally I wanted Dave to be there. I sang a song I’d written as my tribute.
As I sang, I noticed Dave weeping. I had seldom seen him cry—much less in public. On our way home I asked him about it.
“I had two abortions in the marriage to Terry,” he said, looking straight ahead.
I was stunned. How was it possible that I was just now hearing this news?
“What happened?” I asked, “And why have you never mentioned this before now?”
“It wasn’t mine to tell. The decisions were hers,” was all he said.
“That’s it?!” I thought. “You’re protecting her?”
Feeling crushed and betrayed by him, I was also so sad for his loss. And I was relieved that he had found the courage to share the truth with me.
Abortion always presents a confusing array of conflicting emotions and competing affections—both before we choose it and in the aftermath. And abortion creates secrets and forbidden spaces where entire rooms of our hearts end up marked Do Not Enter. When key facts about our lives are withheld from our spouse intimacy is impeded. And marking off the territory of our hearts leads to the loneliest isolation of all—feeling all alone with the person sitting next to you.
Marriages can recover from the harm abortion does to men and women. Bonnie’s marriage came back stronger than before she learned Dave’s shattering secret.
“It took years for us to be able to work our way through it because I indulged Dave’s avoidance, and I forgot the power of love to cover a multitude of sins. When I began to pray that we would be able to give honor and dignity to those two children in heaven, our marriage began to heal.”
Bonnie’s prayers softened her own heart so that Dave felt safe sharing the whole story with her. He had been dominated in the marriage, and the abortions stood as the fatal verdict of his loss of manhood with his former wife. Other couples may suffer because the husband dominated in the abortion decision of his wife or a former partner thereby destroying the dignity of womanhood and mothering. In either case, couples can begin praying together for the healing of their marriage. As Bonnie and Dave did, Dave was able to process his grief and exercise true leadership in his home.
“He named the children Alpha and Omega because they would have been his first and his last. And he bought flowers in their honor for the altar at church that Easter.” Bonnie says.
“I’m so proud of him. Now we speak together as he encourages other men.”
It’s important to seek God first if abortion is an issue in your marriage. Also find the caring support of friends in faith to guide, direct, and pray with you. You may each need a confidante or mentor of your own to help you follow Christ where the healing journey leads. But find a way to follow Jesus with all your heart.
And keep on loving and forgiving each other, just as God loves you.
Kim Ketola’s book Cradle My Heart, Finding God’s Love After Abortion is a biblical resource for healing and restoring family relationships in the wake of the abortion choice.
When I said my vows before God, Tom, and the guests at my wedding on December 12, 1980, I had NO clue about the magnitude of what I had just committed to do. Many don’t. Did you?
Exiting the church, we began our drive as man and wife but it wasn’t long before we hit a slick, sinful patch and landed in our first ditch! I was discouraged and unsure what move to make next.
God designed marriage to operate like a high-performance engine which produces power to navigate any terrain you encounter.
The secret behind this design is COVENANT. In Psalms 50:5, David writes about making a covenant. The Hebrew speaks of “cutting” a covenant, rather than merely making one. Cutting suggests the action of a knife which spills blood and produces death. In the Old Testament (covenant) it was the blood of bulls and goats that produced unity with God and in the New Testament (covenant), Jesus shed His blood as the perfect sacrifice to bring us into UNITY with Him once for all.
Bottom line: There can be no covenant without SACRIFICE.
What does this have to do with you and your marriage? When you married, you entered into a covenant relationship which requires sacrifice and that sacrifice is selflessness and self-denial!
In order to ENJOY unity with your husband, you must learn to put your selfish desires in second place after the desire to become one with your husband. Married in the church and a Christian, I trusted that God would bless me and my marriage but I didn’t realize He wanted to use me-as-sacrifice to bring blessing on my marriage.
Over time, I realized that, alone, I didn’t have what I needed to fulfill my promises. I felt ill-equipped and empty of the fuel needed to deal a death blow to my selfish ways.
Only the Holy Spirit has access to the supernatural fuel that will propel you forward out of any ditch, up steep mountains, and along the straight-away of your marriage. He offers pure fuel which protects the engine of your marriage from “knocking”.
Maybe you know where to go for help but you’ve been attempting to pump your own fuel. This is futile and unnecessary! The Holy Spirit filling station is FULL SERVICE!
- Go to Him.
- Ask Him to fill you.
- Allow Him to fill you with inspiration, words and ideas.
- Obey what He tells you to do.
One of the things He’ll instruct you to do is rid yourself of the junk in your trunk. What junk? The junk of wrong thinking caused by wounds you’ve sustained throughout your life. When provoked, this junk emerges from your trunk only to assault the unsuspecting–especially your husband with whom you live in close contact.
Or maybe you’re not the aggressive type and your junk remains confined to the safety of your trunk. In other words, you avoid offering truth to a husband walking in sin because you’re afraid to confront. This is equally selfish behavior which negatively impacts your marriage. Lightening your trunk’s load will give you increased power to propel your marriage forward with greater efficiency!
Living by the terms of covenant marriage will produce greater unity in your marriage.
Have you asked the Holy Spirit to fill you with all you need to live in covenant relationship with your husband?