• I’m Pretty Busy

    This prayer time is typically short, recognizing that you face the pressures of a daily schedule. You need to determine together when is the best time for you and your wife. This may call for some sacrifice on your part. To show your wife that you are serious, you be the one willing to make changes and initiate praying together. On the other hand, there will be times when you and your wife are not in a hurry. As the Holy Spirit leads you, and the discussion flows, you may be shocked at how the time will fly. Right now you might not be able to imagine spending an hour or more in prayer and spiritual discussion with your wife. As you Just Say the Word together, a wonderful, extended season of prayer with your wife could be right around the corner!

  • But my wife is the Spiritual Giant!

    This reason abounds. And maybe with good evidence! When push comes to shove, many of us recognize that our wives are walking more diligently and intentionally with the Lord than we are. As a result, we are intimidated to presume we have much to add to what she needs. While there may be some truth in your assessment, it cannot end there. Think of it this way. You don’t need to disciple your wife. Because of God’s design, she does need and desire you to lead her spiritually. Quite often men recognize their wife will ‘welcome them’ to pray together. Leading your wife is not from out front, it is by your side (remember she was created from the rib of man).

  • Do I really have to get up at the crack of dawn?

    You need to discover what works for your marriage and family. For some couples, the early morning is good. For others, praying together in the evening or just before bedtime is best. One of you may be a morning person and the other a night person, so you will need to experiment with different options. There are no formulas here. I often tell men, You just have to figure it out. You solve difficult problems at work. You can solve this challenge at home.

  • What if we miss?

    Oh, be sure, you will miss. Life can be crazy. In this generation, we are moving faster than mankind has ever moved. We are like Superman: “faster than a speeding bullet.” Certainly, it is very easy for the schedules of life to cause you to miss praying together. Any combination of things will come up to block you from getting together with your wife for prayer. However, missing will not lead you to failure as in the past. Because you are following the Bible as your guide, you will remember exactly where you left off. All you need to do is return to the place in the Bible where you last prayed together. The Bible keeps you on track! No guilt, no embarrassment, no failure, no quitting! Remember the tortoise and the hare? Slow and steady wins the race! Use a Just Say The Word Bible Bookmark to keep place in your Bible where you are praying with your wife. This serves as a your regular reminder and placeholder.

  • More intentional and more regular

    Christian men desire to be a spiritual leader in their marriage and family. Yet, often we don’t know what to practically do about it. We take our family to church. We involve our family in multiple church activities and programs. But perhaps we sense something is still missing at a more personal level of spiritual interaction and influence in our marriage and family. The Just Say The Word model of praying through books of the Bible as husband and wife will help you to be more intentional and more regular than ever before. Why? Because now you have ‘tracks to run on’! You know what you are doing. You know where you are going. You can have more confidence because you predictably know where you are headed together in prayers. Just what we need!

  • Apologize . . . really?

    The first step you must take is to tell your wife of the revelation you have received. Tell her of your new commitment by God’s grace. It could be that you owe your wife an apology. A true apology does not just express sorrow. You also need to ask for her forgiveness. Understand that forgiveness is given once repentance is demonstrated. In other words, repentance lived out over reasonable time opens the door to reconciliation and forgiveness. She needs to see that your apology has substance. Behavior change over time puts skin on apology. My wife did not mention it, but I am certain there was some skepticism in a corner of her heart. Imagine that your wife has her arms crossed and is saying, “OK, we will see what happens over time.” You and I need to live out our resolve. One friend shared with me that he told his wife of his resolve, and he apologized for his previous lack of spiritual leadership. His wife said, “You have no idea how much your apology means to me!” His acknowledgement and confession touched her heart more than he could have anticipated.

  • Read: Pick a Book of the Bible

    Once you and your wife agree to pray through a book of the Bible, this commitment keeps you ‘on track’. When you miss praying together for however many days, you can just come back to where you left off.

  • Read: Same Version

    It is really best for you and your wife to each have the same version of the Bible. This will put you on the ‘same page’ as you read the verses.
    This is not a race! It is OK, and maybe even preferred, to read and pray slowly through the Bible. Most Bibles are formatted in paragraphs. But many times the verses you will pray through will be way less than the whole paragraph. There are times when my wife and I have prayed together using only ‘one verse’.

  • What do you mean ‘Observe’?

    Actually it is pretty basic. Observe means to ask the question: what is the author saying in these verses?
- Main ideas or topics (what is he addressing)
- Key words (action words, repeated words, or words that jump out at you!)
- What applies to your lives?
- Is there an attitude, perspective, or point of obedience for your to pray about?
Allow the Bible to show you and your wife what to focus your prayers on.

  • Listening for the Holy Spirit

    After reading, quietly think about what is being said in the verses. Look them over again slowly. Ask the Holy Spirit of God to speak to your hearts. A believer in Jesus Christ has the Holy Spirit living in you as His temple. He will speak in a still small voice to our hearts through the Bible.

  • You will be amazed

    It is helpful to write down what you observe in the verses and what you pray about. Over the long run, you will be amazed to see all the Lord shows you to pray about from His Word.

  • Ladies go first

    Certainly this is not a ‘rule’, but generally speaking I prefer my wife to go first in sharing what she observes in the verses. I often say, “Honey, what jumps out at you?” This is a great time to listen to your wife’s heart. An opportunity for you to understand how God is speaking to her.

  • Pray: Use the keywords and topics in the verses to guide you

    Follow the Bible for the main ideas for your prayer. Often you can literally pray back to the Lord the exact words from the verses themselves.

  • Pray: Focus on the blessings and concerns of today

    After praying what you observed in the verses, then lift up to the Lord what is ‘going on’ today. What are the main events and concerns facing your family ‘right now’? Sometimes you will find that what you read and prayed from the verses is perfectly relevant to your ‘today’!

  • Praying out loud?

    Take turns praying out loud. You and your wife should both participate. Each person prays a short time. Whatever the case, proceed as is comfortable for your marriage. However, I would encourage you as the husband to pray out loud every time.However, if praying out loud is new to you and/or your wife it will likely feel a bit strange. That is OK. The Lord will help you move forward. If your wife is not comfortable to pray out loud, give her space and time. You can lead the prayer, guided by the main observations you have each made from the Bible. If you as husband are uncomfortable to pray out loud, I would challenge you to step out anyway. The more you pray out loud, more comfort will follow. Simple and short prayers are fine. Just Say The Word.

  • What if my wife does not want to pray with me?

    Perhaps this whole discussion is painful to you because your marriage is in a difficult place. Maybe your wife will not agree to pray through the Bible with you. If that’s the case, then I call you to press into the Lord even more firmly. You can personally follow this approach on your own. In fact, there is nothing better you can do in the midst of such challenges than to pray the Word of God for your wife, your family, and for yourself! Because of who you are in her life, as her husband, you have the opportunity to pray more effectively for her than anyone else. You might have a hard time believing that, but it is true. You seriously need to consider any responsibility you bear for your wife’s condition. If you have crushed her in life, ask God to show you His path toward reconciliation and healing. Are you willing to do whatever you can do to bring health and wholeness to your marriage?

  • What about our kids?

    Sure it is important to pray with your kids. We say ‘grace’ over our meals. We pray with our children when putting them to bed. Certainly praying through the Bible with your kids would be a wonderful thing to do! However, with Just Say The Word we are focusing on prayer with your wife alone – just the two of you! Prayers offered in the unique ‘one flesh’ union of marriage, will conceive and give birth to life which will influence your whole family. Praying through the Bible with your wife is the cornerstone for prayer in your family.

  • Do you think it matters?

    If you and your wife were to pray the Word and will of God over your children and/or grandchildren, do you think it would matter? If you are a Christian, it would seem to me your answer would be ‘yes’. Because if your answer is “no, it probably doesn’t matter”, then we should walk away from all this foolishness! The real question is do we believe in prayer? Do we believe prayer is really talking to the God of all eternity and creation? When we pray, we are communicating personally with the same God who created the universe, who burned in the bush before Moses, who opened the Red Sea! He is able and He cares to show up in our marriages, lives and families.

  • I know she knows who I really am!

    Tune into this one! As I have talked with men, this seems to be one of the main reasons for our pervasive failure. Men suffer from condemnation, fear, and shame.
It goes something like this: “My wife knows me so well! She knows all my failures, sins and shortcomings:

    ● I yell at the kids . . .
    ● I got us in debt . . .
    ● I am struggling at work . . .
    ● I am fighting with my cousin . . .
    ● I don’t keep the house up properly . . .
    ● I watch the wrong kind of movies
    ● I have a loose tongue sometimes . . . or all the time.
    (And the list can go on and on).

    So if I step close to her spiritually and emotionally, it is just too revealing, too shameful. It might even be hypocritical! It is too risky! That close to the light will bring too much exposure! Imagine I just yelled at the kids and sent them all to bed, then I am supposed to turn to my wife and say, “OK honey, let’s open the Bible to Proverbs and pray together!” Yeah right!

    So basically we “blow the whistle” and disqualify ourselves. Off to the penalty box we go. The problem is some of us never come out, because we are convinced “I am not good enough to pray with my wife.”

    My brother, none of us is perfect. But consider this: the answers, motivations and healing we need can flow from the Word of God as we pray through the truths and principles of Scripture. The most powerful relational union that God intends on earth is husband and wife. There is no other relationship captured in such intimate and personal terms as “one flesh.” When we intentionally invite the living God to reside at the center of our marriage, we have access to His life in a unique way. If we step back from the power resident in such a union of prayer, we are losing access the most powerful resource we have as a married man. On the other hand, stepping into this union more intentionally and regularly will open the anointing of God in ways you perhaps could not have imagined.