Husbands, Honor Your Wives

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”

So that your prayers may not be hindered. That’s a frightening statement. One that should stop us as husbands in our tracks.

Essentially God is saying that you can treat your wife in such a way that your prayers will get blocked.

Blocked prayers.

Yikes.

That’s your life-line right there. If communication with the Father goes dark, you’re toast. Out on a limb. Helpless.

This verse is a great warning to husbands everywhere. Honor your wife. Seriously. Honor her. If you don’t, your prayers will go nowhere. You’ll be left out to dry.

The only reason I can write about this is because I’ve done it. I’ve failed to honor my wife and I’ve literally had my prayers be hindered. And trust me, it’s awful. It’s not something you ever want to experience. But it’s there. Right in the middle of 1st Peter. “Live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”

I never want to honor my wife solely to avoid the consequence of hindered prayers; I want to honor her because she deserves to be honored, because she’s a joint heir in the grace of life, because she’s God’s treasured daughter whom he loves more than I can imagine. But it is helpful to have this warning hanging over me. It’s encouraging to know that God takes this issue so seriously that he’ll cut off my prayers if I fail to honor my wife.

Thank you Father for your stern warnings and gracious rebukes. We love you with all we are.

Ask Whatever You Wish

“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)

I’m amazed at the promise in this verse. Ask whatever you wish? That’s pretty absurd. Almost “genie in a bottle” absurd. But that’s what Jesus says. Ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

As amazed as I am, I know it’s true. I’ve personally seen it happen time and time again. When we ask, Jesus answers. When we abide in him (trust him, seek him, talk to him, listen to him, soak in his life), he grants our requests. He responds by giving us good gifts – great gifts, actually! Gifts that are “immeausurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).

This is the great God we serve. When we come to him needy, dependent and clinging to him like little children, he smiles and lavishly pours out his grace upon us. It’s remarkable and it’s awesome. When we abide in him and his words in us, we can ask for anything and it will be done for us.

What are you asking Jesus for this week?

The Hard and Fruitful Road of Prayer

“Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis.” (Colossians 4:12-13)

I love how Paul says that Epaphras struggled in prayer on behalf of others, and then goes on to say how Epaphras “worked hard” for those people. In other words, his prayer was the hard work!

It’s easy to get caught up in working for God (i.e. ministering to others in word and deed) and fail to actually pray for people. But what we see from this passage is that prayer is some of the hardest work of all! It’s a struggle. It’s intense. It takes time and focus and patience and persistence and groanings too deep for words.

To put it simply: Don’t let anyone ever tell you that prayer is not hard work. It is and it’s worth it. If we ask, we’ll receive. If we seek, we’ll find. If we knock, the door will be opened to us. That’s how it works. Asking, seeking, knocking. Asking, seeking, knocking. Asking, seeking, knocking.

And then just when you’re exhausted from all that asking, seeking and knocking…

You receive what you asked for. You find what you were seeking. The door gets flung wide open. And all that hard work pays off once again.

God, the Divine Door Opener

“At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison.” (Colossians 4:3)

It’s interesting to note that God is the one who opens the door for the word… This is both liberating and encouraging. We don’t have to run around trying to pry open people’s hearts and shove the gospel through a locked steel gate. We can simply trust God and ask him to do the heavy lifting for us. He’ll open the doors. He’ll move mountains and part seas and put people in your life at just the right time when the door to their hearts is starting to creak open. And then, when God has made a way, the word will go forward from your lips.

This is the beautiful partnership we have with our Father in heaven. We ask him to open doors, he opens doors, and then we get to share about our treasure, Jesus Christ. How cool is that?

More Than Can Be Told

“You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.” (Psalm 40:5)

Wow, how true this is. Especially that last part: “Yet they are more than can be told.” Praise God for multiplying his wondrous deeds and his thoughts toward us. None can compare with him.

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