The page, Basic Help For The Marriage Under Attack is an integral part of the instructions below, so, if you have not done so, please read it before continuing here.
Admittedly, if you are not Pentecostal or knowledgeable about spiritual warfare, you may find some of the entries below a bit strange. Concentrate then on the ones you feel comfortable with, but do be open minded to the others.
Your Attitude | The Word of God | The Blood of Christ
Praise / Worship | Prayer
Fasting | Baptism Of The Holy Spirit | Spiritual Warfare
Anointings | Point Of Contact | Positive Communication
United Prayer | Counseling
|Your Attitude -|
DETERMINATION -God has designed us as creatures with emotion. Two emotions valuable in prayer are sorrow and anger. Examples of both these emotions are throughout Scripture and are more prevalent in the Psalms.
GODLY SORROW plays a valuable role in prayer. However, many times if there is tension between husband and wife, it may be wise to diminish the outward expression of inward sorrow - but remember, YOU do what GOD TELLS YOU TO DO. Inwardly though, we must have sorrow first of all in regards to our own sins and where we have offended God and, yes, our spouse. In regards to your spouse, develop sorrow. Be merciful. We are all born with a sin nature and that includes your spouse. Ask our heavenly Father to enable you to have pity toward your spouse. And if you have children, grandchildren, etc, develop sorrow for them, especially if the word "divorce" was thrown about in front of them. Do not be fooled - a child of any age is affected by divorce. Satan enjoys tearing you and your spouse apart and in the process, crushing the heart of your children. So you need...
ANGER directed at satan and NOT your spouse. Always try to make a difference in your mind between the sin and the sinner. If your spouse is offending you, realize that it is from the sin nature that this happens and satan is influencing him / her. Get to the root! - that sin nature and satan himself. You need to get angry because satan has touched your family. Grant it, you and your spouse probably invited him to do so, but now is the time for it to stop. Get angry and stay angry at satan.
Sorrow and anger helps us to pray as directed in James 5:16-" Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
FAITH-We must believe that God's Word is exactly that - His Word. We also must believe that God reigns on His throne and that He is a holy God. In regards to the fact that God reigns, do not get the idea that I am going to teach you to bombard heaven to move the hand of God to force someone to change their will. God made us with a free will and I will touch upon that more under perseverance.
One aspect of faith is that we need to have patience. Did you ever notice in Scripture that there were many times God moved when the people looking to God felt that they were in the last few seconds of a crisis? God does that to exercise (stretch) our faith. He desires us to grow in Him.
Since His Word is true and He reigns, faith dictates that we should trust Him as we obey, performing what He wants us to do.
PERSEVERANCE-Do not believe the theory "pray once and that's it", a facet of the positive confession movement. That unscriptural teaching was going full blast in the mid 80's - exactly when extramarital affairs and divorce began to rise in the body of Christ! Let me nip this in the bud right now. At least once, Jesus had to pray for something more then once! Check it out in Mark 8:22-26. We are to keep on praying: see Lk. 18:1-8. There are many more Scriptures that instruct us to keep on praying.
Yet, more than just prayer is included in perseverance. We need to be faithful in obeying His Word and permitting God to work through us and our spouse. In the page previous to this one, I presented seven precepts for us to follow to see our marriages healed. If you have not already done so, please learn these Scriptural precepts.
We need to persevere even when things get worse and we are down to the last second. Perseverance is definitely needed because in marital difficulties we are dealing with people whom God has created as individuals - and God will not force someone's will, making them a puppet. So it takes time through prayer to get all of us to turn around and think like God wants us to think. This is especially true if we are praying for someone who is unsaved. Unsaved folk will be wrestling with the convicting power of God. During these times, such people may be more touchy and irritable, but- persevere in prayer!
|Our Priesthood and Kingship -|
Now, just in case someone is troubled with these words that denote male gender, understand very clearly that IN CHRIST THERE IS NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE, (Gal. 3:28). The terms ably fit females.
KINGSHIP-Do not let that "go to your head". Be humble. If you are saved you are a king operating under the Kingship of the Supreme Sovereign, God. You and I rule only as directed by Him. You will not be using the authority vested in you to make others act properly. The authority invested in us is to witness to others the salvation power of God and to let the Holy Spirit live through us (Is. 59:19). It is also authority to grow in Christ (John 1:12). All three aspects of this authority are greatly helpful in healing and maintaining your relationship with your spouse.
PRIESTHOOD- We have the privilege and DUTY to intercede for ourselves and for others. Hence, if you came to this page concerned about someone else's marriage, and satan is trying to make you think that you should not interfere, ignore him. Come to the throne room of God and seek His face to intercede into the affairs of the hurting.
As a priest, we must first intercede to God on our own behalf - to remove our sins and to crush our sin nature. After that, we may proceed to intercede for others.
|The Word of God -|
|Mt. 19:6||Eph. 5:21 - 33||1 Cor. 13|
|Col. 3:18 - 19||Mal. 2:14 - 17||1 John 3:11|
|Luke 16:18||1 Jo. 3:23||1 Jo. 4:7|
|1 Jo. 4:20||1 Jo. 5:2||Mt. 19:18|
|Mt. 6:14-15||Mt. 18:21-22||Mk. 11:25|
|Pro. 2:16-22||Pro. 6:23-35||Pro. 5:18|
|Gen. 2:23-25||Pro. 18:22||Ecc. 9:9|
|The Blood of Christ -|
|Praise / Worship -|
Some time ago while pastoring in Flintstone, MD, I would pray to God concerning all the needs of the small church that I was pastoring. If you have seen the other pages of this site, you will note that I used to suffer from depression and all this praying made me depressed even more! Then Phi. 4:6 came to my mind- "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." We are to mingle our requests to God with thanksgiving and praise. Prayer became smoother! Praise and worship of God gives us the strength to keep on praying.
Yes, it is VERY DIFFICULT to praise God during horrible times. However, if we force ourselves and in that case sacrificially give praise, we will gain strength to persevere. Now if you are reading this thinking to help someone else, please do not go to them and say, "Just praise the Lord." No. Sit where that person sits. Listen to them and weep with them. THEN gently lead them to the point of praise.
By the way, try lifting your hands while praising God- 1 Timothy 2:8- "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting." Also read Exo. 17:8-16. Jehovahnissi in verse 15 means "The Lord is our banner".
Above, I mentioned that sometimes it is difficult to praise God, especially when things seem to be falling apart around you. What are you going to praise God about? Praise God for Who He is! That never changes! God is love, faithful, holy, merciful, forgiving, etc. Concentrate on those things. People and circumstances change. God does not. People fail. God does not.
Private prayer is foundational. Don't have the time? Make the time. Your marriage is that important.
If your spouse is willing, pray with him or her. Pray with your children.
You can pray while you are doing other things such as working on your job or shopping.
Let the Holy Spirit guide you in prayer. I do not necessarily mean speaking in tongues at this point. Just let Him guide you. Case in point...
|Sometime ago, Dorcas and I were interceding in prayer for a couple who were about to wind up in divorce court. In brief, the husband wanted the divorce and not the wife. More details of this story will appear on a page of testimonies but what I want to point out here is that I was impressed to pray "Father, bring confusion between that man and his lawyer." A week later, after the court date, we received a report that the session was cancelled because an argument developed between the man and his lawyer.|
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Do not get the idea that if you fast, you are going to twist the arm of God in order for Him to act. Rubbish! The value of fasting especially when we enter the realm of intercession is threefold.
First, remember in the above paragraph on prayer I said MAKE TIME to pray? Fasting meets that goal. The 15 to 30 minutes we take to eat can be well spent on prayer. If you prepare your own food and wash your own dishes, you may add more time. On a prolonged fast* even more time is gained as certain bodily needs become less active.
Second, if you fast, it helps you develop the fervency you need in prayer.
Third, the time gained and the fervency couple together as a two edged sword in spiritual warfare.
*A WORD OF CAUTION!
If you have never fasted before or have fasted only a little, learn to fast gradually. Start off with one day or one meal, then work your way up. Keep in mind no merit is gained with God due to the fact you may increase your fasting ability from days to weeks. God desires you to earnestly seek His face by His grace, not by what you can do.
I define fasting as "...where the child of God is so intent upon drawing nigh to God to seek His face or / and or to worship God or / and to intercede for a need that he / she abstains from food totally or in part and spends the time they would be eating earnestly in the presence of God." I have a whole lesson on fasting, but currently do not have the time to place it on the Internet.
Suffice it to say, fast and take that time to intercede for whomever has trouble in their marriage.
Keep in mind that Jesus indicated to keep your fasting private. What He did not want us to do was to brag like some of the religious hypocrites of His time. You may have to tell some people you are fasting. You are not breaking the Lord's rule here as long as you have a reason to tell and you are not bragging. For example, if you have low blood pressure like myself, you may want to inform your employer if you have to work. If fasting does interfere with your work, try fasting one meal a day and take that time to intercede.
|The Baptism of the Holy Spirit -|
If you are open to Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I don't have the room here, but suffice it to say, WORSHIP the Lord! Seek the Baptizer and not the Baptism and He shall come upon you and fill you to overflowing!
In the NT, two words are associated with the gift of tongues in reference to the word "gift". Transliterating them for you, the one is doreah (doh - ray - ah) and the other is charisma (the "ch" being pronounced as a "k" somewhat). The former is for every Christian and the latter is for certain Christians. The former can be compared to something like a Christmas gift while the latter may be compared to something like a talent. The controls of 1 Cor. 14 were in reference to the charisma, not the doreah.
Romans 8:26 indicates that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us "with groanings that cannot be uttered". It is quite possible that Paul was thinking of speaking in tongues here.
Why tongues for intercession? From what I have seen of various languages, some are more expressive than others. Hence, if the Holy Spirit directs us to intercede by praying in tongues, He is then quite possibly choosing a language more expressive than our native tongue so we may pray more effectively and more guided by the Holy Spirit.
|Spiritual Warfare -|
I suggest the following for spiritual warfare: Before we come against the forces of darkness, we need to take care of our own spiritual state first. Ask God to reveal to you your own shortcomings and sins. Then ask Him to make you feel true sorrow for these. Then ask His forgiveness. After purging yourself before God, begin to simply praise His Name as mentioned above.
As you praise God, ask God to help you analyze the marital problem - Is there, or could there be another person involved? The love of one or both is just growing cold? You or your spouse have a wayward tendency? Perhaps one or both enjoys some strange sexual behavior. Perhaps there is sexual dysfunction*. As you discover the negatives, think of the exact opposites, the positives, in God. For example, the opposite of waywardness is FAITHFULNESS. The opposite of love growing cold is the LOVE OF GOD. For the opposite of strange sexual behavior, there is the PURITY OF GOD. For sexual dysfunction,* there IS HEALING AND UNDERSTANDING IN GOD.
*Concerning sexual dysfunction, do not get the idea that I am saying that this problem is directly from satan. Sexual dysfunction is due to various reasons, but satan magnifies the problem and this is what we want to attack in this section. In regards to sexual dysfunction, there is much Christian help available which I will have to list on another page.
Now that we have identified some of the problems, I suggest the following pattern, and let us take "waywardness" first:
Let praise simply flow from you, then begin to thank and praise God for His faithfulness. Then, note the waywardness in your spouse asking God to rebuke it and asking God to help your spouse to be faithful. Then begin to praise God all over again.
For sexual dysfunction you can praise God for His healing and that He is the God of understanding and reconciliation. Ask God to touch your spouse's body. Ask God to touch his/ her mind (noting in praise that His Word says that He has given us the spirit of a sound mind). Ask God to remove that spirit of heaviness from your spouse.
As you can see, the pattern of prayer I suggest in spiritual warfare is that once you know a negative in someone's life (or your own), think of the exact opposite positive quality in God. Praise God for His positive quality, in the Lord rebuke satan, ask God to remove that negative quality, and continue to praise God.
Set aside some olive oil for anointing purposes in a separate container. Other oils I'm sure can be used if you do not have olive oil. Dedicate it to the Lord in prayer and use it only for anointings.
Understand clearly that we are not dealing in magic here, but following Biblical teachings and patterns and when we do so in the proper attitude we operate in the authority that God has given to us.
What I usually do is to LIGHTLY anoint with the form of a small cross an object that the needful person will come in contact with. Upon anointing and while praising God I intercede for the person I am praying for as the Holy Spirit leads.
|Point of Contact -|
Remember the little story I shared with you above under "Prayer" while discussing "Spirit led prayer"? Here is another facet of how we interceded for that particular couple:
|A few months before we heard that this couple were having marital difficulties, we were with them at a certain location where a Christmas gift exchange game was played. I wound up with a can of peanuts which came from this couple. The peanuts were delicious, but the news a few months later was not when we heard that the man left his wife. As noted above, things escalated to the point where he desired a divorce. As part of our intercession, Dorcas and I laid hands upon that can and prayed for this couple, asking God to soften the heart of that husband. We asked God to draw this man closer to Himself and to his wife. Others interceded too, and this couple is back together today!|
The object to lay hands upon does not have to be given to you. Anything that the person will come into contact with will be fine.
|Positive Communication -|
Also, gently share with them what they can be in the Lord and the good things that God has in store for them if they yield to Him. Always let the Holy Spirit guide your conversation.
|United Prayer -|
|Do not pray privately with a member of the opposite sex, or anyone you may develop feelings for, who is not your spouse.|
Seek out solid BIBLE (not the NIV) BASED CHRISTIAN counseling. Immediately terminate connections with those who counsel you to consider divorce, or to do something immoral.
Always compare what you hear in counseling with the Word of God. If it contradicts the Word of God, reject that counsel and accept the Word of God.
As time permits, I will try to provide links to wholesome and helpful sights on the net where counseling may be had.
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