Without asking him to, your husband walks in to the room where you are sitting and decides to sit there with you. He softly says, “I just want to be close to you. Be in your presence.” The love in the room is so strong you can almost touch it. He loves you and you love him. Then he begins to speak. He tells you how much he cherishes the covenant relationship the two of you have with one another. He tells you that he couldn’t live one minute without you. He thanks you for every thing you do for him. He acknowledges how much you overlook and forgive his weaknesses. He thanks you for the life – the children – you have given him. He thanks you for the way you take care of their every need. He tells you that you are so beautiful and perfect to him in every way. He begins to thank you for every thing you do every day. Every single thing you do is acknowledged and appreciated: the way you do things, the reason you do things, the way you keep your promises to him, even though he doesn’t always keep his.
He tells you that his love for you is so deep that he wants to please you in every thing he does. He is more than willing to give up his own life in order to live the life you want him to live. He tells you that he wants his life to focus on one thing: pleasing you. He asks you to tell him how you envision your future together. He asks you to open your heart to him. He wants to want what you want. He acknowledges that everything he has belongs to you. He wants to hear about what matters to you. He wants to hear about what pleases you. He wants to hear about what displeases you.
And you tell him. You tell him that you love him. You tell him about the wonderful future you have planned for the two of you. You tell him that everything you have belongs to him. You explain your heart to him. You reveal to him the things that matter to you. He understands the kinds of things that matter to you. Because of his deep, deep love for you – and your deep, deep love for him – there is no struggle in the relationship. He doesn’t wonder what pleases you – He knows. He knows you. His love for you is only out measured by your love for him. It’s a beautiful circle of love. There is no fear. And there is no doubt in either of your hearts that you will never leave him or forsake him. There is peace. In the middle of chaotic life, there is peace.
Scene #2 –
Without asking him to, your husband walks in to the room where you are sitting. It’s been weeks since the two of you have had a decent conversation, so you are happy to see him. He speaks to you with an edge in his voice. It’s obvious from the tone in his voice that He isn’t sure you care about what he’s dealing with. He decides to tell you anyway - because after all - the two of you have a covenant with one another. For the next several minutes he spills his heart out. You see his is afraid. Of life. Of the challenges he is facing. You hear that he is overwhelmed and feels like he is walking through life on his own. You hear anger, and pride, and self-righteous pity. He is kind of insinuating that maybe you aren’t really all that in to the relationship because you don’t seem to lift a finger to help him. He gets up to leave the room – and as he is walking away he has a list of things he needs help with. He shouts them out to you. Before you have a chance to respond, he’s gone. A few weeks later, he does the same thing. Your heart is sad because he doesn’t stay around long enough for you to share your heart with him. He doesn’t seem to appreciate you, your love for him, your sacrifice for him, or how you long to help him through life. He never seems to want to know what your will is because he really doesn't care what your will is. His idea of your covenant relationship with him is that you focus on him all the time - and - he doesn't really give much thought to whether or not he is focused on you. At all. Ever.
So now, in both of those scenes, imagine that you are God and your husband is you.
If you were God, which one of those two scenes seem like love to you?
And then review both scenes again, but this time you are your husband.
Which one of those scenes comes closest to the way YOU pray?
Is prayer simply a list of what you WANT from God?
IMHO – we have forgotten what prayer actually is.
Next blog we will study HOW Jesus prayed. Not just WHAT He taught us to say. But WHAT He did.
More to come.